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SailGP in Sydney: GB Team Accused of Reckless Sailing After Collision Costs Japan Its Bow

17th December 2021
Extensive damage to the hull of the Japan SailGP boat after GB collided with it at the start of Friday’s last race in Sydney
Extensive damage to the hull of the Japan SailGP boat after GB collided with it at the start of Friday’s last race in Sydney Credit: SailGP/Twitter

The driver of Japan’s SailGP boat has tempered his criticism after accusing the GB team of reckless sailing in the aftermath of Sir Ben Ainslie’s F50 catamaran slicing off its bow in a collision.

As Marine Industry News reports, the incident occurred at the start of the final race of the opening day of the Australian SailGP event in Sydney on Friday (17 December).

Nathan Outteridge of the Japan team initially complained that the incident had “definitely ruined our boat and any chance of winning this event”.

But he later dialled down his cricisim of Sir Ben’s team, saying: “It wasn’t malicious, there’s six people on board and you’ve got to try and look around and use everyone on board to spot the boats.”

Sir Ben described the collision as a “mistake”, adding: “The Americans, we were in a defensive mode against them and I just completely didn’t see the Japanese team at all.”

GB were given six penalty points by the chief umpire for causing serious damage. They also lose two points from their overall season total — effectively ending hopes of a top-three finish.

They also lose their approval to race on Saturday after Japan’s boat was ruled out of further action “due to the extensive damage caused”, SailGP confirmed in a statement.

Published in SailGP
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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About SailGP

SailGP unites world-class athletic talent and cutting-edge technology. Eight teams representing Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States will contest eight events held in as many countries over an 11-month period. Following the season opener in Bermuda, the championship visits renowned sailing locations in Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Spain and New Zealand. San Francisco, United States, has the honour of closing proceedings with the Grand Final on 26–27 March 2022. Among those vying for the crown is the Great Britain team led by Rolex Testimonee and four-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sir Ben Ainslie, who says: “The sailing world was crying out for the creation of such a concept. SailGP is a major milestone in the evolution of yachting, but it also represents continuity. The combination of state-of-the-art technology and sporting prowess is widening the appeal of sailing.

At A Glance – SailGP Season 3 Schedule 2022-2023

May 14-15 Bermuda Sail Grand Prix
June 18-19 United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31 Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 19-20 ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 10-11 France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 24-25 Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía - Cadiz
November 12-13 Dubai Sail Grand Prix

March 18-19 New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 6-7 United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Final)

*further events will be announced to complete SailGP Season 3.

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