Australia claim overall lead on day 1 of Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix

Australia claim overall lead on day 1 of Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix
Australia claim overall lead on day 1 of Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: Australia are once again in the perfect position to finally claim a first win of Season 4 after a stand-out opening day under new helm Jimmy Spithill at the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas.

Racing at Mina Rashid, Australia were one of three separate race winners, alongside Canada, and home team Emirates Great Britain, but were also the most consistent to take a healthy overall lead.

Spithill said: “It felt great. You can definitely see this is a benchmark team in the league. They are a very slick team. I am just trying to get in there and not make too many mistakes. It is a great group and a great atmosphere.

“I didn’t expect to be leading after how things went in practice. I had an absolute shocker and spent a fair bit of time last night going through and getting myself back up to speed again. I felt like we took some good steps today. Tomorrow will be a different day.”

Ben Ainslie of Emirates Great Britain described his day’s racing as “tricky.”

He said: “The results were up and down. You’ve got to get out of mark one in decent shape, which we struggled to do in the first two races. We managed it in the last one and got a win ‒ that saved our day.

“We need two good races now to get into the podium race, which is always the case on Super Sunday. It is going to be about teamwork in light airs and keeping the boat moving.”

The Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas concludes on Sunday.

After day one, Australia were first on 26 points, New Zealand second on 21 points, and Canada third, also on 21 points. Emirates GBR and France were fourth and fifth, respectively, both on 20 points, Switzerland sixth on 14 points, ROCKWOOL Denmark seventh with 14 points, Spain one point behind in eighth, Germany ninth on eight points, and the US tenth with seven points.

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