Tom Slingsby has led the Australia SailGP Team to a stunning victory to be crowned the Champions of Season 3, following the closest SailGP grand final ever seen.

The win secures Slingsby’s crews standing as the three-time defending champions of SailGP and arguably one of the greatest Australian sporting teams of all time.

Tom Slingsby said: “Before the race I said to my team, we win together and we lose together. I believe that Australia has the best sailors in the world and it’s the most patriotic feeling to be able to back that claim here today. I couldn’t have achieved today without this team behind me and what we have is something really special.”

Slingsby went head-to-head with long standing season rival’s Peter Burling from New Zealand and Ben Ainsleie from Great Britain against the iconic backdrop of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Thousands of fans lined the San Francisco bay, delivering an electric atmosphere for the three teams as they descended on the start line.

It all came down to a fifteen minute battle for the sports largest prize purse of $1 million dollars. The Australians started with aggressive intention, pushing Great Britain out in a bold move which gave them the lead at the start line.

The Aussies were then in a drag race against the Kiwis to the finish. Slingsby almost lost it all when he dropped off the foils at the last mark, with the Kiwis hunting behind. But the defending champions showed their brutal strength, recovering to take the finish line first.

Tom Slingsby said: “I was thinking I can’t believe you are going to choke and lose it from here and like this in front of everyone watching around the world. It’s thanks to this team that we were able to hold on there and get the Roo over the finish line.”

In addition to the victory, Slingsby and the team walked away with the grand Thomas Lyte-designed SailGP Championship trophy and the most substantial monetary prize in the sport, US$1 million. Slingsby plans to distribute the prize money amongst both sailors and shore crew, who he credits as being instrumental in the success of the team on the water.

Slingsby and the Australia team will now prepare to compete in SailGP Season 4, which will commence in Chicago on 16-17 of June.