SOUTHAMPTON, UK (#1038) – Sir Ben Ainslie has made some big changes to his British America’s Cup team, INEOS Team UK, starting with a move from the TP52 Super Series with Tony Langley's GLADIATOR to entering the GC32 Racing Tour. Ainslie said Monday that although the 36th America’s Cup will be sailed in foiling monohulls, the move to the 32-foot catamarans will allow the team to continue to focus on foiling.
Ainslie, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, will be at the helm when the team makes its debut at the GC32 Lagos Cup in Portugal for the second event of the European tour, from June 27-July 1.
Ainslie also announced he has hired Joey Newton (AUS), a two-time America’s Cup winner with Oracle Team USA, as jib trimmer, and Iain Jensen, who sailed with Artemis Racing in two America’s Cups and won Olympic gold and silver medals in the 49er class, as mainsail trimmer. Newton will rotate with Nick Hutton (GBR).
Giles Scott (GBR), who like Ainslie is a Finn class Olympic gold medalist, will resume the role of tactician that he had during the 35th America's Cup. Neil Hunter (GBR), the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup champion, completes the lineup as float.
"The GC32 is a high-performance foiling multihull, so it's not the monohull we have in the America's Cup but being out on the foiling circuit gives the sailing team an opportunity to get out and race together, put ourselves under pressure as well as get to grips with technique and boat handling which we hope will put us in good stead for the America's Cup World Series, which restarts in 2019,” Ainslie said.
"We are pretty fresh to this class of boat so we are under no illusion that the type of competition we are going up against. The lineup of the teams and sailors is really strong. But we've made some big changes to the team, both on and off the water. We’ve brought in some new key sailors who have vast experience in America's Cup and high-performance racing and they've been a great addition to the team already. We are looking forward to getting back out on the water doing what we enjoy doing: competing in a highly charged racing environment against some really tough competition and we can't wait to get going."
After Portugal, the GC32 Racing Tour will visit Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Sardinia, Italy; and Toulon, France.
Sir Ben Ainslie's team for the GC32 Racing Tour.