Light Air Delivers Traffic and Penalties for Canada

Jan 17, 2024

Photo: Felix Diemer for SailGP

SailGP’s fleet of ten national teams descended on Abu Dhabi for the 7th event of Season 4. Racing got underway Saturday with very light air conditions, which meant just four crew onboard and 29M (tall) wings. That almost zero foiling with big cats encountering heavy traffic all around the course.

On day one it was the Canadians who overtook the most boats on the racecourse and were notably the best at getting out of tough situations. Finishing 3rd, 6th and 5th put the team in 4th overall, in striking distance of the event podium.  

Sunday in race four, seven teams were over the start line early including Canada, which meant dropping back behind the last boat to cross the line (ESP), yet the team battled back to finish 7th. With a fifth-place finish in race five, the team was just one point shy of a spot in the grand final where the United States, New Zealand and Spain lined up (34, 32 and 30 points respectively). New Zealand won the race and took home the win.

Crowded lanes made starting tough. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

Robertson acknowledged, “I’m a little disappointed, but it is what it is. The umpires see what they see, but we could’ve done more to not be in certain situations this weekend. Lots to review and learn from.”

“The results don’t reflect the work and improvements we have made as a team. I’m confident that very soon it is going to pay off,” said Philippe Presti, Coach of the Canada SailGP Team. Canada now sits in 8th place on the Leaderboard.

Finley Nakatsu joined the team for this event as the team’s weCANfoil intern, as did Eric Hill (President of Sail Nova Scotia) and Paula Minnikin (Halifax Event Co-chair) who came to Abu Dhabi to experience what lies ahead for Halifax as hosts of the first ever Canada Sail Grand Prix on 1-2 June.

Annie’s Recap analysis of Abu Dhabi SailGP:

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