Great Britain finish top of the leaderboard after the first day in Dubai

Great Britain finish top of the leaderboard after the first day in Dubai

Great Britain finish top of the leaderboard after the first day in Dubai

Sport

By SailGP
12/11/2022 - 15:26
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Great Britain performed a masterful comeback on the perilously tight racecourse of Port Rashid to finish top of the leaderboard after the first of racing in Dubai.

Ben Ainslie’s crew deployed classic match racing tactics to battle back from a lackluster sixth place finish in the first fleet race to claim the final two race wins and finish with 25 points.

Consistent performances by Jimmy Spithill's United States and Peter Burling's New Zealand meanwhile saw the two teams finish behind Great Britain tied on 20 points apiece.

However, a congested leaderboard sees just seven points separating Great Britain from Denmark in seventh, leaving everything to play for on the second day of racing.

Fickle winds played havoc as racing got underway, forcing teams to drop down to a four-person crew configuration ahead of the third fleet race.

Great Britain finish top of the leaderboard after the first race in Dubai

Speaking from the water, Ainslie said racing in Dubai’s light winds was ‘just as hard as racing in 30km/h - 40km/h’.

“It was really tough out there - the breeze died off to the point of going down to four crew and we were just trying to keep the boat speed going and avoid getting locked up with the other boats,” he said.

It was a good day for Quentin Delapierre’s France and Phil Robertson’s Canada, which ended the day on 19 points, while Switzerland and Denmark finished with 18 apiece.

Switzerland meanwhile picked up its first ever podium position, finishing third in the third fleet race of the day behind Great Britain and the United States.

It was a difficult day however for two-time defending champion Australia, which finished the day with an 8-8-4 racing record. Underdogs Spain meanwhile finished at back of the pack in both the first and second fleet races, rounding off the day with a fifth place finish.

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