Great Britain driver and CEO Ben Ainslie has described the decision to become the majority owner of the SailGP team as a ‘no brainer’.

Speaking to EuroNews’ video series The Dialogue, Ainslie said the league’s continuing commercial success backed up his 2021 decision to transform the Great Britain SailGP Team into a third party owned franchise with himself at the helm.

“We’re seeing that now in the valuations of the teams coming through, the growth of TV, the online viewership, the league itself,” Ainslie said.

He pointed to a slew of ‘fantastic brands and businesses’ joining forces and ‘seeing the potential’ of SailGP. “In 10 years’ time, we expect to see a lot of growth and a lot of success,” he added.

Most recently, the Great Britain team announced partnerships with global renewable energy company Low Carbon and KASK.

Season 3 // Great Britain Grand Prix // Ben Ainslie close up on race day one

Elsewhere, Ainslie described juggling his team’s on-water performance and commercial success as ‘a very fine balance.’

“When we’re on the water, we’re really going for it - you have to be at this level - but then we’re shore managing the team and dealing with the business aspects of the team,” he said. “Business can be competitive as we all know, but it’s also about building relationships, partnerships, collaboration.”

Season 3 // Dubai Sail Grand Prix // Great Britain F50 against skyline

Reflecting on his role leading the team as driver, Ainslie said it was key ‘to really trust in the team around you’.

“It’s not when things are going well and you’re winning races and events - it’s when you’re in the really tough times when you’ve had an incident, something’s gone wrong or you’ve had a bad event or result (…) - that’s when, as a leader, you’ve really got to keep the faith within the team…”

Season 3 // Great Britain SailGP Team // WPP Anniversary Hannah Diamond

Elsewhere, Ainslie said the team’s ‘number one goal’ was to win the SailGP league. With just three events left of Season 3, Great Britain sits in third on the overall leaderboard behind New Zealand and Australia, and a slim one-point lead ahead of France in fourth.

“We’d love to win that and get the message ‘protect our future’ out there to more young people around the world where we’re competing…” he added.