The United States SailGP Team secured its first ever event victory at the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez.
On an incredibly light-wind day which drastically constasted the crazy conditions of Race Day 1, the U.S. defeated New Zealand and Great Britain in the three-team winner-takes-all Final.
Due to the lack of breeze on the Gulf of Saint-Tropez there were major changes to the race schedule, with the fifth Fleet Race terminated – due to no one crossing the finish line inside the 14-minute race window – and the sixth Fleet Race – added from this event onwards to introduce SailGP ‘Super Sundays’ – cancelled entirely.
As a result, the United States won the only completed Fleet Race of the day, before claiming the all-important victory in the Final.
Ben looked back at the day;
“Tough day in really light conditions, it was all about finding the pressure to get the boat around the course and in the right position. The team did a really good job to get into the podium final, it wasn’t easy out there”.
“We had a nice start in the final but on the first gybe, the Americans had more pressure and gybed slightly earlier. That move defined the race as the right-hand side has slightly better pressure.
“Congratulations to the Jimmy and the US Team, they’ve been knocking on the door for a while now.
“We have a great team, that has come through quite a lot of adversity through the past couple of seasons. We keep digging and putting ourselves out there and definitely have the capabilities to win the events, I’m confident that we can get there.”
On Friday morning, the Great Britain SailGP Team – along with those teams representing Commonwealth nations – held a three minutes’ silence for Her Majesty at the tech base in Saint-Tropez.
Following this show of respect, Sir Ben – knighted in 2013 for services to sailing – paid tribute to the Queen and her ‘incredible life’.
“I just wanted to say a few words on behalf of the British, and other, teams,” he began. “Obviously it’s a very sad day that everyone hoped would never happen, but inevitably had to at some point. The Queen inspired so many people around the world.
“It was a wonderful moment earlier today that we had three minutes of silence with the Commonwealth teams, and I want to thank those teams for joining us in that moment of remembrance.
“Looking back at all the response to everything that has happened over the last 24 hours, there were some attributes made of the Queen and what she stood for – devotion, service, humility, respect, humour, enjoyment, and perseverance.
“I think that is how many people around the world will remember her. And certainly in this world we are currently living in, that perspective is one of the things the Queen certainly stood for and I am sure the rest of us could certainly gain some from following that.
“In the days and weeks to come we hope the sorrow turns to celebration of an incredible life – perhaps the most incredible life that’s ever been lived.
“So our respects to the Royal Family at this moment – our thoughts are with them, and we wish them and everyone around the world the very best moving forward from this sad news.”