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Double Olympic medallist Will Ryan signs with the Swiss team

by Switzerland SailGP Team 14 Feb 2023 02:29 PST 18-19 February 2023
Will Ryan of the Switzerland SailGP Team stands alongside the F50 catamaran in the technical area ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney, Australia. Tuesday 14th February © Felix Diemer for SailGP

Ahead of this weekend's KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney, Switzerland SailGP Team announces a new signing to its crew, Olympic gold and silver medallist, Will Ryan.

34-year-old Ryan, who is a Swiss resident residing in Fribourg, will bring a significant amount of racing experience to the team. He has been a dominant force in the 470 class for over a decade and won his first Olympic medal - silver - at Rio 2016 and followed it up with a gold at Tokyo 2020. He is also a five-time 470 World Champion.

Ryan's racing career started on the youth sailing circuit, first representing Australia at the 2006 420 World Championship. His success is not only limited to dinghy racing, he's also a three-time Australian Match Racing Champion and the current US National and North American Etchells Champion.

It will however be his first time competing on SailGP's global league, but he first stepped onboard a F50 back in 2018 as part of the original F50 commissioning team in New Zealand.

Ryan will support the team in a coaching role for Sydney, working closely with team coach, Jacopo Plazzi, who will work remotely from Italy for this event.

Ryan said: "I'm really looking forward to joining the Switzerland SailGP Team! SailGP is the top global racing championship in our sport, and it has been exciting to watch the growth of the team throughout Season 3.

"The Swiss team has a number of great sailors, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity ahead, to work hard with the team and to be challenging for those top spots during the remainder of Season 3 and throughout Season 4.

"To represent Switzerland is really special after all my years of living in the country, and the growth of the SailGP league offers a very exciting future."

Ryan joins a host of Olympic talent in the Swiss team. Strategist and sailing advisor, Nathan Outteridge (AUS) and wing trimmer, Stuart Bithell (GBR) mirror his Olympic gold and silver success. Driver Sébastien Schneiter, and Maud Jayet have also both represented Switzerland at the Games and are campaigning for Paris 2024, in the 49er and Laser Radial classes respectively. Flight controller, Jason Saunders (NZL), is also a two-time Olympian (2012 and 2016).

Switzerland SailGP Team CEO Tanguy Cariou said: "We are coming into the Sydney event this weekend feeling strong. Last month in Singapore we saw all the hard work starting to pay off on the racecourse, winning our first race was a reflection of this, and now with the signing of Will we will strengthen and expand the depth of our team even more.

"Will is a very talented sailor and will bring a lot of experience of racing at sailing's highest level. We look forward to welcoming him to the line-up this weekend and having his support for the future."

The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix takes place in Sydney Harbour on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February. Racing takes place from 16:00 - 17:30 AEDT (06:00 - 07:30 CET) both race days. Fans in Switzerland can watch the racing live on SailGP's YouTube or on Blue Sport throughout both race days.

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