British star Ainslie bids for $1m SailGP Grand Final

British sailing star Sir Ben Ainslie boosted his chances of reaching the $1million Grand Final of SailGP’s third season with finishes second, first and second in the San Francisco regatta on Saturday.

Ainslie’s Emirates Great Britain team entered the regatta fourth in the season standings, one point behind Frenchman Quentin Delapierre, who was consistently overtaken by the British skipper and finished sixth, eighth and sixth in the fleet of nine foiling boats 50 – foot catamarans.

The top three crews after Sunday’s final two fleet races will qualify for tech mogul Larry Ellison’s World League Grand Finals.

Two-time defending champion Tom Slingsby of Team Australia is the only skipper to qualify for the Grand Final based on season standings. Peter Burling and Team New Zealand are in good form in second place.

Slingsby, looking to both win the San Francisco regatta and gain confidence for his third straight Grand Final, took the lead with 28 points. He finished first, third and first while steering his Flying Roo – nicknamed for the giant yellow kangaroo on the wing sail – up and down along the city front between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. .

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