As the world’s best sailors returned to the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour for SailGP, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club was well represented in the ninth event of Season 3. Whether it was onboard the hydrofoiling F50’s, support crews, or participating in the SailGP Inspire & Career programs, you did not have to look far to see RPAYC members on the water!
Through the SailGP ‘Adopt-a-club’ initiative, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club was paired with the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team. As part of this partnership, some of our youth sailors received an oppprtuntity to meet the GBR sailors and shore team for a Technical Base tour earlier in the week.
The sailors were taken through the complexities of the F50 race boats, including the various foil and wing sizes used for the wind conditions. They were also given an exclusive first look at the re-branded GBR boat following their new title partnership with Emirates.
SailGP Inspire Racing & Careers
Alongside the Adopt-a-Club initiative, SailGP also welcomed the return of its Inspire Racing and Inspire Careers Programs. The once-in-a lifetime opportunity aims to increase diversity and accessibility to the sport and the wider sailing industry, as well as provide genuine racing, careers and learning pathways for the next generation.
RPAYC was well represented in the Inspire Racing x WASZP program. The WAZSP races took place from Friday to Sunday, with racing held on the edge of the F50 race course. RPAYC had 6 youth sailors participating: Isabella Holdsworth, Darcy Robbins, Sienna Brown, Will Troop, Louis Tilly & Daniel Links.
As well as the on water racing, the Inspire program offers a careers pathway to work across other areas of the SailGP operations, including shore crew support. Markus Sampson (RPAYC) was with the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team.
Photos courtesy of Chloe Knott // SailGP
View the official on-water and behind-the-scenes images HERE – use password inspiresydney2023.
WASZP Inspire Racing Report
With thanks to Jervis Tilly.
Despite the shocking events in the SailGP base on Saturday afternoon, the SailGP Inspire program ran its full course with 14 races run in Rose Bay on Sunday across both Gold and Silver fleets adding to the 4 Gold fleet races held on Saturday on the edge of the F50 race area.
It was noted on a number of occasions by the Inspire staff that this was the best group they have ever had; the quality of the sailors showed in the tightness of both the qualification and finals series. During the results ceremony on Sunday afternoon, Youth Program Manager for Sail GP, Tom Herbert-Evans, commented that any one of a number of sailors could have won the event as the lead swung with each set of races.
The Gold fleet was won by RPAYC’s Louis Tilly with the top female being Seisia Mair.
The Combined Pairs award went to RPAYC’s Belle Holdsworth and Louis Tilly (best-combined score for Gold and Silver matched racked pairing). The prize for this was a day racing on TP52 “Quest”.
Seisia and Louis received their awards from the weekend’s victorious French F50 skipper, Quentin Delapierre. They will be flown to San Fransisco to represent Australia in the Inspire grand final in May. RPAYC sailor, Louis, thanked the organisers and sponsors but kept his highest praise for fellow Inspire sailors with particular attention drawn to Ethan Lozevski for all his support on the last day of racing. Seisia who represents Lake Cootharaba SC, reiterated thanks to the coaches and SailGP for providing the opportunity.
And of course there was the main event, in which RPAYC was well represented onboard the F50’s! Tash Bryant, Jason Waterhouse and Nina Curtis were all representing the Australia Sail GP team, and James Spithill at the helm of the USA SailGP Team.
Quentin Delapierre’s France picked up three consecutive race wins after the first day of racing on the iconic Sydney Harbour. The French rose to the challenge of 50 km/h wind conditions to dominate fleet racing, while Jimmy Spithill’s United States kept their San Francisco hopes alive by picking up three second place positions and finishing in second overall.
The dramatic first day was plagued by technical issues, near capsizes, messy maneuvers and even an Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team crew member falling overboard during the first fleet race. Home favourites Australia were plagued by technical issues, but still managed a respectable racing record of 3-4-6 to finish third after three fleet races. Emirates GBR grinder Matt Gotrel fell through the fairing of the foiling F50 catamaran as the team approached the finish line while travelling at speeds of 50 km/h.
Saturday’s three fleet races were deemed enough to constitute an event despite the cancellation of the second day of racing due to a major weather incident at the Technical compound in Barangaroo. It resulted in significant damage to the wing sails and at least one boat at the SailGP technical site.