SailGP fans have revealed who they would most like to replace Australia driver Tom Slingsby at the upcoming Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix.
Members of SailGP’s fan loyalty program The Dock overwhelmingly backed Australia strategist Nina Curtis as their first choice to replace Slingsby. Slingsby, who’s raced with the team since the beginning of SailGP, will miss the event to be with his pregnant wife.
Gary Grant said Curtis, who recently rejoined the circuit following the birth of her daughter, had ‘earned her shot at the helm’ after racing with the team since Season 2.
Dock members were overwhelmingly supportive of a female athlete taking the wheel for the first time, with John Werner adding that there is ‘no better time than the present to make some history’. Fellow Australia strategist Tash Bryant, who has previously voiced her ambition to become a driver, also picked up plenty of votes.
However, a number of other athletes also had the backing of Dock members, including former Japan driver Nathan Outteridge, who is currently acting as sailing advisor to the Swiss team. Stephen Moore said Outteridge was the ‘obvious choice’ to step in for Slingsby. “He’s got the skills and he would definitely shine for the Aussies,” he added.
But many Dock members called for SailGP CEO Russell Coutts to return to the racetrack and take control of the green and gold F50 in Dubai - with Avril Balmer calling for him to ‘get back in the game’.
The replacement driver for Australia will be revealed ahead of the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas, which takes place on December 9-10.
To have your voice heard on SailGP, sign up to The Dock HERE.