Sail GP: Scary, triumphant, but the French let the Grand Prix slip away

Sail GP: Scary, triumphant, but the French let the Grand Prix slip away

The hit didn’t go very far last night. For just 2 points, the F 50 (15m Flyer) piloted by Quentin Delapiere finished 4th in the Season 3 Sail GP, leaving the Australians, New Zealanders and Brits to compete in the Grand Final, in San Francisco Bay (USA). ) bathed in sunlight. Australians Tom Slingsby won the $1 million jackpot, which was promised to the winner in the final round of the season.

In California, the French, who were less experienced than their multi-gold medal opponents at the World Championships or the Olympics, staked their chances on holding on to third place from day one and missed the first three regattas altogether. “It was a very stimulating situation, but we lacked comfort on board. Against teams of this caliber, we have to be at our maximum level,” said Quentin Delapierre, who had finished sixth twice and eighth once. VIII.

Last night, the French pretty much held their heads high, winning Round 4 with enthusiasm, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the delay from the previous day. “I am very happy with the reaction, it was important that we not end up in a hole in the world rankings for this Grand Prix,” Quentin Delapiere confirms. Winning this Tour, in battle, with Top Guns, is a very nice feeling. We didn’t go far during The next round, I felt it was good, and we have two chances, but the maneuvers were not done well. If we want to play in another category next season, we will have to go up in certain aspects. »

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The French in San Francisco Bay. Photo France SailGP Team

On the great body of water at San Francisco, between the Golden Gate and Alcatraz Island, the Frenchman panicked and died on Saturday about to capsize, victims of the Canadian’s starboard near-rejection.

Cars are launched at high speed, sometimes bumping into each other and letting out the cries of the crowd at every maneuver, huddled along the marina, with a breathtaking view of the battle on the water. This weekend in San Francisco, thousands were, beer or ice cream in hand, to be passionate about a circle created 3 years ago by Russell Coates, New Zealand sailing legend, and American billionaire Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle. Their idea is to restore the appeal of wild racing thanks to the circuit, which is largely funded by the organization and which, like the Formula 1 season, takes place on all continents.

“We can no longer bear a little sailing”

After falling behind in the first two seasons, the French are starting to catch up. “We played the end of the season until the end, we are very satisfied. But as a competitor, I’m not happy with the fourth place finish, it bothers me “, sums up Quentin Delapiere, at the helm of the team for a year. “We had the potential, even if we were just below the top three. You have to define the team so that we can be more accurate next season (editor’s note: starting in Chicago at least after that). In particular, there are strategic decisions to be made. , and we can no longer afford a little sailing. We have to succeed in uniting the partners so that we can navigate more. We fight opponents (editor’s note: who owns their team, because it is financially independent from the organizers thanks to private sponsors) who sail 200 days a year, when the team The Frenchman is 45 days away. We never complained about it, we held on but now we have to tell ourselves we have to push it up a bit if we want to win the Sail GP one day.”

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