Driver Pete Burling delivered a starting masterclass against competitors, soaring into the Final with a hat-trick of fleet race victories and trouncing Quentin Delapierre’s France and home favorites Denmark with a 25 second lead over the finish line.
It was fast and furious racing, with all three boats picking up a 100% fly time throughout the Final race.
The win marks New Zealand’s second consecutive victory, after triumphing at the Great Britain Final Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth last month.
Speaking about the win, Burling said ‘good opportunities’ at the start of the race resulted in ‘all the time and space in the world’.
He pointed to the team’s exemplary starts as a key contributing factor to the team’s dominance. “The race is easy when you’re leading at mark one,” he said, adding that it was ‘amazing to see the team come together and win four races in a row’
The Final marked the second consecutive podium finish for Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark, which finished third behind France, and Quentin Delapierre’s first podium finish since taking over as driver.
It was also the first time in six events when Tom Slingsby’s Australia failed to make a Final. The team missed out on a place and finished with a 5-3-4 fleet racing record.
It was an eventful weekend, with Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain unable to race after suffering significant damage in practice racing. The first day of racing was also called off due to lack of wind, resulting in a compressed four-race format on the second day, which resulted in high-risk, competitive racaing between the teams.
Text and images courtesy of SailGP.