Australia dominated the first two seasons of Sail GP and they proved they are the team to beat in season 3 with an epic comeback.

Australia has pulled off an epic comeback to win the Chicago Sailing Grand Prix after qualifying for the final against the odds.

It was looking dire for the Australian team when they came dead last in the fourth fleet race at Navy Pier in Lake Michigan.

The Aussies, led by 2012 sailing Olympic gold medallist Tom Slingsby, needed to win the fifth and final fleet race against the eight other teams to secure their place in the podium race.

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And in a comeback no one saw coming, they managed just that. Slingsby’s crew dominated the final fleet race, while New Zealand’s hopes of making their first final were dashed as they finished eighth in a disastrous result.

The Aussies then nailed a perfect start to defeat Great Britain and Canada in the podium race.

“We were able to accelerate well at the start line and let Great Britain and Canada fight it out, whilst we got away cleanly,” Slingsby said.

“We came dead last in that fourth fleet race and I thought our chance of making it into the podium race was impossible and our winning streak had come to an end.

“We were ready to suck it up but we somehow managed to turn it around for that fifth fleet race and just make it to the podium race.”

The win in Chicago puts the Australian team at the top of the leaderboard going into the third event of SailGP Season 3, which will take place in Plymouth, UK, on 30-31 July.

“I can only imagine how frustrated the other teams are at how we snuck into that final race and were able to clinch the win, but our job as a team is to win these events”, Slingsby said.

“You get more space in the final race and clear air so you can use your boat speed and tactics more. Once we get into that scenario we feel confident.

“We feel we are fast, can pick the wind well, start and accelerate well. I just know my team is unbelievable under pressure and we keep proving that.”

Sail GP next travels to the UK in late July before the series goes to Denmark, France, Spain, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney and New Zealand before wrapping up in the US next May.

Australia won the first two seasons of Sail GP and will be aiming for their third straight win in the competition that has been likened to Formula One on water.

SailGP recently announced Sydney has secured the rights to host the event for three consecutive seasons, beginning on Sydney Harbour in February 2023 in the ninth event of season 3.

The first two seasons, as well as season 3’s first event in Bermuda, have been captured in a SailGP documentary series available to stream on Kayo Sports.

Sail GP Season 3 leaderboard

1. Australia — 20 points

2. Canada — 17 points

3. Great Britain — 17 points

4. New Zealand — 12 points

5. Denmark — 12 points

6. France — 6 points

7. United States — 9 points

8. Spain — 8 points

9. Switzerland — 4 points

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