Ben Ainslie joins GBR SailGP Team
Published on November 26th, 2019
The Great Britain SailGP Team has gotten reorganized for the 2020 SailGP Season as Ben Ainslie has joined the squad, augmenting his preparation for the 36th America’s Cup with INEOS TEAM UK.
“Of course, our major focus remains on preparing and building our AC75 ready for AC36,” Ainslie told The Telegraph. “But it’s a four-year programme and, this being the development phase in what is a new class, most of our time right now is on building and testing the boat. There is very little actually racing.
“Entering SailGP gives us the chance to sharpen our competitive instincts in a really exciting league against high-quality opposition.”
While the full 5-person crew will be fully announced next year, it is presumed that Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell are off as they prepare to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Current Great Britain SailGP CEO and wing trimmer Chris Draper and grinder Matt Gotrel will be joining Ainslie.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have one of the most successful Olympic athletes of all time – across any sport – join our global championship,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “With crucial support from INEOS, Sir Ben Ainslie and the Great Britain SailGP Team will be contenders from day one and will create even more thrilling competition across our growing league.”
Season 1 – 2019 Schedule
Sydney, Australia (February 15-16)
San Francisco, USA (May 4-5)
New York, USA (June 21-22)
Cowes, UK (August 10-11)
Marseille, France (September 20-22)
SailGP Season 1 Overall Leaderboard
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 229
2. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 223
3. China, Phil Robertson, 171
4. Great Britain, Dylan Fletcher, 169
5. France, Billy Besson, 164
6. United States, Rome Kirby, 163
Note: Total points based on SailGP scoring.
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.
Sydney, Australia (February 28-29)
San Francisco, USA (May 2-3)
New York, USA (June 12-13)
Cowes, UK (August 14-15)
* Additional dates TBA