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Australia Crash Out Of SailGP’s Christchurch Grand Prix After Turning Into Course Mark - But Move Avoids Greater Catastrophe

25th March 2024
Australia survey the damage to the F50 after the collision with a course mark in Christchurch on Sunday 24 March
Australia survey the damage to the F50 after the collision with a course mark in Christchurch on Sunday 24 March Credit: SailGP

Australia’s SailGP team suffered a massive collision that forced their retirement from the second annual New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch at the weekend.

As Marine Industry News reports, Tom Slingsby and his crew were rocked by the collision with a course mark during the first fleet race on Sunday (24 March) — a so-called ‘Super Sunday’ due to the cancellation of Saturday’s racing over dolphins on the racecourse.

While the crash was a devastating blow for the team, who celebrated victory in their home event last month, it could have been much worse for them and for Canada’s F50 as it was the result of a split-second manoeuvre to avoid a catastrophic clash between the two boats.

“It all happened so quickly but at that moment I knew that we were going to hit Canada, so I had a choice to make and I wanted to keep people safe so I turned the boat as hard as I could into the course mark,” Australia Team driver Slingsby said. “I knew the mark was there but it was either that or go straight through Canada.”

New Zealand’s Peter Burling and crew went on to take the victory in their home race in this ninth round of the SailGP’s fourth season.

Marine Industry News has more on the story HERE.

Published in SailGP Team

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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.