Archive for » December 10th, 2014«

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Slingsby a man for all boat sizes

From a tiny Moth to a massive super maxi and finally a 40-foot catamaran, Olympic gold medallist Tom Slingsby is covering all ranges of the sailing spectrum in under a week.

Last weekend, the 2012 Olympic Laser champion was sailing a Moth as he prepared for the world championship in that class in Sorrento, Victoria next month.

On Wednesday, he had his only practice 24 hours ahead of his debut in the four-day Extreme Sailing Series on Sydney Harbour.

It was just a day after taking part in the Big Boat Challenge aboard super maxi Perpetual LOYAL, whose crew he will be part of for the coming Sydney to Hobart.

“I enjoy the challenge of trying to adapt to boats and taking not too long to jump in and get the boat up to speed,” said Slingsby, who will be aboard Oman Air in the Extreme event.

“This week, I’ve sailed a 10-foot Moth, on Tuesday I was steering a 100-foot super maxi and Wednesday I’ve the Extreme 40 catamaran.

“I’ve never sailed an Extreme 40. I get one day of practice and then straight into it.

“I’m going to see how quickly I can learn, it’s going to be a pretty big test.

“I’ve had a few offers in the past, but they haven’t really tied in too well. When the opportunity came up to do the Extreme Sailing Series here on Sydney Harbour, I had to jump at it.”

Around May next year, Slingsby will relocate to Bermuda, as part of Team Oracle USA crew that will defend the America’s Cup in 2017.

“Now it’s been announced that it’s in Bermuda we’re going to relocate there as soon as we can and get cracking,” Slingsby said.

The announcement of the venue last week has already affected this week’s Extreme event, with Team New Zealand opting out so they can focus on their America’s Cup campaign.

However, many other top sailors will still contest the eighth and final leg of the Extreme Series, which will feature 20-plus short races around Sydney Harbour.

Another Australian Olympic gold medallist, 2008 470 champion Nathan Wilmot, is skipper of GAC Pindar, the Team Australia boat, which is bottom of the 10-boat points table headed by Switzerland’s Alinghi.

British sailing superstar Sir Ben Ainslie and French yachting legend Franck Cammas are among the star-studded cast.

Also competing are Austria’s dual Olympic Tornado champions, Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, who have brought their gold medals from 2000 back to the city where they were won.

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