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Team GB edge out Slingsby's Aussies in France SailGP


Tom Slingsby's Australian team remain narrowly top of the SailGP standings despite losing to Ben Ainslie's Team GB in a thrilling France race.

Ainslie's team vaulted up to fourth place in the championship race as a capacity crowd on the Saint Tropez shoreline saw the Brits edge Slingsby's reigning champions and Diego Botin's in-form Spaniards in the France Sail Grand Prix.

It was Ainslie's first triumph since the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix two-and-a-half years ago.

"It's been a long time coming but it was great to be in one of those all-time classic finals with the Aussies, who are the great champion team," Ainslie said after Sunday's win.

"The team did a brilliant job all through the weekend and I feel like we made some big gains after a frustrating period for us not quite getting the results.

"Now we've got some momentum behind us so it was a great team effort," the four-times Olympic gold medallist added.

Despite having yet to win in Season 4, though, Australia remain top of the championship standings.

Skipper Slingsby said: "When I look back at my career and these tight races with Ben Ainslie, I think I'll look back at today pretty fondly, but I still would have loved to get the upper hand.

"The fact they hadn't won so long is unbelievable really, hats off to them, they saw the opportunity and took it."

Spain are second in the season standings. "We still lack technique here and there but overall we are doing the important things well," captain Botin said.

The European leg of Season 4 of SailGP continues in two weeks with the Italy race in Taranto on September 23 and 24.

Standings after three events:

1. Australia 26 points

2. Spain 24

3. Denmark 23

4. Team GB 19

5. New Zealand 17

6. United States 14

7. France 13

8. Canada 12

9. Switzerland 7

10. Germany 4