One among Australia’s biggest ever sailors will swap the inexperienced and gold for the celebs and stripes when he represents the US on the subsequent America’s Cup.
Tom Slingsby is taking the world of crusing by storm in the meanwhile because the helmsman for the all-conquering Workforce Australia in SailGP that was just lately topped staff of the yr on the World Crusing Awards.
With a four-point lead on high of the SailGP season three leaderboard, Workforce Australia is on monitor for its third consecutive championship within the sequence if all goes properly.
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Slingsby is a person in demand and can quickly get an opportunity so as to add to his glittering crusing resume, which already includes a gold medal within the laser class on the 2012 London Olympics and line honours victory on Perpetual Loyal within the 2016 Sydney to Hobart.
The 38-year-old is now gearing up for a prolonged preparation for the following America’s Cup, to be held in Barcelona in September-October 2024.
However Slingsby received’t be representing Australia, which hasn’t had a ship compete within the last head-to-head sequence since its failed defence of the Cup in 1987, largely resulting from an absence of funding after the enduring triumph of Australia II in 1983.
Slingsby was the strategist for Oracle Workforce USA’s America’s Cup win in 2013 and can as soon as once more symbolize the US’ boat “American Magic” in 2024.
New Zealand has received the final two editions of the fabled competitors in 2017 and 2021 and American Magic would be the favorite to win the lead-in Challenger Collection and get the possibility to tackle the Kiwis within the head-to-head sequence.
Australia has produced a number of the finest sailors on this planet and after Jimmy Spithill skippered Workforce USA to victory in 2010 and 2013, an Aussie racing for the Yankees isn’t extraordinary.
Slingsby is half-American, that means there can be a touch of patriotism when he traces up for the US in 2024.
“I’ve truly obtained a US passport and I’ll be competing for American Magic within the subsequent America’s Cup,” Slingsby advised information.com.au.
“It’s thrilling. I’ll be transferring to Barcelona subsequent yr and can be working with the American staff to try to win the America’s Cup and take it again to America.
“I’m an Aussie by means of and thru, everybody is aware of that. I’ve even advised the Individuals, ‘Look I’m an Aussie’.
“My mum is totally American and I’m proud that I can race for each. I’ve obtained an Australian and a US passport. My dad’s 100 per cent Australian. My mum’s 100 per cent American.
“I used to be born and raised in Australia. I consider myself as an Australian but when I can compete for another nation I’m glad it’s the US and I could make my mum proud.”
SailGP goes from energy to energy and with extra groups and races being added each season, Slingsby must handle a singular juggling act within the lead-up to the America’s Cup.
“I’ll nonetheless be doing all my SailGP occasions,” he stated.
“That was a non-negotiable in my contract. I stated ‘I’m right here to stick with SailGP and I wish to hold my function with Workforce Australia’ they usually’ve allowed that. I’ll be competing in all of the occasions.
“It’ll be powerful. For certain my schedule is loopy. I’m going to be working full-time in Barcelona and I get one week a month to journey to a SailGP occasion all over the world after which straight to Barcelona and straight again to full-time work.
“It’s going to be very powerful for certain and it’s going to be difficult to handle. Being the CEO of Workforce Australia I may have to usher in some assistance on the managerial facet with the administration.”
There may be some overlap between the American Magic staff and Workforce USA’s SailGP staff, that means Slingsby will discover himself within the uncommon place of coaching with them sooner or later and competing towards them for Australia in SailGP the following.
Requested if there could possibly be some awkward moments when his new American teammates change into the enemy, Slingsby stated: “There could possibly be. I feel there can be, sure. There are a number of the American America’s Cup staff that do race on the American SailGP staff. Yeah, that can be an element.
“So we’ll be teammates sooner or later, enemies the following after which teammates once more as quickly because the occasion finishes with SailGP. That’s form of the enjoyable. We’re all skilled athletes. We get that it’s competitors. That’s effective for me. I’ve no points doing that.
“Sporting the 2 hats, main the Australian staff to racing for the US staff, for me it’s effective.”
SailGP has been likened to System One on water and the modern sequence the place all groups race the identical F50 boats is quickly increasing and has seen Slingsby rub shoulders with royal households and Purple Bull’s F1 staff.
“It’s unbelievable truly,” Slingsby stated of SailGP’s development.
“I used to be in all probability the primary particular person employed at SailGP again in 2018 when Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison got here to me and stated, ‘Look, we wish to begin a brand new league and we would like you to be part of it’.
“Simply to think about the place we’ve come from. Season one I feel we had 5 occasions and 6 groups. Season two we had eight occasions and eight groups. After which Season three we’ve obtained 9 groups and 11 occasions. And the plan is for 16 groups and 20 plus occasions in a few years.
“The expansion is unbelievable. It was basically a start-up a few seasons in the past. To see the place it’s now the place we will have Princess Kate come and soar on the boat within the UK and Princess Mary and Prince Frederik soar on the boat in Denmark.
“To see the Purple Bull F1 staff Max Verstappen, who’s arguably one of many largest sport superstars on this planet, and Checo Perez so that they wish to come and see what we’re doing. It’s humbling I suppose.
“It’s displaying crusing is admittedly making some inroads into the sporting world. It’s displaying that it’s not the outdated crusing you used to know. It’s a special sport now. It’s thrilling, it’s enjoyable, it’s quick, it’s harmful and it’s good for followers – spectators on shore and spectators watching on TV. The expertise is a good one.
“We’ve actually rejuvenated the game. Thrilling occasions and I can’t wait to see what occurs sooner or later.”
There are 5 occasions left in SailGP season three together with the following cease in Dubai this weekend.