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Australia won the SailGP final with $1 million in spectacular fashion

New Zealand and France collide. Pictures/Sky Sports

With $1 million at stake, the final SailGP event of the year was still expected to provide entertainment, but no one expected what happened off San Francisco.

On the final day of racing, both fleet races saw major crashes, while the Grand Final was canceled and postponed mid-race due to a whale on the track.

At the end of it all, Australia came out on top, while New Zealand ended the day with a fleet victory and a major accident to their credit.

After a chaotic first leg which saw most boats fall at least once, the race around the first gate was abandoned as one of the beacons crashed.

It was perhaps the best result for the New Zealander, who turned the mark to seventh place after initially succeeding but drifting to the back of the field soon after.

Going into the second half, the New Zealanders had a much better start to sit in second early before jumping over a point on the opening maneuver and rounding the gate first.

There was plenty of action right behind them as the Spanish boat tried to undermine

The Americans go around the door and find themselves on the American ship for a few seconds. It has been reported that the Americas, who were trying to protect fleet racing assets while confirming their place in the Grand Final, saw their boat punctured, while the Spanish boat suffered damage at the end of the season.

Spain was penalized, but it didn’t take long as both boats were essentially forced out of the race.

The Kiwi sailed fairly cleanly in tricky conditions, retaining the lead and taking her third race win of the season – giving her hope of a place in the Grand Final should the American boat pull out over the weekend.

Team USA pulled out of the fifth and final fleet race to assess the damage and give themselves the best chance of lining up in the million dollar penalty shootout.

The final fleet race of the season was contested between six players instead of eight – with the United States and Spain withdrawing.

The New Zealanders needed to finish the race ahead of Great Britain in order to claim fourth place overall and secure first place for the Grand Final – which was ultimately unnecessary as the United States had been eliminated of the race – but they were hunting from the start as a master. Ben Ainslie had the best start in the fleet.

As in the first race, there was another big crash – this time taking the Kiwis’ dwindling hopes of making it to the Grand Final and throwing them into the harbour.

New Zealand, Britain and France all looked set to cross the same body of water in relative time, and with Britain crossing the other two ships, the kiwi had the right of way ahead of the French. . However, the French made no attempt to change their position and the New Zealanders moved over to their side.

It saw them wasting time with the British crew, who narrowly avoided the accident, and the race became just a training session for the New Zealanders, who finished the season fifth in the standings general.

On the final, when the coastguard confirmed the whale had strayed off track, Australia easily did so. First on their chips, Tom Slingsby’s crew decided to take a half-leg lead over the Americans and the Japanese.

Leg four proved to be another turning point in a busy day as all three teams found themselves with no headwind on the water. But it was the Australians who got their weak spots first and fired again, regaining their large lead and winning.

For the New Zealanders, even if things did not go as hoped on the water, they were on the top step of the podium by winning the first SailGP Impact League.

As part of SailGP’s sustainability goals, the Impact League was introduced this season and sees teams measured by the positive actions they take to reduce overall carbon emissions and help accelerate inclusion in sailing. . The Kiwis team won the league, winning a $100,000 prize from their charity partner, LiveOcean.

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