The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team made a strong start in Italy, as Taranto delivered full-on conditions for the opening day of the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix, finishing RD1 on top of the leaderboard.
Strong breeze of 18-25kts and sunshine welcomed the nine race boats to the racetrack with the crews excited to test the F50s at the edge of optimal performance.
The forecast was described by the SailGP broadcast commentators as ‘spicy’ and so was the racing with action across the racecourse over the three fleet races. This included a concerning moment in race three as the USA team nosedived rounding the top mark, leading to their flight controller Hans Henken sustaining an injury.
Ben Ainslie CEO and Helm looked back an adrenaline fuelled day; “The racing was right at the top end for these boats, it was all about being consistent and grinding out the results.
“The incident for the USA team was a big moment and first and foremost it’s great to hear that Hans (Henken) is ok, we wish him well.
Emirates GBR, bringing momentum from their Saint-Tropez victory last time out, scored a 2,2,3 to finish the day in in 1st place overall.
Ainslie continued; “We had a good day but so did Australia and a few others, the conditions are potentially going to be lighter tomorrow, so we need to remain focused on the job at hand to make the podium final, from then on anything is possible.”
The Italian event is the second of three European events this Season with Cadiz the last in two weeks’ time.