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Great Britain SailGP Team aiming for a Sydney repeat

by GBR SailGP Team 16 Dec 2021 05:06 PST
Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Ben Ainslie sail past the Sydney Opera House during a practice session ahead of Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG © Bob Martin for SailGP

With only two events remaining in the SailGP Season 2 calendar, the race to qualify for the $1million prize winner-takes-all podium race in San Francisco is heating up. The Great Britain SailGP Team currently sits in fourth place overall, four points from third and five points behind the leaders, Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team.

Next up in the schedule is the iconic Sydney Harbour as Ben Ainslie's Great Britain SailGP Team return to the venue where they won their first ever SailGP event so emphatically in early 2020. The team know that a good result in Sydney is required to remain in contention for qualification for that final Championship race.

Looking ahead to the action, Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and Driver Ben Ainslie said, "Sydney is right up there as one of the best sailing venues in the word, certainly one of my favourites, the harbour always provides great conditions for racing plus the Sydney-siders are brilliant hosts who love getting behind their home team.

"All season we have raced the boat well in a range of conditions and it's clear we can sail fast, clean races and win events, but we have made mistakes in the last two events which cost us crucial points. We are in striking position to be in that all-important end of season 'winner takes all' top three but to achieve that we will need a strong performance this week."

As the race on the water intensifies, so does the race off the water in SailGP's Impact League, with the Great Britain SailGP Team in second place in that table behind Peter Burling and Blair Tuke's New Zealand SailGP Team. At the Australia Sail Grand Prix, presented by KPMG, the Great Britain SailGP Team together with their Race For The Future partner STEM Crew and the Ogden Trust, are launching a new free digital sustainability education resource.

The new STEM Crew resource, titled 'Wings, Sails and Blades' explores the concept of power using the context to the high-speed Great Britain SailGP Team F50 catamaran and the cutting-edge technology of wind turbines. The resource was used for the first time today by Inverness Royal Academy in Scotland who completed a lesson that included Great Britain SailGP Team grinder Neil Hunter dialling in from Sydney for a virtual Q&A.

The resource, which can be downloaded for free, gives young people the opportunity to see energy in action, with exclusive interviews with Great Britain SailGP Team sailors and leading wind industry experts about their experiences and careers. Linked into the resource is the sustainable recycling process of wind turbines allowing students to discover about and create solutions to impact the future of this industry.

Back on the racetrack for the Australia Sail Grand Prix the Brits will welcome back Nick Hutton to the team in the Trimmer Grinder role, while Hannah Diamond also re-joins as Strategist. Hannah comes onboard with the team for her third event of the season as part of the team's rotation policy which gives as many elite female athletes as possible the opportunity to train and gain valuable experience onboard the F50 catamaran. It will be Hannah's first chance to race onboard the F50. The last time Hannah was on board the team broke the SailGP speed record in a practice session in Aarhus, Demark and she will be hoping for similarly thrilling racing in Sydney. She added:

"This is my third SailGP event and I'm learning so much at every day. I took part in some of the practice racing in Plymouth and Aarhus, where we managed to break the SailGP speed record, but nothing will be like racing for real.

"Sydney is one of the most iconic racing venues in the world and to be on board with Ben and the team is so exciting. I have so much respect for all the sailors on the team so to get the chance to prove myself on this stage is something I'm really looking forward to."

Ahead of the Australia Sail Grand Prix, meanwhile, SailGP has launched SailGP Insights, a new data platform designed to bring fans closer to the action than ever before. SailGP Insights is a new online dashboard which provides fans with vast amounts of data from the hydrofoiling F50 catamarans.

The Australia Sail Grand Prix is live on Sky Sports from 5:00AM GMT on Friday December 17 and Saturday December 18 and is also free to view on SailGP's YouTube channel. For full viewing details visit sailgp.com/watch

The Great Britain SailGP Squad for Australia Sail Grand Prix Presented by KPMG:

  • Ben Ainslie, Driver
  • Iain Jensen, Wing Trimmer
  • Luke Parkinson, Flight Controller
  • Hannah Diamond, Strategist
  • Nick Hutton, Grinder Trimmer
  • Matt Gotrel, Grinder
  • Neil Hunter Grinder

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