The Big Picture: CAN SailGP – What a Season! Phil Robertson Interview

May 17, 2023

The big win in NZ

SailGP Season 3 wrapped up in San Francisco as Canada took the Bronze in the weekend event but watched as the Australia SailGP Team scoring the hat trick, lifting the season trophy for the third consecutive year.

Following on from winning the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix just weeks ago in Christchurch, the Canadian team was in sixth place overall coming San Francisco, the eleventh and final event of the season. The strong showing in the event lifted the team to 5th overall in its rookie season!

We caught up with Phil Robertson, the team’s driver for his analysis of this surprising season for a brand new team.

Phil – you had two SEASON’S experience in SailGP, but none of the Canadian crew had been on an F50. Clearly, they have learned a lot and even had in Bermuda. How was that done in such a short time? What is the ongoing coaching process like? 

We’ve been learning all season long. It started with training in the simulator and soon we were training, and racing on the F50. We are constantly learning, reviewing our race data, as well as that of the other teams, and improving.

Tactician – most of the crew have their head in the boat. Billy says he doesn’t always know when the race is over. Strategy at this level is unprecedented. Collisions are hugely dangerous. Yet CAN switches tacticians and none of them have this kind of experience of a 10-boat fleet at 50 knots – what is happening onboard – who is making decisions? You?

Close action at the Season’s finale in San Francisco earlier this month

SinC CANSailGP San Fran

Georgia Lewin-Lafrance was back onboard in San Francisco as our Strategist, providing valuable input about what is happening on the racecourse, contributing to our decisions. Ultimately, all drivers have to make the calls, but you are taking in info from the whole crew to make those decisions.

Phil – Are you where you hoped to be? Even better? What would it take for Canada to win the whole thing?

We are achieving more than we probably should, we are competitors and always want to be at the front and yes, I do think we can be in the finals next season.

It’s been a huge learning curve for Canada as a new team. I’m really proud of our progress. 

SinC CANSailGP Results

 

SinC CANSailGP San Francisco action in the Season 3 wrap up 

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