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Home > Regattas > Great Britain SailGP Team win Bermuda Sail Grand Prix

Great Britain SailGP Team win Bermuda Sail Grand Prix

Hamilton Bermuda: The Great Britain SailGP Team, helmed by Sir Ben Ainslie, took home the title in the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, after a thrilling day of racing on the Great Sound.

Bermuda Sail Grand Prix
Aerial view of the fleet racing side by side during practice ahead of the Sydney SailGP, Event 1 Season 2 in Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia. 27 February 2020. Photo: David Gray for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP

With the British going into the second and final day of the Bermuda SailGP in sixth place, the team knew improvements were needed to challenge for the event title. The conditions in Bermuda promised a formidable day of racing with strong wind conditions over 20 knots, close to the upper wind limits.

Due to the strong conditions, all teams sailed with their 18-metre ‘baby’ wingsail, with several teams using the newly available smallest wing, introduced this season by SailGP, for the first time.

The opening race of the day lived up to what the conditions were promising with close racing, collisions and capsizes. For the British team, it was a strong start with a lead at the first mark and the team’s F50 catamaran flying at speeds of over 50 knots (58 MPH/ 93 KPH).

The race, which saw the USA and Japan SailGP Teams heavily collide, forcing both to retire from racing, was neck-and-neck between the British and the Australia SailGP Team throughout including several lead changes. The key moment of the race came at the third gate, when Great Britain, on starboard advantage, put the Australians under significant pressure and forced a penalty for not giving enough space. From then on, the British team sailed consistently well to build up a strong lead and win the first race of the day by 35 seconds.

The final, ‘winner takes all’, podium race of the Bermuda SailGP proved no less thrilling. A third strong start of the day for all three teams led to a drag race to the first mark, with the British just taking the lead and managing to keep the Australians behind them in their dirty air, whilst the French split. In strengthening winds of up to 46KM/H (25 knots), control was the name of the game Great Britain’s wing trimmer Iain ‘Goobs’ Jensen and flight controller Luke ‘Parko’ Parkinson expertly piloted the team’s F50 to both keep the manoeuvres smooth and put as much ‘dirty air’ on the Australian boat behind.

The neck-and-neck action continued throughout the race, with the both the British and Australian teams splitting at several points, to seek better pressure to extend the lead or to find an overtaking lane. The British team managed to keep their noses in front and came out on top to win the podium race and with it take the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess title by just four seconds.

SailGP resumes in Taranto for the Italy Sail Grand Prix on 5th June 2021. The Great Britain SailGP Team’s home Grand Prix takes place in Plymouth on 17th and 18th July 2021.

SailGP.com