Beginning in the global league’s second season kicking off in February 2020, Ainslie and a world-class squad of athletes will represent Great Britain in SailGP – sailing’s newest and fastest championship that boasts the sport’s largest monetary prize of US$1 million.
Ainslie’s SailGP team will be fully announced early next year, utilising a combination of athletes from INEOS TEAM UK – the British challenger for the America’s Cup – and existing members of the Great Britain SailGP Team.
The crew will pilot the revolutionary F50, which this year eclipsed the 50-knot speed barrier for the first time ever in sail racing, against at least 5 other national teams beginning in Sydney on 28/29 February 2020.
Ainslie is the most successful sailor in Olympic history, having competed and won medals – including 4 golds – at 5 consecutive Olympic Games (1996-2012). Following a win in the America’s Cup with ORACLE TEAM USA in 2013, Ainslie formed his own team for the 2017 edition, and is now leading INEOS TEAM UK’s bid to win the 36th America’s Cup, which will take place in New Zealand in 2021.
Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of SailGP, says:
“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.
“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.”
Current Great Britain SailGP Team grinder Matt Gotrel joins Ainslie as the second official team member of the 2020 squad. The 30-year old British Olympic champion rower will also join Ainslie and INEOS TEAM UK in their America’s Cup campaign.
Sir Ben says:
“SailGP has proven itself as one of the most exciting sailing leagues, with top level competition and racing in iconic venues across the world.
“The cutting-edge technology, speed and athletic requirements of the championship will provide a great sporting challenge. The Great Britain SailGP Team had a fantastic first season, and we’re excited to be part of this journey as the league continues to grow.”
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SailGP returns to Cowes on 14/15th August 2020.