With less than one week to go until the start of SailGP Season 2, which commences with the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess April 24-25, the Great Britain SailGP Team has unveiled its squad that will race in the global sailing championship in 2021-22.
The talented sailing squad, which includes four Olympic Gold medallists in the opening event in Bermuda, has the core of the same team that put on a series of impressive performances to win the last SailGP event with a clean sweep in Sydney in 2020 before the remainder of the season was postponed due to COVID-19. It is a team that know each other very well, featuring six sailors who were recently together with the British Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup.
The team’s F50 catamaran will once again be helmed and skippered by the world’s most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR). Joining him is fellow Olympic gold medallist Iain Jensen (AUS), who returns as Wing Trimmer, and Flight Controller Luke Parkinson (GBR / AUS), who was most recently seen piloting the British boat in the America’s Cup. The grinder roles, meanwhile, are filled by Olympic gold-winning rower Matt Gotrel (GBR), the Isle of Arran’s Neil Hunter (GBR), and Richard Mason (GBR). All three grinders have been part of the Great Britain SailGP Team since the first season of the cutting-edge sailing league.
In Bermuda, the British team will be joined by a fourth Olympic gold medallist, Hannah Mills (GBR), who will be the first trialist in the squad’s female development programme, a new initiative that aims to fast-track the inclusion of female athletes into SailGP. Mills brings a significant amount of experience to the team, having won Olympic gold in the Women’s 470 in Rio in 2016 and a silver medal at London 2012 where she was a teammate of Ainslie in her first and his last Olympics.