The hosts of the first stage of the competition held inSydney on February15-16 hardly gave their rivals a chance to beat themselves. Only in the first of six starts did the Australians finish fifth. In all the other races, they were consistently the winners.
The main rival of the Australians in the battle for first place was the team from Japan. The crew finished first in the first race, which was so unsuccessful for the hosts. Thanks to this, even two second places did not prevent the Japanese from becoming leaders in the overall standings at the end of the first day.
« Our team did a good job. This was the first time we raced with such a line-up. We made some mistakes but obviously less than the others. For the first SailGP and first day of our team I couldn't have asked for more»," said Japanese team helmsman Nathan Outteridge.
The Australians were only second with third place going to theBritish team.
« The weaker the wind the worse we went. The more wind we had the better for us»," said Australian helmsman Tom Slingsby.
The night after the first day the teams spent analyzing the technical data of the boats that they had accumulated over the past three races. Remarkably, each team had access to information about their rivals, among other things.
This was especially important for the team from Great Britain.
« We got to see how the Japanese and Australian teams maneuvered. We were quick to go into foiling mode, but at the same time the giddy turns let us down»," said British helmsman Dylan Fletcher .
Great Britain battled it out with Japan for overall silverware on day two of the race, but the British were unable to shift the balance of power. It was Japan who had to compete in the final match-race with Australia.
Although the Japanese skipper Nathan Outridge was the chief test pilot of the 15m F50 during the design of these latest catamarans and can boast of the greatest experience of steering a vessel in the SailGP, this did not help his crew. The skill of the Japanese crew helmsman was countered by the Australian's coordinated teamwork.
In the final duel, the black and green Australian catamaran was 350 meters ahead of his rival and finished the race almost 40 seconds faster. The day before Outridge said it would be easy to beat the Aussies.
« They only beat us because we were wrong»," the Japanese helmsman said confidently at the end of the first day.
However, over the next three days his team failed to overtake the stage hosts.
The next SailGP round will be held inSan Francisco on May4-5. The host will be the youngest SailGP team there. The Americans have occupied the last place during the current competition, but are determined to take revenge at home. They will have to work hard and learn from the Australian stage.
«As a team, we still have a lot to learn about the boat and also about how best to work together. This catamaran is incredibly difficult to sail. We will learn every possible lesson from this competition to get better. We have all the necessary components for that»," says American helmsman Rome Kirby.