Ben Ainslie has fired warning shots at Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team ahead of the T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago at Navy Pier, describing the team’s confidence as a ‘huge motivator’.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the racing this weekend, Ainslie said the British team were ‘quite happy’ with their result in Bermuda but said Australia’s confidence presented a ‘good target’ to the rest of the fleet.
The two days of racing will be live in the UK on the SailGp YouTube channel – And here on Sailweb.
The only British squad change sees Hannah Diamond return for her fourth event replacing Nikki Boniface as part of the Women’s Pathway Program rotation.
Driver Ben Ainslie is again on the wheel, Olympic gold Medallist Iain Jensen on Wing Trim, fellow Aussie Luke Parkinson on flight controls, and British trio Nick Hutton, Neil Hunter and Matt Gotrel on the grinding handles.
Ainslie and the British SailGP finished second in Bermuda behind Slingsby’s Aussie team.
Slingsby meanwhile emphasised the Australian team’s collective confidence going into racing this weekend.
Slingsby added that Australia’s run of luck had made him ‘superstitious’.
“We know it’s not going to last forever and we know we’re going to get beaten”.
“There’s always gains out there and people pushing hard to find those gains”.
He added that Australia is ‘watching’ Ainslie’s Great Britain and Phil Robertson’s Canada as key competitors, as well as Jimmy Spithill’s U.S. SailGP Team, who will be looking to impress at their home event.
“We’ve got to keep an eye on everyone but we try to focus on ourselves because we know if we’re sailing well, we’re hard to beat”.