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Tom Slingsby to lead Australia SailGP Team

Australian Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Tom Slingsby has been announced as skipper of the Australia SailGP Team crew.

Slingsby won gold in the Laser class at the London 2012 Olympic Games and played a key role in Oracle Team USA’s 2013 turnaround victory in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.

Slingsby’s all-Aussie SailGP line-up includes three other members of Oracle Team USA’s victorious squad, with Kyle Langford in the wing trimmer role, Sam Newton as grinder and Kinley Fowler as a reserve/alternate sailor.

Australian Nacra 17 Olympic bronze and silver medallist Jason Waterhouse fills the flight controller role, with Olympic swimmer and four-time Iron Man Australia champion Ky Hurst rounding the crew out as a grinder.

Slingsby’s crew will be the home town heroes at the inaugural SailGP season next February when the series kicks off with a regatta in Sydney, Australia – a prospect that Slingsby said he particularly relishes.

“The opportunity to represent my country again is an extraordinary honour,” he said. “And the chance to start this campaign on home waters – the best harbour in the world – is something that will make it even more special.

“We’ve assembled not only what I believe is the top of Australian sailing talent, but a team that is 100 percent focused on making our country, our fans and our sponsors proud to be on the journey with us.

“I’ve seen how national team success can unite and inspire not only sailors but the broader public, and we now have a chance to deliver that.”

After Oracle team USA failed to defend the America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2016 Slingsby tried to drum up support for an Australian America’s Cup challenge but could not get sufficient funding.

The Australian crew is the third SailGP team to be announced in recent weeks, joining the British and US syndicates skippered by Dylan Fletcher and Rome Kirby respectively. Further announcements of the Chinese, French and Japanese teams are expected soon.

The SailGP event in Sydney will take place in Sydney Harbour, east of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House with spectator viewing areas on Shark Island and the event hub based at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in the city’s north shore.

Click here for more information about the SailGP league in our exclusive guide.

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