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SAILGP: British crew looks to win SailGP in home waters, but no racing on Saturday due to 35-knot wi

SAN FRANCISCO (#1186) –– Excerpt from an article by the esteemed AP sports writer Bernie Wilson (USA, San Diego) that he wrote after Saturday's SailGP racing at Cowes, IOW (GBR) was called off due to high winds....

The notorious English weather and the home country's crew have already left their mark on SailGP's European debut even before an official race has sailed.

Both of Saturday's races in the regatta on the Solent off Cowes, England, were called off because of high winds, leading to a compressed schedule Sunday.

The British crew established itself as the favorite by winning both practice races Thursday, two days after it became the first in the fledgling global league to break 50 knots aboard its foiling, 50-foot catamaran. The next day, the Australians also broke 50 knots but then broke their wingsail in strong wind. They missed both practice races.

Motivated by sailing in front of home crowds, the British are looking to bounce back from a capsize that forced them to miss the first three races of the New York regatta in June.

"We have the potential to win," said helmsman Dylan Fletcher, whose crew sits a distant third overall behind Nathan Outteridge's Team Japan and Tom Slingsby's Team Australia. "Just to be racing them and taking races off them occasionally is a massive achievement."

The tightened schedule means there won't be a match-race final to determine the regatta winner. Sunday's racing will feature three fleet races, with the overall winner determined by points.

SailGP YouTube video: Behind the SailGP scenes with Team USA coach Tom Burnham.

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