Please select your home edition
Edition
Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

SailGP: Six Olympic Gold Medals in Brit's SailGP crew for 2020

by Great Britain SailGP 7 Feb 11:31 GMT
Great Britain SailGP Team with their new line-up is expected to go head to head with current champion Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby © Bob Martin for SailGP

The Great Britain SailGP Team, presented by INEOS, has revealed its full team line-up ahead of the SailGP Season 2 opener in Sydney on 28-29 February.

The new look race crew has a wealth of talent and experience on-board and is already a tight-knit team with five of the six members currently sailing together as part of INEOS Team UK's America's Cup challenge.

The world's most successful Olympic sailor, Ben Ainslie, will helm the F50 while fellow Olympic gold medallist Iain Jensen joins as wing trimmer and the flight controller role is filled by Luke Parkinson. Both Jensen and Parkinson have moved over to the Great Britain SailGP Team to join their America's Cup teammates after competing with Japan in SailGP Season 1.

Completing the line-up in the grinder roles are Matt Gotrel, an Olympic gold medal winning rower, and Neil Hunter - both of whom sailed together with the British SailGP Team last year and are also part of the British America's Cup challenge. They are joined by fellow returning teammate Richard Mason.

Ben Ainslie commented: "We are looking forward to getting out on the water and competing in a highly charged racing environment against some really tough competition. We can't wait to get going. The squad is a combination of sailors from last year and members of the wider INEOS TEAM UK America's Cup team. Each sailor has raced these boats before, and we know each other well. It's now about putting that knowledge and experience together."

Iain Jensen, known as 'Goobs', has competed at two Olympic Games and in two America's Cup campaigns and brings a significant amount of knowledge and experience to the British team. Commenting on the new modular wing due to be rolled out at event two in San Francisco, he said: "To have the ability to sail in more wind strengths and push these boats harder to is going to be a game changer."

Helping to control the F50 from the 'cock-pit' is flight controller Luke Parkinson (known as 'Parko') who has competed in both the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, including winning the 2014/15 edition with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Parkinson will control the main system on the F50 which alters the rudders and foils.

Neil Hunter, who at 24 is the youngest member of the team, was the youngest sailor to compete in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda in 2017, where he was also part of the British team that won the Youth America's Cup. Known as one of sailing's fittest grinders, he now looks forward to his second consecutive SailGP season with the Great Britain SailGP Team.

Alongside Hunter in the grinder roles are returning Great Britain SailGP Team members Matt Gotrel and Rich Mason. Gotrel came back to sailing two years ago after crossing over to rowing during his university years which culminated in winning Olympic gold for Team GB at Rio 2016. Mason is a highly experienced professional sailor who has competed in various catamaran classes including the M32 Series, GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series. His biggest achievement to date, however, was on one hull when he completed the gruelling, single-handed Solitaire du Figaro race.

Team CEO Chris Draper meanwhile steps off the F50 to focus on running the team from dry land. Commenting on the season ahead he said: "We can't wait to get back out racing after a long break following the final in Marseille last year. Sydney is a fantastic venue and we've come such a long way since this time last year. With the combined experience these athletes have, we're feeling excited about the year ahead. The team is just planning to get out there and put everything we learnt in Season 1 into practice."

Great Britain will take on six other nations including reigning champions Australia, Denmark, France, Japan, Spain and the United States when the season gets under way in Sydney on the 28 February. The team will compete in front of a home crowd in Cowes, Isle of Wight, 14-15 August, following events in Sydney, San Francisco and New York.

Full sailing team line-up for the Great Britain SailGP Team Presented by INEOS in Season 2:

(Name | Position | Nationality | Age)
Ben Ainslie | Helmsman | GBR | 42
Luke Parkinson | Flight Controller | GBR/AUS | 28
Iain Jensen | Wing Trimmer | AUS | 31
Matt Gotrel | Grinder | GBR | 30
Neil Hunter | Grinder | GBR | 24
Richard Mason | Grinder | GBR | 31

Related Articles

SailGP gives behind-the-scenes access
'SailGP: Racing on the Edge' shines a light on world's fastest sail racing league In a new content series launched today by SailGP, audiences around the globe will get unprecedented access to the sport's pinnacle league as it gears up toward its second season, launching April 2021 in San Francisco. Posted on 16 Sep
Aarhus selected to host fourth SailGP event
ROCKWOOL to serve as Title Partner for global league's first event in Scandinavia SailGP today announced the selection of the Danish city of Aarhus to host the fourth event in the global championship's second season. ROCKWOOL will serve as Title Partner for SailGP's Scandinavian debut Posted on 13 Sep
Britain's Ocean City selected to host SailGP
Annual pinnacle of sail racing to stop in Plymouth, Devon in 2021 Following the season opener in San Francisco in April and New York SailGP in June, the championship will return to UK shores for the third event in Season 2, featuring the world's fastest sail racing. Posted on 4 Sep
SailGP makes its Hollywood debut
F50s feature in Christopher Nolan's new blockbuster 'Tenet' SailGP makes its Hollywood debut today when two F50s - the world's fastest and most technologically advanced sail race boats - take a starring role in the summer's big blockbuster Tenet, a new sci-fi spy thriller by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. Posted on 26 Aug
First ever eSailGP Champion crowned
Seven months of hard fought virtual battles came down to just five minutes to decide the Champion British eSailor O'Donovan caused upset when he beat one of the pre-race favorites, Spain SailGP Team member Cardona, to not only win the inaugural championship title but also a ride on an F50 in real-life. Posted on 15 Aug
Final field set for eSailGP Grand Final
GRE-9 wins Cowes eSailGP to claim final place in live final showdown, August 14 The stage is set for the inaugural eSailGP Grand Final. In less than 24 hours, eight fierce competitors - representing five nations - will go head-to-head on the virtual waters of New York to win ultimate eSailing bragging rights Posted on 14 Aug
SailGP announces addition of New Zealand team
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke join the league's second season Olympic gold medalists and defending America's Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will join SailGP starting in the league's second season as part of the newly formed New Zealand SailGP Team. Posted on 6 Aug
Denmark SailGP Team: Episode 2
Focusing on resilience with grinder Martin Kirketerp The second episode of 'Inside the Denmark SailGP Team' focuses on resilience, and no one embodies this quality more than grinder Martin Kirketerp. Posted on 4 Aug
French player qualifies for eSailGP Grand Final
MCES pepito claims penultimate spot following Pop-Up Qualifier Following a closely fought virtual battle, the penultimate place in the eSailGP Grand Final has been claimed. MCES pepito beat Javinho of Spain in a nail-biting match race to secure France's first spot in the inaugural championship final Posted on 4 Aug
The inside story of the Denmark SailGP Team
Episode 1 of a a new, behind-the-scenes mini documentary series SailGP and Team ROCKWOOL Racing have launched a new, behind-the-scenes mini documentary series covering the inside story of the Denmark SailGP Team as it prepares for Season 2 of SailGP in 2021. Posted on 22 Jul