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British SailGP team breaks 50-knot barrier during training

AP

Dylan Fletcher and his British crew became the first SailGP team to break the 50-knot speed barrier, flying their foiling 50-foot catamaran at 50.22 knots (57.8 mph/93 kph) Tuesday during training on the Solent for this weekend’s regatta.

The British crew initially reported that it hit 49.54 knots off Egypt Point on the Isle of Wight. But SailGP data analyst Scott Babbage interrupted the debrief to inform the sailors that the higher-frequency data pulled off the F50 showed they hit 50.22 knots.

Tom Slingsby’s Australian team had been just shy of hitting 50 knots during training in New Zealand before the league launched earlier this year.

Russell Coutts, a five-time America’s Cup champion and SailGP’s co-founder, said on his Facebook page that the league would only recognize speeds during racing as official.