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Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

SSL Gold Cup - Change to Team Australia crew

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 29 Aug 23:55 BST
Matt Wearn OAM with his gold medal in Tokyo - © Australian Sailing

Olympic Gold Medallist Matt Wearn OAM has been replaced in the SSL Gold Cup Team Australia crew. Wearn commented, "My health has not been great, and I missed the training in Switzerland as a result. I understand that the team needs to look to someone with existing skills on the boat, so I'll focus on the ILCA 7 and getting ready for Paris 2024."

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the team do well, and will no doubt be one of the thousands watching on."

Replacing Matt Wearn as part of the SSL Gold Cup Team Australia crew for the finals in Bahrain this November is the very personable Joey Newton. Revered for his skills on board, this Newton (no relation to Sam) has won the Fastnet Race in 2001 on board Gianni Agnelli's, Stealth. Additionally, he has won a World Championship on the RC44, and is still very much involved with the TP52 and Maxi 72 circuits.

Joey has also been sailing as part of every America's Cup since 2000, which makes seven in total. AC wins in 2010 aboard the monster trimaran, and then in 2013 on the first of the foilers is more than a handy exclamation mark.

"I'm delighted and really excited to be sailing with the Olympians. The Gold Cup is an awesome event for how it brings everyone together. Of course I am also really thrilled to be sailing with my mates Tom (Slingsby) and Kyle (Langford) once more. It certainly will be 'deep end' material by the time we get to Bahrain", Newton added in closing.

Newton did five seasons as part of the Oracle campaign, and so is very familiar with the boat on boat nature of this style of racing. During his tenure at Oracle, Larry Ellison, Jimmy Spithill, and Sir Russell Coutts were all driving separate boats as they trained up for the America's Cup.

Skipper, Tom Slingsby commented, "I was really looking forward to sailing with Wearny, as he is a great guy, and it also would have been fun to have the Aussie Laser boys with myself, TB (Tom Burton) and Wearny sailing together. We hope he has a quick recovery. We are very lucky we have so much depth in Australia. We have chosen Joey Newton to join us. As a previous RC44 World Champion, he will bring a lot to our squad."

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