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Australia SailGP's Tom Slingsby hunting for redemption in Cadiz

by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team 23 Sep 2022 23:30 BST 24-25 September 2022
Natasha Bryant at the helm of Australia SailGP Team skippered by Tom Slingsby ahead of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain. 23rd September © Bob Martin for SailGP

Australia SailGP driver Tom Slingsby has acknowledged the team’s faltering performance in recent events, admitting they are ‘lacking a little in confidence’ heading into the Spain Sail Grand Prix presented by NEAR in Cádiz.

The team has missed out on a place in the Final in two consecutive events, with Saint-Tropez marking the third event in a row where the team has not topped the podium.

Tom Slingsby commented on this during the press conference saying, “This sport is a confidence game - you see that with everyone going through peaks and troughs and it’s a matter of trying to steady that out a bit.”

“The reason we’re all here as drivers and sailors is because we want to compete against the very best,” he said. He added however that the team doesn’t want “to get carried away in two-boat battles and end up taking each other down in the standings.”

In a landmark year for women’s sport across the world, SailGP will also celebrate its own milestone in the quest for gender equity this week at the Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalusia - Cádiz presented by NEAR.

The sixth event of SailGP’s Season 3 calendar, the Spain Sail Grand Prix, marks one year since female athletes raced onboard all F50s for the first time as part of SailGP’s Women’s Pathway. Olympic Silver medallist Nina Curtis was the first Australian female athlete to race on board the Australia Team at the Spain event in 2021.

SailGP introduced the Women's Pathway in 2021 as part of its better sport strategy to accelerate inclusion, inspire change and provide opportunities at the elite level of sailing.

SailGP’s goal is achieving gender equity – creating an inclusive sporting championship where the best athletes in the world have equal opportunity to compete on the F50.

Since the 2021 Cadiz event, female athletes have been onboard all teams in 100 percent of races around the globe, honing their skills and providing a visible example for aspiring professional athletes.

The Australia Team now has three Women’s Pathway athletes in its roster, with talented Australian sailors Lucy Copeland and Natasha Bryant joining Nina Curtis in Season 3 of SailGP. Natasha Bryant, a former SailGP Inspire program participant will be competing this week in Cádiz as Australia looks to maintain its position at the top of the season leaderboard.

Natasha Bryant commented on the milestone saying, “It’s pretty exciting because two years ago we were on the shore watching these teams compete, and now we are onboard and racing at every event. It’s so important for young girls in Australia and around the world to see that women can race in this championship, and have something they can aspire towards.”

Tom Slingsby added, “This program is so important to support the progression of Australian female athletes in not only our championship, but in the sport of sailing as a whole. I have enjoyed working with Nina, Tash and Lucy to develop their skills on the F50 and they have each brought their own experience and talent which has really strengthened our team.”

Racing will commence tomorrow in Cadiz between 12:00am- 1:30 AM AEST. Australian fans can tune in live on Fox Sports and on Kayo in Australia to watch the first day of racing. Kayo are offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing, via its Kayo Freebies offer.

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