Though Thursday’s practice was canceled due to inclement weather, the athletes showed no signs of rust during Friday’s races. In fact, the sailors put on a spectacle for the New York audience, many of which could feel the spray of salt water as the boats literally flew by.
The day, however, was not without incident. Just twenty minutes prior to the inaugural race, the British team capsized, suffered damage to their mainsail and was not able to continue. A discouraged Helmsman, Dylan Fletcher, later explained, “a huge westerly gust came in from New Jersey during a tack and simply took the boat out from under us. We will evaluate our equipment this evening but we are confident we will be sailing on Saturday.” Winds registered up to 29 knots during race time.
The Aussie team took the first of three races while the Japanese took the second and third. The most improved award goes to Team China which finished last in San Francisco but exhibited some real skill in the harbor today. The Americans are simply saving themselves for a strong Saturday of sailing.
The true winners tonight were the spectators and the sport of sailing.
Smiling faces all around. Bravo SailGP with more to come tomorrow!