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France Wins Cadiz SailGP in Closest Ever Tour Finish

25th September 2022
Quentin Delapierre marked his first anniversary as France driver by winning his first ever SailGP event, with a narrow three-second lead over the Americans on the Bay of Cádiz
Quentin Delapierre marked his first anniversary as France driver by winning his first ever SailGP event, with a narrow three-second lead over the Americans on the Bay of Cádiz

In the closest-ever finish to a SailGP event, Quentin Delapierre led the France SailGP Team to a stunning victory by just three seconds over Jimmy Spithill's U.S. team to claim the team's first event win in SailGP.

The event win in Andalucía - Cádiz sees the French team rocket into the all-important top three of the championship standings after six events of Season 3.

The resurgence of Spithill's team continued as it made a second straight final and couldn't have been closer to a second straight event win.

Tom Slingsby's team struggled to finish a distant third in the final, but it was an improved weekend from the Australians who had missed the last two event finals. The team has also stretched its lead over New Zealand in the season standings to four points.

In one of the closest races in the history of SailGP, France converted a brilliant start under pressure into pole position at mark oneIn one of the closest races in the history of SailGP, France converted a brilliant start under pressure into pole position at mark one

On an eye-catching but heartbreaking day for the Canadian team, Phil Robertson won both of the day's races, but it wasn't enough to overcome a poor day one effort and the newcomers missed the final by one point.

Quentin Delapierre marked his first anniversary as France driver by winning his first ever SailGP event, with a narrow three-second lead over the Americans on the Bay of Cádiz.

Neck and neck racing with Jimmy Spithill’s United States throughout culminated in a tense last-minute battle between the two crews, and France crossing the finish line with just three seconds to spare.

Tom Slingsby’s Australia, meanwhile came over the line in third after aggressive match racing tactics from the U.S. early on pushed the Aussies to the back of the pack.

In one of the closest races in the history of SailGP, France converted a brilliant start under pressure into pole position at mark one.

However, consistent boat speed and smooth manoeuvres from the U.S. saw Jimmy Spithill’s crew breathing down France’s neck throughout, leading to a brief overtake and the pair jostling for first place with just meters to the finish line.

Light winds and choppy waters saw the three final teams slim down to a four-crew configuration ahead of the Final, with Slingsby, Spithill and Delapierre multitasking tactics, steering and flight control.

Speaking from the water, Delapierre said ‘huge improvements' in the team led to the event win.

“Winning this sail grand prix on the four-crew configuration was a huge step for the team - there was a tight battle with the Americans and it was a challenge to keep our strategy clean.”

It followed a weekend of tense, tight-pack racing, with crews struggling to cope with a turbulent sea state and gusty conditions. However, France remained consistent throughout, picking up a 2-4-3-5-3 racing record and sweeping into the Final despite not winning a Fleet race.

The refreshed Championship standings see Australia extend their lead to 50 points, New Zealand in second with 46 and France entering the top three teams with 41.

The nine-strong fleet will meet again for the Dubai Sail Grand Prix on November 12-13.

Final results at Cadiz
1. France, 10 points
2. United States, 9
3. Australia, 8
4. Canada, 7
5. Great Britain, 6
6. New Zealand, 5
7. Spain, 4
8. Denmark, 3
9. Switzerland, 2

Published in SailGP
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About SailGP

SailGP unites world-class athletic talent and cutting-edge technology. Eight teams representing Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States will contest eight events held in as many countries over an 11-month period. Following the season opener in Bermuda, the championship visits renowned sailing locations in Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Spain and New Zealand. San Francisco, United States, has the honour of closing proceedings with the Grand Final on 26–27 March 2022. Among those vying for the crown is the Great Britain team led by Rolex Testimonee and four-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sir Ben Ainslie, who says: “The sailing world was crying out for the creation of such a concept. SailGP is a major milestone in the evolution of yachting, but it also represents continuity. The combination of state-of-the-art technology and sporting prowess is widening the appeal of sailing.

At A Glance – SailGP Season 3 Schedule 2022-2023

2022
May 14-15 Bermuda Sail Grand Prix
June 18-19 United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31 Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 19-20 ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 10-11 France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 24-25 Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía - Cadiz
November 12-13 Dubai Sail Grand Prix

2023*
March 18-19 New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 6-7 United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Final)

*further events will be announced to complete SailGP Season 3.

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