Emirates GBR pulled away in the last minute and crossed the finish line to seal their first victory in the event since Bermuda in the second season. Since then, the British have participated in many SailGP finals, but have not been able to convert them into titles. After the race, Ainslie admitted that victory was a long time coming and paid tribute to his crew.
“The team did a great job all week and I think we achieved a lot” he admitted. “It was a frustrating time for us not getting results, but now we have momentum.” Strategist Hannah Mills agreed that the team “has been building for a long time.”. “We are struggling with different things and we are not very fit, so to come here is very good for the team”.
In a key moment of the race, Emirates GBR broke away from the leading Australians in the final gate. « That was very good for us, it allowed us to get back into the race and we had a big incident in the luff with the Australians; “You have to take advantage of opportunities when you can,” Ainslie explained. Reflecting on the decision to part ways with the Australians, strategist Hannah Mills said the team was “waiting for the right time to part ways.”. And it’s good for us.”
He added that it was a weekend of regattas “too hard” in the bay of Saint-Tropez. “It’s been really tough on everyone – we’ve been sailing the boat really hard, it’s all over the place, so I think everyone’s feeling a little bit fried.”
Emirates GBR’s victory follows a weekend of dramatic racing in Saint-Tropez, which saw a collision between Canada and Spain and the New Zealand wing completely collapse shortly after the first day’s racing.