New Zealand crowned winners at sell-out, debut Abu Dhabi SailGP event - GulfToday

New Zealand crowned winners at sell-out, debut Abu Dhabi SailGP event


New Zealand players celebrate after winning Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Thousands of fans descended on the shores of Mina Zayed for this weekend’s Mubadala Abu Dhabi Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council as the seventh event in the international calendar brought excitement and action-packed racing with ten national teams battling it out in front of the spectacular Corniche skyline to secure vital points in the SailGP leaderboard.

Despite light winds, the crowds witnessed an historic event, as New Zealand took the winning title and were crowned Abu Dhabi SailGP champions - taking a double header across both UAE events. The tight course, close to the fans on-shore, saw a dramatic three-boat final between America, Spain and New Zealand - where New Zealand took the podium win and sailed well in the light wind conditions.

In an exciting second day, Spain made a comeback and challenged Team New Zealand on the final leg, but it was the Kiwis which crossed the finish line first - making it two wins from two in the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking after racing, New Zealand driver Peter Burling said the result was “an amazing way to kick off 2024. To put it together in the end in the last two races is awesome for us in the overalls.”

He added: “We have really enjoyed our time at Abu Dhabi, it's an awesome race track, it is unlucky we had really light wind but I suppose you have to play with the conditions. Really challenging weekend but the support we have had from the crowds in Abu Dhabi and the Kiwis here has been great. I’m looking forward to coming back, hoping to win the trophy here at the next season finale.”

Diego Botin, Spain SailGP Team driver added: “It has been really nice to win three races in Abu Dhabi, the crowd was amazing and felt a lot of support for us, and we’re looking forward to coming back here again.”

The racing wasn’t the only focus for the Abu Dhabi event, as the SailGP Inspire programme - a community, education and outreach initiative in association with Mubadala - delivered the biggest ever programme across its Learning, Careers and Racing pillars, engaging with more than 1,500 young participants over the course of the race week. The programme looks to create impact within the local community and most importantly leave a legacy for future generations in the sport. 

The conclusion of the inaugural Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council marks the end of SailGP’s double-header UAE event, and the largest Inspire programme ever delivered by the SailGP global league, plus the first ever live music performance which saw Take That close Saturday race day and award-winning regional DJ Saif and Sounds close the final day.

Following a dramatic and intense race in Abu Dhabi and an action packed family weekend, the next stop is less than a month away when the league travels to KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix, Sydney to continue Season 4. For details head to


1 // New Zealand 10 points

2 // Spain 9 points

3 // United States 8 points

4 // France 7 points

5 // Germany 6 points

6 // Canada 5 points

7 // Australia 4 points

8 // Emirates GBR 3 points

9 // ROCKWOOL Denmark 2 points

10 // Switzerland 1 point

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