Published on October 9th, 2021
Cadiz, Spain (October 9, 2021) – As the largest spectator fleet in the history of SailGP gathered in Cadiz, and the shoreline filled with fans watching from the waterfront, the eight teams raced with six athletes onboard the F50s for the first time ever, expanding the crew for each team to now include one woman.
Great Britain claimed the opening win, Spain SailGP Team won the next before the United States rounded out the day with the final victory on the Bay of Cadiz, aided by SailGP’s youngest athlete, CJ Perez, the 18-year-old who played a key role on her debut in the global sailing league.
Australia ended Race Day 1 topping the leaderboard, with Jimmy Spithill’s US team and an impressive Denmark rounding out the top three heading into tomorrow’s two fleet races. Spain, despite winning the second race, ended the day down in sixth place.
With the 29 meter wing utilized, the largest of the three wings, and six crew onboard each F50, it didn’t take long for the shifty and tight confines to deliver drama in Cadiz.
An extremely tight battle between the Aussies and Great Britain at the front of the pack was decided by a photo finish, with Ben Ainslie’s team crossing the finish line mere milliseconds earlier than their rivals.
The first race bore little fruit for Spain, who looked set to struggle on home waters with a disappointing seventh place finish, but Phil Robertson and his team turned it on when the second race got under way, powering to a commanding win ahead of Japan and Denmark to make their mark on their home event.
With teams dropped to four crew for the light air third race, the slow pace hit the 15-minute time limit with only a single team – the United States – having crossed the finish line. In this situation, final rankings are determined by a boat’s position at the previous mark, meaning Spain were awarded a fifth place finish.
Denmark claimed a second successive third place in the final race of the day to stake their claim for a place in tomorrow’s winner-takes-all Final, but it is Australia who head into Race Day 2’s action leading the pack.
The Spain Sail Grand Prix concludes tomorrow with racing beginning at 16:30 CEST.
The Spain Sail Grand Prix | Cadiz – Andalusia will air live on October 9-10 at 10:30am EDT on SailGP’s YouTube channel and the SailGP APP. Delayed full broadcast coverage of both days will air October 10 on CBS Sports at 12:00pm EDT (Race Day 1) and 10:00pm EDT (Race Day 2).
SailGP Season Championship (after 5 events)
1. Japan, 37 pts
2. United States, 35 pts
3. Australia, 35 pts
4. Great Britain, 34 pts
5. Spain, 31 pts
6. New Zealand, 30 pts
7. Denmark, 28 pts
8. France, 27 pts
Format for SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
SailGP Season 2 Schedule*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
December 17-18, 2021 – Australia Grand Prix – Sydney
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch (CANCELLED)
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change
2021-22 Teams, Helm
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.