That’s a wrap on the Spain Sail Grand Prix, and the European leg of Season 3. Crowds of spectators lined the shores in Cadiz to watch the nine strong fleet battle it out in one of the toughest days on the water for Swiss SailGP Team so far. A big swell in the bay of Cadiz made for some difficult racing conditions, that was amplified by a tricky and light wind.
The Swiss competed in the day’s two fleet races. In race one – R4 of the event – a bad start and penalty was costly but in race two – R5 of the weekend – a solid start elevated them into the mix and the team finished middle of the pack.
The third and final race of the day was a winner-takes-all final, made up of the three highest placed teams, France, Australia and the USA. Team France, led by Quentin Delapierre, went on to claim its first ever SailGP win, with a narrow three second lead over the Americans.
Driver, Sébastien Schneiter, on the racing in Cadiz, “We really enjoyed the racing and the challenge this weekend, but it was a tough one and we are a little bit frustrated that we didn’t manage to make it go our way at times.
“Today our strategy was to focus on our starts. I feel like right now we can fight with the boats around us and make gains in races, but it’s hard to be at the front from the get-go. We had one good start today, and we were in a strong position, but we didn’t execute well technically [during the race] and the conditions were difficult.
“We took some opportunities where we could and we had some moments where we looked strong, but we also lost a lot of places at times, so it was a tricky day and tricky weekend for us for sure.
“But, with the support of Nathan [Outteridge] over the past few months we have made a lot of progress and one area we have improved the most is our boat handling. Now we’ve got some time to analyse the racing from Cadiz in more depth, which will help us to move forward into our next event in Dubai.”
CEO, Tanguy Cariou summarised, “It was a light weekend condition wise here in Cadiz, and the waves made racing even more difficult.
“But it was a good event and good to have Sebastian back at the wheel. Despite all the progress the team has made, we are a little disappointed with the race results. We are close, but still far, and we know what we need to work on to perform better. So now, we move forward and look forward to the racing in Dubai in seven weeks.”
The global tour rolls on, up next is the Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas (12-13 November). Dubai is a new racing venue on the global league and the last event in 2022. The racing continues early 2023 with events in Singapore, Sydney and Christchurch. The season finale takes place in San Francisco, May 2023.