CHICAGO, USA – Friday 16 June SailGP Season 4 is underway! Swiss SailGP Team kicked off their second season in the global league today, at the opening day of the Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix. It was the first time in the history of the league 10 teams lined up together on the start line.
Tough conditions, an unstable breeze and a new crew configuration onboard meant the first day back on the racecourse wasn’t easy for the Swiss. But the team battled hard throughout the three intense races on Lake Michigan, opting to push hard and learn from mistakes over taking a more conservative strategy.
Race two was a highlight of the day; the Swiss were in the mix with good boat speed. The momentum continued to the start of race three but a crash off the foils and a penalty from USA set the team back from ending on a high. The scoreboard of 10, 6, 10, didn’t reflect all the good moments and progress made.
With yesterday’s official rehearsal racing cancelled due to high winds, it was the first-time ever racing in the wing trimmer role for Will Ryan. Ryan on his first day on the job, “ It was day one of Season 4, and also my day one as a wing trimmer! It was a pretty intense day, bit of a baptism of fire, it’s a really tight venue and having 10 boats on the start line really makes a difference to the fleet.
“For me it was an unreal day. I couldn’t ask for a better introduction. It was tough but it was exactly what I needed to get my head into the game and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.”
Driver Sébastien Schneiter said, “Will did an incredible job for his first day at the office! We only had two hours of practice before today’s racing, and it was in much lighter winds. It was good to get out there lining up against the other nine boats. The racing and backdrop was amazing, and we got better after each race.
“The second race was much better than the first one and the third race was going really well until we had a big crash [during a gybe]. But I think it was a positive first day and shows a lot of good potential for the future. We already made a lot of progress today, just have to clean a few things up and it’s going to all come [together].”
The Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier continues tomorrow, Saturday 17 June, from 4-5.30pm CDT, 23.00 – 00.30 CET. All the action can be watched on Blue Sport in Switzerland and YouTube.
ROLEX UNITED STATES SAIL GRAND PRIX | CHICAGO AT NAVY PIER // DAY ONE STANDINGS (after 3 races)
1 // Australia // 26 points
2 // New Zealand // 25 points
3 // Canada // 24 points
4 // ROCKWOOL Denmark // 21 points
5 // Emirates GBR // 16 points
6 // France // 14 points
7 // Spain // 14 points
8 // Germany // 10 points
9 // United States // 8 points
10 // Switzerland // 7 points
SWITZERLAND SAILGP TEAM CHICAGO LINE UP //
Sébastien Schneiter (SUI) – driver
Glenn Ashby (AUS) – sailing advisor and reserve wing trimmer
Will Ryan (AUS) – wing trimmer
Jason Saunders (NZL) – flight controller
Laurane Mettraux (SUI) – strategist
Julien Rolaz (SUI) – grinder
Jérémy Bachelin (SUI) – grinder
Guy Endean (NZL) – grinder