Australia has won the Cadiz Sail Grand Prix in Spain after a dramatic day in which two boats capsized in windy conditions.
The winner-takes-all final between Australia, USA and Great Britain became a lottery after Ben Ainsle led Great Britain capsized early and almost took Jimmy Spithill’s American boat out.
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“I think we had the best seats in the house when Ben capsized,” said Australia’s Tom Slingsby.
“They went so fast and then we saw them go into a huge pitch pole right in front of us. We had to dodge Ben and then we saw Jimmy nosedive try to avoid the British, we had a moment going on, is this race still on?
“It was a survival game out there today and I’m really proud of our team. We were able to stay calm and collected during races, which helped us know when to push and back under the difficult conditions. “
A consistent weekend for the Australians – they only won one race ahead of the final but never finished lower than fourth – sees them on top of the standings after six of the eight rounds.
For the home country, it was a disastrous day. After taking race two on Saturday, Spain capsized on Sunday, damaging the boat without repair and forcing the team to sit out for the last two races.
The series continues in Sydney in December, where Slingsby promises a spectacular weekend of running.
“The team and I can’t wait to get back to Australia after spending so many months away from home,” he said.
“Seeing eight F50s sail at Sydney Harbor will be epic, and with the sailing caliber we have this year, it will be racing with action.
“We lost to Ben Ainsle’s British team last year at the Sydney event, which was a difficult pill to swallow for our team. We managed to get our revenge and beat him at his home event this year in Plymouth and now at this event. I can say that our whole team is very focused on delivering the same result to Australia, in front of a home crowd. “
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