Sailing: Collision and capsize highlight latest SailGP racing as New Zealand’s struggles continue

The second day of racing in the first SailGP event of 2021 has been highlighted by a dramatic collision between the Japanese and United States entries.

Midway through the second leg of the opening race of the day, the Japanese boat – skippered by Australian Nathan Outteridge – miscalculated its course and sailed directly into the path of Jimmy Spithill’s USA entry.

The Japanese F50 catamaran hoisted itself on top of one of the US boat’s hulls, forcing both boats off their foils and major damage to the Japanese entry.

“We’ve got a big issue in the middle of the fleet here. Nathan Outteridge, very late to manoeuvre and he’s collided with the US crew,” the SailGP commentary team can be heard saying.

“This is a big moment on board here, the Japanese boat [is] on board the American boat.

“Hopefully no one’s hurt but that was a big misjudgment from Outteridge. These two boats are really stuck now.”

Footage of the incident seemed to show part of the rigging on the US boat slicing a gash almost all the way through the hull of Japan’s boat, effectively joining them together.

Things only got worse for Spithill’s boat when, while assessing the damage from the collision, it capsized entirely.

Both teams reported that no crew members were hurt in either incident.

Meanwhile, despite some improvement in form from the New Zealand team on day two, the boat only managed to finish in fifth place in the event’s overall standings.

Peter Burling managed to lead his boat to finishes of fourth and fifth on Monday and looked set for victory in the final race of the day before dropping off the foils and allowing rival teams by.

Sir Ben Ainslie’s England team emerged with the overall spoils, defeating Australia’s Tom Slingsby in the title race; even after Slingsby had won four of the five fleet races.

The next stop in the series will be in Europe for the second regatta of eight, to be sailed in Italy on June 5-6.

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