The American SailGP team started yesterday’s racing in an optimistic fourth, only needing to move up one place in order to earn a spot in the finals. However, during the first beat things quickly went south.
Japan’s SailGP team attempted to cross Team U.S. but didn’t have the clearance to make it overtop in time. The ensuing collision resulted in damage to the hull and steering system of the American F50. Despite best efforts, the damaged steering system then broke the rudder, resulting in a loss of control and a capsize. All sailors were safe and accounted for, but the damage to the F50 was extensive.
“What can you say? [Japan SailGP Team Helmsman] Nathan Outeridge and I are good friends,” says U.S. SailGP Team Helmsman Jimmy Spithill. “He came up and apologized. That’s how it goes, this is almost like auto racing now. At these fast speeds and decisions, if mistakes happen it can be out of your control. It’s just one of those things, we’re going to have to build on it. There’s no type of redress in this type of racing if you get taken out. That’s life, we’ll learn our lessons, and get ready for the next event.”
Team U.S. is now looking forward to next year’s racing. For more, visit sailgp.com.