Australians surprise critics and top rankings on day one of Singapore SailGP racing
by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team Jan 14 13:59 PST
14-15 January 2023
The Australian SailGP team led by Tom Slingsby tormented despite the light winds during the second race on Race Day 1 of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix © Ian Walton for SailGP.
The characteristic courage and absolute determination of Tom Slingsby and his Australian team shone through on day one of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix, with the Aussies topping the leaderboard after losing key player and wing trimmer Kyle Langford.
Day one in Singapore delivered challenging light and mixed wind conditions with all teams sailing in four configurations with the largest 29m wing in a reduced two-fleet race format.
Many wrote off the Australians, predicting that the team’s well-known weakness for light winds and the loss of Kyle Langford would ensure the team’s fate at the bottom of the rankings.
The Australians rose to the occasion, however, when ‘supersub’ Ed Powys seamlessly stepped into the wing trimmer role, helping the Australians find clean lanes and solid starts.
Tom Slingsby said: “I guess you could say the Aussies are hard to predict, but you know people write us off all the time and it often doesn’t go well for them. We are stoked and so happy to get two second places today in these conditions.â€
The Australians secured two second places in the day’s two fleet races and took first place with 18 points ahead of Great Britain and Canada with 14 points.
Australia are chasing the podium final but it’s all up in the air with just two points separating second-place Britain and sixth-place New Zealand.
Commenting on tomorrow’s race, Tom Slingsby said: “Anything can happen out there and we need to focus on getting good starts tomorrow.”
Racing resumes today (15/01) where the podium final will take place with the top three placing teams to crown the champions of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix. Fans can tune in to watch the races live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports from 5:00 p.m. AEDT.