Kiwis finish third, Aussies claim first win at New Zealand SailGP

New Zealand has finished third on Sydney Harbour at the SailGP while Australia sailed away with the win.

New Zealand has finished third on Sydney Harbour at the SailGP while Australia sailed away with the win – their first of the season – after going neck and neck with Denmark for most of the podium final.
However, the Kiwis maintain their overall second-place position in the season standings with 58 points, now eight points behind Australia in first place with 66 points. Denmark is third overall with 52 points.
The day began with a solid performance from the Kiwi crew, finishing second behind Germany who claimed their first-ever SailGP win. Despite a mid-fleet finish in race five, New Zealand cemented its spot in the final alongside Denmark and Australia, the frontrunners after day one.
Eyeing a hat trick after back-to-back wins in the Middle East, the final got off to a challenging start for New Zealand who, alongside Australia was penalised for an early start, allowing Denmark to lead to mark one.
New Zealand substitute driver Nathan Outteridge said, “We felt like we put ourselves in a good spot then pulled the trigger just slightly too early, not realising the Aussie were over at the time. We bore away to avoid them, then had to let the Denmark team through and it was pretty tough after that.”
Denmark widened their lead from there but Australia was always close behind, with the two repeatedly overtaking one another until Australia overtook for the final time, finishing only metres ahead.
Reflecting on his late call-up to steer the Kiwis, Outteridge said, “It’s still a good result overall for season points, and I know he [Peter Burling] will be looking forward to Christchurch in a few week’s time. He’ll be fired up to get back on the boat. For me – it was a pleasure to sail with the team this weekend, they’re such a good group of people.”
With Sydney now complete, only four weeks remain until SailGP’s long-awaited return to Ōtautahi Christchurch (23-24 March). The New Zealand SailGP team’s home event, the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix.
Christchurch boasts some of the biggest crowds on the calendar, with 22,000 fans expected across the weekend. Less than 1,000 grandstand tickets remain per day.
New Zealand wing trimmer and co-CEO Blair Tuke said, “We had such an incredible event in Christchurch last year, so to know we can do it all again in a month’s time is hugely exciting for the team. Lyttelton is unreal as a venue – hearing from all the different teams, it’s some of the best sailing we’ve ever done in these F50s and we can’t wait to do it all again with a bigger crowd.”
The venue’s secret sauce? New Zealand fans, reveals Tuke. “There’s a lot of support for sailing in New Zealand and Lyttelton’s natural amphitheatre seating is built for this style of racing. We’ve got it all in Aotearoa New Zealand and we’re really proud of that. Home support means the world to us.”

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