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Touch down in Persian Gulf for Team GBR as they gear up for the first Sail Grand Prix event in Dubai

by GBR SailGP Team 10 Nov 2022 08:12 PST 12-13 November 2022
Hattie Rodgers takes the helm ahead of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix © Louis Goldman

Sir Ben Ainslie and his Great Britain SailGP Team returned to the water today as the team began training ahead of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O (November 12/13). The team are looking to make a comeback this weekend and hunt down a spot on the podium following a challenging day two of sailing in Cadiz. Hannah Diamond (GBR) returns as strategist.

With Dubai taking us past the half-way point in the global sailing championship, the race is well and truly on as we narrow our sights on a podium spot for the final 'million-dollar race' taking place in San Francisco in May 2023. With the team racing in the Middle East for the first time in the championship, this will be a significant moment for SailGP to educate the next generation in Dubai on climate action.

As well as gearing up for race weekend, teams across the league have spent the days prior engaging in a wide array of purpose and environmental activities across the community demonstrating that sustainability action is essential to the fabric of sport. Neil Hunter spent Wednesday out on the water teaching kids of various disabilities from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) how to sail as well as INSPIRING pupils from Jumeriah College on how to Protect our pitch and take action against Ocean Plastics.

The Great British SailGP team will also be hosting an event at DOSC in collaboration with GREAT Britain Northern Ireland campaign with a panel discussion on the importance of collaboration and how sport can play a pivotal role in the transition to a net-zero economy.

Ahead of the Dubai Grand Prix, Great Britain SailGP Team Co-owner and driver Ben Ainslie shares, "We've got our sights firmly set on that end of season podium final, which means we need to come out there strong this weekend to climb back up on the leader board.

"Dubai will be a significant event for SailGP, from both a new race location standpoint, as well as an opportunity to show the leagues commitment to racing for the future. We believe in the power of sport for good and that sport has a responsibility to lead by example to inspire others to make simple changes for a better planet - a message the team have continued to spread through various purpose activities we've orchestrated across the city this week."

The Women's Pathway programme, which was created to embrace inclusivity and gender equity into the sport, continues to reap rewards for the Great British team this season, with Dubai welcoming back Hannah Diamond as well as SailGP Season 2 Inspire Champion, Hattie Rogers.

Both Hannah and Hattie are part of our are recently launched Athena Pathway Programme, which aims to accelerate female and youth athletes' development in professional sailing, on and off the water, including into the America's Cup and SailGP.

On the water the British F50 catamaran will once again be powered by nature and the brute strength of Olympic gold winning rower Matt Gotrel (GBR) and the Isle of Arran's Neil Hunter (GBR) on the grinding handles. The wing trim, flight controller and trimmer grinder roles are again retained by Iain Jensen (AUS), Luke Parkinson (GBR / AUS) & Nick Hutton (GBR and Hannah Diamond (GBR) re-joins the line-up as strategist following a great race weekend with the team back in Saint-Tropez in September.

Back home our SailGP GBR team have also been celebrating major milestones since Cadiz with athlete Hannah Mills welcoming a gorgeous little girl and Matt Gotrel a beautiful baby boy to the GBR family.

British fans can watch the racing live on Sky Sports from 11am on Saturday, November 12th and 11am on Sunday, November 13th or for free on SailGP's YouTube channel.

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