When SailGP was formed, Tom Slingsby was the obvious choice as helmsman and CEO of the Australian team given his decorated individual career and success in team competitions, including the 2013 America’s Cup. Over five events in Season 1, Slingsby and the Australian SailGP Team battled back-and-forth with the Japanese crew which culminated in the final match race in Marseille. With the inaugural title and US$1 million up for grabs, Slingsby rose to the occasion and led his crew to the championship on the Rade de Nord. In another record-breaking performance in Season 1, Australia became the first team to break the 50 knot barrier during a race on a windy day in Cowes, UK in the European debut of the global championship.
Slingsby and his entire crew return for Season 2 in an effort to repeat as champions and prove that Australia is the best sailing nation in the world.
Although his father was a sailor and he had been around boats during his earliest years, Slingsby admits he wasn’t a strong junior sailor and instead focused his energy on tennis, which saw him evolve into a budding prospect. However, when the Olympics came to Sydney in 2000, he became “obsessed” with the sport when he saw the scenes taking place on the harbour and decided then and there to begin dedicating his training towards a career on the water.
Slingsby is one of the most successful sailors in the world, having won an Olympic gold medal, nine world championships, the America’s Cup and setting numerous world records in addition to being crowned 2010 World Sailor of the Year.
He dominated the Laser class between 2006 and 2012, claiming six world titles during that period with his final championship coinciding with his Olympic gold medal in the event at the London Games. For his achievements in 2012, he was named the Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year and received the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Shortly after the 2012 Olympics, he joined ORACLE TEAM USA as a strategist, helping mount one of the greatest comebacks in the sport’s history when the team won the America’s Cup in 2013. He went on to win the 2016 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race before returning to the American team as tactician and team manager for the 35th America’s Cup.
In December 2019, he earned his first world title in the Moth class after dominating the competition and winning all but one race.
When Slingsby is not competing, he can be found training the discipline of Brazilian Jiujitsu in which he recently earned his blue belt. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as his beloved English bulldog, Nala, who regularly stars on his social media channels.