New Zealand driver Peter Burling has promised to keep ‘chipping away’ at Australia’s lead after the Kiwis battled back from a four-point penalty to win the first ever Singapore Sail Grand Prix.
Burling commended his crew for ‘putting together some amazing performances’ across the weekend, finishing with a 1-5-2-3 fleet racing record and trouncing Denmark and Australia in the three-boat winner-takes-all Final.
The dominating performance was all the more impressive considering the Kiwis started the event with -4 points after colliding with the United States in practice.
Reflecting on the weekend, Burling said the victory was especially satisfying after ‘starting on the back foot and [racing] in conditions we don’t really like’.
“Coming into this weekend on the back of those penalty points and seeing the way the team came together under a bit of adversity is just super pleasing for us as a group and puts us in great stead coming into mid-season,” he said.
He highlighted that New Zealand’s win record against Australia in the Final three-boat race is now ‘three from three’ and pledged to ‘keep chipping away’ at the Aussies’ lead.
“We’re now looking forward to trying to make the top three […] and then to try and be in our best possible shape going into that Final to win the season,” he added.
There are just three events remaining of Season 3 - the Australia and New Zealand Sail Grand Prix events in February and March before San Francisco’s all-important Grand Final in May.
The refreshed Championship leaderboard sees Australia retain its first place position with 68 points, but New Zealand close the gap in second place with 59 points.
Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain has knocked France from the top three to move into third with 54 points, while France drops down to fourth.
The nine-strong fleet will next meet at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix on February 18-19.