Please select your home edition
Edition
Ovington 2021 - ILCA 1 - LEADERBOARD

Emirates GBR prepares for action in Sydney ahead of KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix

by Emirates GBR SailGP Team 23 Feb 09:05 GMT 24-25 February 2024
Emirates GBR prepares for action in Sydney ahead of KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix © SailGP

The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team is preparing for action ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix on the iconic Sydney Harbour. It will be the second event for Giles Scott as Driver, and its set to be the heaviest wind conditions the 10 teams have seen in a while.

With Friday's practice racing cancelled amid forecasted thunderstorms, teams are eager to get out racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's forecast of 25-30 km/h winds, gusting to 37 km/h, means Sydney will be the first heavy wind event of Season 4 so far. Scott said it was "unfortunate" practice racing was called off, but he was looking forward to sailing in some stronger winds on Saturday, after light conditions at his debut in event in Abu Dhabi.

"To be honest, this event very much feels like my first event," Scott said.

"In Abu Dhabi, the conditions were tricky, we sailed for four days and I'm not sure we foiled once. I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow, Sydney Harbour is so iconic and famous for its sailing so I can't wait to get out there. Hopefully we can turns some heads this weekend."

The Sydney SailGP event is a milestone for Emirates GBR, as it marks the beginning of their brand new internship programme with The Greig Academy. The Academy is a school in the London Borough of Haringey that supports students access sailing. Greig Academy Teacher Jon Holt expressed to Emirates GBR how difficult it was to find long-term paid internships in the marine industry for students and the team wanted to help change that. Emirates GBR and The Greig Academy have worked together to create a programme that is more accessible to young people, and also covers their travel, accommodation and expenses.

The first intern from this new programme is Kai Hockley, an 18-year-old from Tottenham, London, who won Young Skipper of the Year at Cowes Week in 2023. Despite his success, there was a lack of opportunities available to Kai in the marine industry. Kai has joined Emirates GBR in Sydney for the KPMG Australia SailGP and has been working with the team's shore crew to gain experience in boat handling, maintenance and all that goes into preparing an F50 for racing.

Emirates GBR CEO Sir Ben Ainslie said: "We are all excited at the potential of our new internship programme and it's great to have Kai with us in Sydney. We want to make these development opportunities much more accessible to a wider group of people and we hope this internship programme will help level the playing field for young people accessing the industry."

Kai Hockley said: "I've been having a great experience so far, all of the team members are very welcoming and I'm learning a lot. The scale of it is different to anything I've done before. I'm super excited to be here in Sydney and also heading to Christchurch with the team, I haven't been to Australia or New Zealand before so the opportunity is outstanding."

The Emirates GBR crew has been busy since touching down in Sydney, with Grinders Neil Hunter and Nick Hutton joining the Royal Australian Navy for an intense training session on Bondi Beach on Wednesday. The powerhouses of the Emirates GBR F50 foiling raceboat took part in a range of workout drills involving bootcamp-style bear crawls, tyre flips and team relays. They were joined by athletes from four other SailGP Teams - Australia, Germany Switzerland and the United States.

Hunter said: "Putting us through a brutal workout is one way to welcome us to Sydney, but it was epic training with the Royal Australian Navy. The Emirates GBR SailGP Team is super excited to be back racing in Australia and we will welcome the navy team to our base anytime for a SailGP workout to return the favour."

After recovering from the grueling workout, Hutton visited SailGP's Local Impact Project, The Sydney Seahorse Project, to help install habitats for the marine species in Sydney Harbour. The habitats will support the release of a minimum of 300 endangered seahorses back into the harbour. This would likely increase local populations in the area by 200%.

The KMPG Australia Sail Grand Prix kicks off on Saturday 24 February, with racing continuing on Sunday 25 February. The Emirates GBR line-up consists of Giles Scott as Driver, Hannah Mills as Strategist, Luke Parkinson as Flight Controller, Iain Jensen as Wing Trimmer, Neil Hunter and Nick Hutton as Grinders and Hannah Diamond as Reserve Sailor. UK fans can watch the action on a delayed broadcast on ITV4 at 00:55 on both days.

For all the latest news and updates, visit Emirates GBR's website here.

Related Articles

$10,000 climate action grant up for grabs
Emirates GBR SailGP Team Purpose Partner, the 1851 Trust, joins forces with Butterfield in Bermuda Butterfield has partnered with Emirates GBR SailGP Team's Purpose Partner, the 1851 Trust, as the Official Bermuda Impact Partner for their Protect Our Future schools programme taking place alongside the Bermuda SailGP event this coming May. Posted on 11 Apr
Emirates GBR still aiming for Grand Final
After dramatic day at ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix New Zealand has reigned victorious at their home event after a weekend of delays, drama and dolphins. Emirates GBR finished the event in seventh place, but it would have been fifth had they not been handed penalty points for a collision with Spain. Posted on 24 Mar
ITM NZ Sail Grand Prix Race Day 1 cancelled
Emirates GBR SailGP Team hoping to get back out racing on Sunday Race Day One of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix was cancelled due to mammals on the course in Christchurch. All 10 teams were on the water on Whakaraupo Lyttelton Harbour and ready to race when a mammal was spotted on the racecourse. Posted on 23 Mar
Emirates GBR SailGP Team pushing learning curve
Despite limited time on the water ahead of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team is pushing the learning curve despite limited time on the water ahead of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix this weekend. Posted on 22 Mar
Rollercoaster SailGP weekend for Emirates GBR
Strategist Hannah Mills said the team “really stepped up” on second day in Sydney Hannah Mills said the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix was a "rollercoaster weekend" for the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team. Mills, the team's Strategist, said it was a difficult start to the event, but the crew "really stepped up" on the second. Posted on 25 Feb
Scott handles F50 for the first time in Sydney
Emirates GBR Driver handles shifty conditions and tricky racecourse around Shark Island Giles Scott, who stepped into Sir Ben Ainslie's shoes as driver of Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team, got his first taste of flying an F50 during racing on Sydney Harbour today as the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix got under way. Posted on 24 Feb
Giles Scott 'disappointed' with Abu Dhabi result
But looking forward to Sydney SailGP The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team has finished the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in eighth place. Posted on 14 Jan
Light wind leads to tough day for Emirates GBR
On day 1 of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix New Driver Giles Scott said It was "a tough day" for the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team as light wind and a super tight course made for tricky conditions on Race Day 1 at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council. Posted on 13 Jan
Giles Scott takes the wheel of Emirates GBR F50
Great first impression in practice ahead of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix Giles Scott has taken the wheel of the Emirates GBR F50 ahead of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council. Posted on 12 Jan
Emirates GBR hosts all-female training session
Women's Pathway Programme in Abu Dhabi Emirates GBR has hosted a Women's Pathway Programme training session on its F50, involving female athletes from all 10 SailGP Teams. Posted on 11 Jan