21 November 2017
Home-grown America’s Cup winner Glenn Ashby, Emirates Team New Zealand, will join forces with countrymen and fellow AC35 stars Outteridge and Jensen, who spearheaded Artemis Racing in Bermuda, as the Australian front runner in the inaugural SuperFoiler Grand Prix (SFGP).
The America’s Cup champion was instantly captivated by the pioneering craft. “The SuperFoiler looks to the future of our sport as one of the most innovative and exciting sail racing machines in the world today. Six of these boats hurtling around on a 2km course will make for some thrilling sailing and spectating.”
“Having sailed the high-performance foiling catamarans at the heart of ETNZ’s victory in the America’s Cup, I am very happy to put the trapeze harness back on again after three years and sail with, not against, two of my very good mates!” says the recently crowned Australian Sailor of the Year.
For World champion and Olympic gold medallist Iain Jensen the SuperFoiler circuit presents a unique opportunity. “I am keen to support a project that puts Australia back on the world map. Leading the way and pushing the limits.”
The chance to learn off his America’s Cup nemesis Glenn Ashby, adds another intriguing side plot for Jensen. “Last time I sailed against him it didn’t go so well for me. It will be great to have Glenn on my team,” adds the 29-year old, “Hopefully the old boy can teach me a thing or two.”
That’s a sentiment echoed by his new team-mate Nathan Outteridge, “Audiences can expect a high speed, high adrenalin racing experience: some of the world’s best foiling sailors going hell-for-leather on tight courses, on very fast machines.”
The salivating six machine line-up, which already boasts Olympic medallists, world champions and America’s Cup winners at the helm, underlines the momentum building for the nationwide competition. With fellow Olympian Olivia Price unveiled as the first female skipper, there is no shortage of anticipation ahead of the announcement of her team, or the remaining four trios.
SFGP CEO Bill Macartney believes it is the best Australian sailing line up ever assembled to race on home waters, and that more world class sailors are close to signing on.
“These machines reinvent sailing, and will bring a new audience to the sport,” says Macartney, “Given the breakneck speeds they reach we need the world’s best sailors to control these beasts and there are none better on the world stage right now than these three supremely talented athletes.”
It is expected the cutting edge machines and the boosted profile of the Australian trio will also help capture the hearts and minds of a new audience. “I think there is a genuine analogy between the SuperFoiler Grand Prix and Twenty20 cricket. I hope to see lots of kids and adults connect with what this series has to offer,” says Ashby.