The SailGP is in Saint Tropez this weekend, the scoreboard is currently as follows:
The pre-event press conference just took place you can watch below, we will have a full transcript and report in the coming hours.
Notes from the Press Conference
St. Tropez Mayor
Proud to welcome the event to the city to boost economy and sediment the city name for future sailing and sporting events.
The focus on sustainability is very important, especially with the sponsor Energy Observer.
Halfway point of the season, it’s every team’s make or break moment.
Tom Slingsby – Australia
The team’s on a high after winning two events; we have a good team energy, we’re sailing well, confident, and I’m proud to be CEO. It’s the first time we beat Ben, we’re proud to have done it, now let’s try to keep the ball rolling.
– Are you copying Nathan in light wind?
Our team considers theirs the best in light wind; we look at the data, copy and elaborate their technique.
– What are your thoughts on Ben getting that penalty in Denmark?
It’s not my position to comment; in my opinion though it was a very soft penalty. It should have been no penalty probably. And Ben loosing his cool was entertaining we could all hear it in our comms.
– What makes Ben so good in high pressure?
He’s always been in that situation since he started competing in the Olympics in ’96. And SailGP is exactly the same.
– There’s a light wind forecast, who’s your money on?
Nathan is pleased for sure; on our side we’ve had issues in the light breeze but we’re fixing them. Ben is going to be strong after the lessons learnt in Aarhus.
Ben Ainslie – Great Britain
– What’ your take on the penalty?
We’re all racing to win and we’re all sportsmen; it’s the game we play.
– Would you have pushed the button if you were in Nathan’s shoes?
That is a leading question. I probably would have but I would’ve definitely been surprised to win that penalty.
– And on you colourful language? And comment?
I think I was reasonably restrained. But five minutes later you move on, you have to move on.
– What’s your approach for the next few races?
As has been said, it’s a crucial point in the season; we have to consolidate our position and learn from our mistakes to improve and make the final
– It’s been a mixed season for you so far with two good and two poor results. Which Billy are we going to see this weekend?
If we follow the pattern we win this weekend.
– Do you feel the pressure to perform this weekend in your home event?
A little bit, but the most important thing for us is the fans. It’s a huge boost for us and we want to put on a good show.
– Do you think your team deserves a better position after the penalty point?
Yes, in this competition everyone has a problem with jury decisions, but it’s the game we play.
– And how important is it for you to have Energy Observer as your sustainability partner?
It’s very important because they offer immediate and feasible solutions to accelerate ecological transition.
– What’s you experice in sailing in St. Tropez?
My First experience in St Tropez was last year at Les Voiles. I really don’t know the racecourse but I can confidente say that the venue is exceptional and the wind is just like every venue. We just need to find a way to the top.
– You’re sitting in third overall, in prime position to consolidate your spot. What are your thoughts going into this weekend?
Everyone wants top three to get to the final; personally I think that Tom is in the prime position being in first. Like Billy, we’re hoping to be more consistent. We’d love to be in more podium races and gain more experience in hopefully winning them
– What are your thoughts on the penalty?
We’ve reviewed it in an empire meeting yeaterday. It often happens that on the racecourse it looks like one thing but the umpires see it differently. We got lucky with it honestly; I’d rather be sailing well and not relying on penalties to get the edge.
– What do you Think about Ben running his mouth off? There’s a lot of pressure on all of us to perform; if things don’t go your way you get frustrated. What happens to Ben happens to everyone sonore or later.
– Are we seeing an aggressive edge to Nathan Outteridge?
It’s definitely not a new Nathan, we’ve always been racing hard and fairly. Not much is changed but we don’t want to let anyone past
– You’ve been nickname wind whispered; what do you think about it? I think it’s funny because Tom had it before me. It’s no secret we’re on the lighter side and that I enjoy the creative nature of sailing in shifty breeze. So we’ll see what happens this weekend. Russel if you’e listening, let’s keep it close to the city, 5-6knots would be ideal.
– And what do you think about Tom copying you in the light breeze?
I think Tom was honest about what their team is doing, but he left out a few facts. I think he’s looking at everyone, and looking at the data of all of us to figure out what he needs to improve in their weaker areas. We all look at each other and copy what we need to learn.
You are in fifth place after Denmark; if you win you could move up to second…?
– We had a good performance in Den and a bad race cost us. For us it’s about learning and improving and hopefully making the final.
Two events to get used to F50; are we going to see the real Kiwis?
– Yeah, you’re already seeing glimpses. Time to nail down the learnings.
Not as competitive without your design team?
– Made my career on 49er and it’s a one design. Takes time to get used to the F50 but we’ll be just fine.
Do you expect better from your team?
– There is always pressure to perform, it’s an incredible group. Tough in the beginning, with many members including myself competing in the Olympics. The team has done a great job staying in contact with the leaders.
How are you staying on top in the impact league?
– Live Ocean, we’re passionate about it. Need to push change, we’re passionate about ocean health. Lots of criteria to meet and we will meet it.
You have been involved in controversy and drama, maybe a quiet weekend?
– Everyday we’re trying to bring everyone back to the dock, it’s time to get some points.
You did well at the Moth worlds; has this helped gain the respect of other SailGP athletes?
– Important to get different experiences; Moth is a competitive class. We will be race sharpened.
Did you push too hard in Aarhus?
– Bringing the boat and the people back every day is the goal; Aarhus wasn’t ideal and unfortunate, maybe a little mistake we made. Tough one to take on the shoulders; good lesson to learn.
Cadiz [home event]?
Excited to go to Cadiz and Andalusia with good momentum for the event and in good shape.
How important is the start? What’s the crucial point?
– Leading at mark 1; you need to come off the line faster than everyone else. Putting it into practice is not as easy as you would think with all the software. JPN have set the standard in starts and software development.
Despite bad luck you’re in fourth; one event away from a title challenge?
Trying to get podium from now to SF is hard but it’s our goal.
Jase Saunders is here, we’re trying Paul this morning and we’ll see. Incredible to see he’s walking.
I knew it was not going to be easy to get a win. That’s what you get at high level sport; all the teams have to deal with something. We’ve still got a shot.
Nathan really wind whisperer?
– Damage whisperer
Is it true that the Australian’s have left you some bananas?
– I haven’t seen any, we are actually sharing a base with the Australians. But seriously, we’re a fan of bananas, great fruit. We’ll have extra for Australia and they’re welcome to the bananas.
First race win at home event; positive takeaways?
– Fantastic weekend, going the right way and improving every event
Have you proven the doubters wrong?
– Haven’t done it because we haven’t won anything. Happy with race wins but we need more.
Thoughts on bottom of leaderboard?
– Still a lot to go, don’t think about last place much. It’s more about how you finish than how you start.
Can you make the top three?
– We’ll try but it’s not the main goal. We need to get fast and learn.
Team isn’t fast during races why?
– We need to make less mistakes quite simple and the others are sailing better.