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SailGP Saint-Tropez Day 1 – Live Blog

Live blog of the races below… 

Incredibly, Paul Campbell-James has been cleared for racing after a broken tibia in training at the Aarhus event just three weeks ago. Read more here…

Conditions, 8-10 knots from the South-East, boats are sailing with second largest wings and large foils. 

Race 1

Leeward end of the line favoured, Besson FRA wins the start at his home event to windward of Ainslie GBR and Burling NZL. 

Kiwis on the inside, manage to lead around the reaching mark. 

Kiwis take the right hand turn ahead of British to head to the left hand side. Japan third, French fourth. 

Right hand shift up the first work, GBR were the first to identify and took the most out of the right after being the first to tack back. 

Kiwis managed to lay for a starboard bear away, rounding at the same time as the British who had to sail further to the right hand mark. 

Great Britain stayed in the breeze and led by a margin over Japan, and then New Zealand around the final bottom gate. 


Great Britain win the race, Japan managed to squeeze around the top mark in second, and a massive luff by Spain and a penalty on New Zealand give them third and fourth respectively. SailGP United States fifth, Denmark sixth, seventh France, eighth Australia. 

GBR win the first race of the France SailGP, Event 5, Season 2 in Saint-Tropez, France. 10 September 2021. Photo: Bob Martin for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP

Race 2

Issues on board with SailGP AUS in the pre-start. 

Slingsby on the request for a delay to the start:

We have a lot of issues going on – wheels not working properly, the whole boat just shut down, it’s going to be touch and go.

Racing without instruments on board the Australian boat. 

Besson FRA gets the windward position again, but Robertson ESP is on the foils first and leads, Japan and US get the inside and round in second and third at the first mark. 

Boundary penalty to FRA and DEN. 

USA lead from FRA (still with a penalty) and ESP around the bottom gates the first time. 

USA extend up the first work, with the six boats behind within metres! 

USA lead around the top from Japan, NZL, FRA, GBR, DEN, ESP and AUS (who have had communications about pulling out). 

Around the final bottom gates it’s USA, NZL, Japan – Race Committee shorten the course to finish at the top gate. Behind the top three it is GBR, ESP, AUS (who have continued despite having no instruments), DEN and FRA. 

Australia got up to third, only to get a boundary penalty and fall back once again to offset their penalty. 


At the finish Spithill, Campbell-James and Canfield take the win for the USA, followed by Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Great Britain, Australia, Denmark, France. 

USA SailGP Team helmed by Jimmy Spithill win Race 2, France SailGP, Event 5, Season 2 in Saint-Tropez, France. 11 September 2021. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP.

Race 3

Final race of the day, 7-10 knots from the South-East. 

Australians, replaced starboard wheel and re-booted the systems before the second race, and managed to get around the track with no computers. 

Spain just make it across after pulling the trigger early, Australians are first up on the foils just to leeward of the Spanish who are slow at the gun. Denmark round the first mark behind the Australians, then it’s Spain, USA, Japan. 

First bottom gate, Australia lead with a left-hand turn, Denmark, USA get a penalty (port-starboard on Spain), Spain, then USA post penalty, France, Japan, New Zealand, Great Britain. 

The Danish come out of the bottom mark with a right-hand turn and take the lead with a small gain from the left. 

Australia get a boundary penalty on the far left-hand side heading up the work. 

Coming around the top mark the second time it is Denmark, USA, Australia (with penalty cleared), New Zealand, France, Spain, Great Britain, Japan. 

Bottom, simultaneous gybes from Denmark and USA our on the left-hand side looking upwind, while Australia had moved into the lead they get another boundary penalty. 

Spithill stays right on Sehested’s hip and gets the inside at the bottom to put the USA in the lead once again over Denmark, then France, New Zealand, Spain, Great Britain, Australia and Japan.


USA finish it off to take two from three race wins on day one, Denmark finish second, (France get a penalty relative Spain), New Zealand sail through to get third in a similar manoeuvre as in race one reversed over Spain, France, Great Britain and then Australia. 

USA win Race 3 to make it 2 from 3 for Day 1 – Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

Standings after day one in France

  1. USA – 20 points
  2. New Zealand – 17 points
  3. Spain – 16 points
  4. Japan – 16 points 
  5. Great Britain – 13 points
  6. Denmark – 12 points
  7. France – 7 points
  8. Australia – 7 points 
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