Emirates Great Britain is ‘working very hard’ on bringing a SailGP event back to the UK, according to driver Ben Ainslie.
Speaking at a pre-event press conference in Saint-Tropez, Ainslie reflected on SailGP’s Season 4 broadcast deal with ITV, which recently saw an immersive 3D advertising campaign take over London’s iconic Piccadilly Circus.
“It’s really cool to see Piccadilly Circus blown up with the Emirates GBR boat and Hannah [Mills] and Matt [Gotrel] there in their wet suits and getting plenty of attention,” he said.
He added that ‘with ITV coming on board’, the Emirates GBR team is ‘working very hard’ on bringing SailGP back to the UK. “There’s a lot of growth for SailGP in our home turf and waters,” he added.
The UK previously has previously hosted three SailGP events - once on the Isle of Wight and twice in Plymouth. But no visit to Emirates GBR’s home nation is scheduled for Season 4.
Also speaking at the press conference, Switzerland driver Sebastien Schneiter and Germany driver Erik Heil said they were both working hard to secure home events in the coming seasons. Heil said hosting a home event ‘would be epic’, but admitted the team is still ‘figuring out where to go’.
Ainslie on ‘brutal’ French crew changes
Ainslie also reacted to France’s Quentin Delapierre poaching Switzerland flight controller Jason Saunders after LA, calling the move ‘brutal’ but admitting “I think we’re seeing more and more of that.”
“Teams have got to keep pushing forwards - we can see the standard getting higher and higher,” he said.
He pointed to his own team, admitting that Emirates GBR’s Season 4 start ‘wasn’t what we wanted’.
“We’ve got a fantastic team with a lot of talent, but we’re not maximizing that talent to the sum of our parts that they should be,” he said. “Needless to say, we’re working on it.”