Great Britain SailGP Team helmsman Ben Ainslie stepped onto the high-tech simulated replica of the SailGP F50 for the first time.
Although Ainslie has plenty of history with wingsailed 50-foot catamarans, the F50 has changed drastically compared to the previous class he sailed.
At the time of simulator training, a revolutionary new modular wingsail – adaptable to varying lengths, 18m, 24m and 29m – is undergoing tests in New Zealand – ready to be rolled out across the now seven-strong fleet throughout Season 2.
Predicting the effect of the new wingsail, Ainslie said: “Everyone is excited about the new modular wing. Of course, from a racing perspective, to be able to sail in a wider range of conditions is of real benefit to both the league and for us as race teams.”
With the Great Britain SailGP Team presented by INEOS taking on a new look for Season 2, opening in Sydney in February, it will be the first time Ainslie and the full team get to sail the F50 on the water.
The full Great Britain SailGP Team presented by INEOS will be announced in the new year.
The British team are not the only ‘new kids on the block’ as a seventh SailGP team has just been announced as joining the championship for Season 2 – Denmark – managed by Ainslie’s old rival in the Finn class Jonas Høgh-Christensen.
Spain will also be joining the league in Season 2, replacing China, with further details to be announced in late January.
SailGP Season 2 kicks off in Sydney on the 28 and 29 February 2020.