Canada Sail GP Earns 2nd in Chicago

SinC Canada SailGP 2nd Chicago

Jun 29, 2022

Canada SailGP Team helmed by Phil Robertson sails past spectators on Chicago’s Navy Pier on Saturday / Credit: Bob Martin for SailGP

Proving that their stand-out podium finish in the Bermuda SailGP event – Canada’s debut event in the class – was no fluke, the Canadian team took two bullets and finished 2nd overall at this weekend’s Sail GP event in Chicago.

It was a different affair than the first outing with lighter Great Lakes winds on the Chicago stretch of Lake Michigan. It was likely these light winds that kept Canada from taking top spot overall; the Australian boat was able to get their F50 planing much more easily and therefore had a speed advantage in the Grand Finale race. The boats and their 29-metre mains are identical, but Tom Slingsby’s Aussies have had two complete seasons to learn flight management while this was just Canada’s second event.

SinC Canada SailGP Fred Pye and Friends 400Fred Pye, founder of Canada SailGP Team, and friends and family of the Canada SailGP Team celebrate onboard an hospitality boat on Race Day 1 / Credit: Katelyn Mulcahy for SailGP

Still, a 2 is pretty impressive especially for a rookie entry so the savvy and speed shown by the Canadians was the talk of the TV broadcasts. Sunday’s racing kicked off on time but at the start of Race 4, the Canadian team went out of bounds so were the last to cross the start line. They persevered and to the awe of the TV crew, worked their way through the fleet to finish in second on the shortened racecourse. Then in Race 5, Robertson offered another master class in starting and the crew sailed on to take another second place finish.

 

SinC Canada SailGP F50 ChicagoCanada’s F50 in front of the Chicago skyline on the weekend / Credit: Jon Buckle for SailGP

With 45 points, Team Canada finished at the top of the fleet to progress into the Finals against Team Australia and Sir Ben Ainslie’s Team GBR. The Season 2 and Bermuda SailGP winners were out of the blocks from the start, but Canada was close on their heels all the way around the track finishing just 19 seconds behind the Australians to take second place for the event and move into second on the season leaderboard.

“We sailed way above our expectations. I think we have put together a good team. We’ve got a great squad who are eager to learn. Every day we race is a completely new day for us like today – with light air and the big wing, we’ve never done that before. We are learning on the fly! Which is testament to how good this crew actually is,” said Robertson.

Canadian flags were fluttering along the lakeshore and amidst the thousands of fans that lined Navy Pier for the weekend’s racing. We CAN Inspire, the team’s mantra, is also prominently on the team’s wing and close to the hearts of the team’s founders and all team members. Likewise, with the goal of getting the country’s next generation foiling, the team took the opportunity in Chicago to launch the We CAN Foil programme on Friday evening in the presence of the Canadian SailGP Inspire Regatta participants, team partners and suppliers, as well as the potential host city delegations from across the country.

Canada SailGP Team’s sights are now set on the next SailGP event in Plymouth (UK) on 30-31 July.

 

Canada SailGP Team – Crew List

Phil Robertson (NZL) Driver

Chris Draper (GBR) Wing Trimmer

Billy Gooderham (ON) Flight Controller

Georgia Lewin-Lafrance (NS) Co-pilot/Strategist

Tom Ramshaw (ON) Tactician/Grinder

Tim Hornsby (NS) Grinder

Jareese Finch (BC) Grinder

Graeme Sutherland (AB) Reserve – Wing Trimmer

Isabella Bertold (BC) Reserve – Co-pilot/Strategist

Antonia Lewin-Lafrance (NS) Reserve – Co-pilot/Strategist

Luke Ramsay (BC) Reserve – Flight Controller

Joe Glanfield (GBR) Coach

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