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New Zealand claim fifth Season 4 event win with victory in New York

Yacht Racing Podcast

The Black Foils have claimed victory in the Big Apple – securing their fifth win in 12 events and extending their lead at the top of the season standings. With only three weeks until the ultimate showdown in San Francisco (July 13-14), New Zealand will head into the Grand Final with a 15-point advantage over trans-Tasman rivals Australia, who overtook Los Gallos (Spain) to regain second in the overalls.

Celebrating the win, Black Foils driver Peter Burling said: “This weekend was our last chance to compete in the final before San Fran. We got off the line well three times, and then it was just sailing clean races. But it was definitely super hard on control, with all the ferry waves and the turbulence from the current and the water, so I’m really proud of the team – we’re going to carry that momentum to San Fran. We’re not just going to the final to be there, we want to go there to win it. We know that the last race is the only one that really matters now.”

The penultimate event of Season 4, the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix has marked a ‘coming of age’ for the global racing championship, which first touched down in the city in 2019. A sold-out event across both days, around 8,000 fans made their way to the purpose-built Race Stadium on Governors Island to witness the most exciting racing on water first-hand, with more fans watching from the water and from vantages spanning the Manhattan shoreline. Wowing the crowd with an unmissable blend of sport and spectacle, the weekend provided action-packed racing, as well as live entertainment and world-class hospitality in collaboration with Tao Group and iconic open-air food market, Smorgasburg.

The weekend’s results have added even more drama in the ‘Battle for Third’ unfolding across the fleet with USD $2 million on the line – the largest prize pot in the sport. Despite missing out on the Final, a commanding victory by the Flying Roo in Fleet Race 4 was critical for the Aussie crew, with driver Tom Slingsby commenting: “Somehow those points worked out pretty well for us – we got a bit lucky out of this event.”

“We’ve been trying to get a bit of momentum heading into San Francisco and we haven’t really nailed that, but we’ve just got to remember that we’ve got a really good track record in San Francisco and the team’s got a lot of confidence there, so we’ll head in with confidence,” Slingsby continued.

Slipping from second to third in the overalls, Spain has now opened the door to Quentin Delapierre’s France, who finished fifth in New York, with only five points separating the two teams.

Spain’s Diego Botin said: “I think the position we are in will make us be super well prepared for San Fran. We’ll look deep into everything because it’s going to be a big fight.”

Despite an impressive performance on the opening day of racing in New York, there were further blows in the Final for driver Phil Robertston and the Canada SailGP Team. Despite heading into Championship Sunday top of the event leaderboard, the Canadians were unable to secure what could have been a momentous victory on rival waters.

Always the maverick, Robertson remained optimistic on his chances for a spot in San Francisco. “It was obviously a very good weekend for us,” said Robertson. “We performed really well in the racing, but the three boat finals are a tricky one. I was in a position to attack the Kiwis and I actually decided not to – which is probably slightly out of character – as I thought we could have a crack at pushing over them. We’re climbing up the leaderboard and we’ve put it together this weekend; that’s something we’re really proud of.”

For the U.S. SailGP Team, New York marked the first of two consecutive home events. Despite a challenging home debut, driver Taylor Canfield said: “We are really looking forward to staying in the U.S. for the next one. Being here in front of the whole crowd and all the support we’re getting for San Francisco, it’s incredible. So, we ask the fans to bear with us a little longer! It will come!”

“We’re pumped for a steady, windy venue from what we know, so it should be an exciting one,” Canfield said.

SEASON 4 CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE AFTER MUBADALA NEW YORK SAIL GRAND PRIX
1 // New Zealand 93 points
2 // Australia 78 points
3 // Spain 76 points
4 // France 71 points
5 // Canada 67 points
6 // ROCKWOOL Denmark 67 points
7 // Emirates Great Britain 66 points
8 // United States 51 points
9 // Germany 35 points
10 // Switzerland 33 points

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