Ainslie en­lists for Brits

The Western Star - - Sports - Adrian War­ren

SAIL­ING: In­au­gu­ral SailGP cham­pi­ons Aus­tralia will have to con­tend with the most suc­cess­ful sailor in Olympic his­tory, with Bri­tish su­per­star Ben Ainslie sign­ing up for the 2020 se­ries.

The win­ner of four gold medals across five Olympics, Ainslie will beef up the Bri­tish chal­lenge af­ter the team’s fourth-place fin­ish out of six teams this year.

Aus­tralian skip­per Tom Slingsby (pic­tured), him­self an Olympic cham­pion, has sailed both with and against Ainslie. They were mem­bers of the vic­to­ri­ous Or­a­cle Team USA at the 2013 Amer­ica’s Cup. “He’s an un­be­liev­able com­peti­tor ... I think it’s his de­ter­mi­na­tion and hunger to win is what re­ally sets him aside,” Slingsby said.

“Off the wa­ter he’s an ab­so­lute gen­tle­man ... ex­tremely nice. But on the wa­ter he’s an ab­so­lute pit bull and he’s not po­lite at all ... he’s not there to make friends.”

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