Please select your home edition
Edition
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS 728-X-90 TOP

Shirley Robertson talks with multiple World Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby

by Shirley Robertson 8 Dec 2022 16:09 PST 27 September 2022
Tom Slingsby ahead of the T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix © Bob Martin for SailGP

Series 4 of Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast continues in fascinating fashion as the multiple Olympic Gold Medallist finally sits down with one of modern sailing's most decorated athletes, multiple World Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby.


[Scroll down to listen online.]

In the wonderfully diverse sport of competitive sailing there can be few athletes whose accolades are as wide ranging as Sydney born Australian Tom Slingsby. At just thirty eight years of age, he boasts an unprecedented roll call of success that includes an Olympic Gold medal, an America's Cup win, two Moth World Titles, two SailGP titles, multiple Laser world championship wins, he's even won line honours in both the Sydney to Hobart and Middle Sea Races. It's an incredibly diverse list of titles, all stemming from one resolution made as a fifteen year old boy watching the 2000 Sydney Olympics...:

"I was down there (at Bradleys Head) everyday, and just seeing the Olympic arena, I just, in that moment, watching that final where Michael Blackburn took bronze and Ben Ainslie match raced Robert Scheidt to gold, I said right then and there that I want to be a part of this arena."

That moment was the catalyst to a remarkable, and still ongoing career. But it wasn't always easy. Slingsby's honest and candid account involves deep disappointment and harsh lessons at the 2008 Olympics, before moving on to detail the extraordinary lengths he went to, along with coach Micheal Blackburn to make sure he would prevail at the London Games of 2012.

This is a fascinating two part interview, in which Slingsby gives the listener a sometimes intimate account of life as a successful 21st Century professional sailor.

From the decision not to defend his Olympic title, Robertson and Slingsby move on to his America's Cup career, and the much discussed 2013 San Francisco Cup which saw Slingsby help Team Oracle USA to the remarkable, and much documented comeback against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Regular podcast listeners will have heard the story from many of the key players from that 2013 Cup, but this telling is perhaps the most revealing. Slingsby's memories of the comeback are recalled from the perspective of the then rookie young America's Cup sailor somewhat overawed by his surroundings and the characters around him. His memories of the initial losses and the awkward meetings that followed are insightful and revealing, a must-listen to all fans of the modern Cup era...

"I was getting yelled at by Russell Coutts, and I still remember sitting there thinking 'I can't believe I'm sitting there with these legends, Grant Simmer, Jimmy (Spithill), Ben Ainslie, Russell Coutts', I remember I was really in awe!"

What follows is a fascinating discussion on the dramatic turnaround of 2013, who made what decisions, and how the match was finally won.

From the America's Cup to Sail GP, the displacement Laser dinghy to the foiling Moth, Slingsby's talent has seen him become one of the most applauded sailors of his generation. Getting a glimpse inside the mind of the man that's created such success makes for a truly fascinating two part podcast and is a must listen for any modern day sailing fan.

This edition of the podcast is in two parts and is available to listen to via the podcast page of Shirley’s own website - www.shirleyrobertson.com/podcast or via most popular podcast outlets, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact podcast@shirleyrobertson.com.

Part 1:

Part 2:


Related Articles

Shirley Robertson talks with Pete Goss
The accomplished offshore sailor is famed for executing one of the bravest solo ocean rescues ever This month, Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast talks to British offshore adventurer Pete Goss, an accomplished offshore sailor famed for executing one of the bravest solo ocean rescues of all time. Posted on 6 Mar
Shirley Robertson talks speed records
Shirley Robertson talks about smashing records with offshore multihull speedster Brian Thompson This month, Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast hosts one of offshore sailing's most accomplished names, as multiple world record holder Brian Thompson drops in for a two part chat about being one of the fastest offshore sailors on the planet. Posted on 26 Jan
America's Cup: Robertson talks with the US team
Shirley Robertson heads to Barcelona to interview some of the key personnel from American Magic This month, Shirley Robertson heads to Barcelona to interview some of the key personnel from American Magic, the New York Yacht Club's challenger to the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 24 Dec 2023
America's Cup: Shirley Robertson visits Swiss team
Shirley Robertson visits Swiss America's Cup team Alinghi Red Bull Racing at their base in Barcelona This month, Shirley Robertson visits Swiss America's Cup powerhouse Alinghi Red Bull Racing at their base in Barcelona as they prepare to Challenge for the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 10 May 2023
Shirley Robertson talks with Dean Barker
The joy of victory and the pain of defeat with America's Cup helm Dean Barker Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast hosts one of the sport's most recognisable talents as New Zealand's Dean Barker talks to double Olympic gold medallist Robertson about a career spent chasing the illusive America's Cup. Posted on 30 Mar 2023
Shirley Robertson talks with Alex Thomson
Alex Thomson talks Vendee Globes, Ocean Rescues and those Viral Social Media Campaigns Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast continues this month with one of offshore sailing's most active campaigners, a sailor whose career spans two decades at the highest level of the sport and includes a record equaling five Vendee Globe starts. Posted on 9 Mar 2023
Shirley Robertson reports from Alicante
Shirley Robertson talks to key sailors in The Ocean Race ahead of the start in Alicante This month's edition of Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast comes from the Spanish port of Alicante, long time home to the Ocean Race, as the fourteenth edition of this famous round the world adventure gets underway with a dramatic new look. Posted on 19 Jan 2023
Shirley Robertson talks with John Bertrand
Shirley Robertson talks with John Bertrand about conquering the Everest of sailing The fourth Series of Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast starts in emphatic fashion as double Olympic gold medallist Robertson sits down with the skipper of the America's Cup's first ever successful Challenger, Australian John Bertrand. Posted on 27 Sep 2022
Shirley Robertson talks with Tom Whidden
Shirley Robertson talks with triple America's Cup winner Tom Whidden on his eight Cup campaigns Tom Whidden's lighthearted and amicable style is wonderful to listen to, as he discusses his long sailing career. There are Dennis Conner stories aplenty, including his much talked about "plastic boat" quote of the 1987 Challenger Series campaign. Posted on 5 Jul 2022
Shirley Robertson quizzes key Cup decision makers
Shirley Robertson's podcast features interviews with several of the Cup's key stakeholders With the announcement that AC37 will be hosted by the Spanish city of Barcelona, Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast this month features interviews with several of the Cup's key stakeholders, as they discuss the thinking behind this landmark decision. Posted on 22 May 2022
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER