Team Principal & SkipperGBRBen AinslieTeam Principal & Skipper
Sir Ben Ainslie is the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, he has competed and medalled at five Olympic games. At his first ever Olympic Games, aged 19, he won an Olympic silver medal and went on to establish himself as the world’s best by winning consecutive gold medals at the next four Olympic Games. Fresh from his London 2012 success, Ben turned his focus to the next challenge, competing with Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) on the 2012/13 America’s Cup World Series. In the summer of 2013, he went on to join ORACLE TEAM USA on-board for their defence of the 34th Cup, helping the American team win the event, 9-8, against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Ben was an instrumental part in one of the greatest comebacks sport has ever seen, becoming the first Briton, for 110 years, to be part of a winning Cup team.
Ben is now the Team Principal and Skipper of Britain’s America’s Cup team. The team won the 2015/16 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, racing in identical 45-foot foiling catamarans and in 2017 he led his first British Challenger to compete in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda.
Ben will to lead INEOS Team GB’s challenge to compete and win the 36th America’s Cup.
2015/16: Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series winner
2013: Winner 34th America’s Cup with OTUSA (San Francisco, USA)
2013: Broke the ‘Round the Island Race Multihull record’ with J.P. Morgan BAR in the AC45
London 2012 Olympic Games: Gold Medal
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: Gold Medal
2007: Winner – Louis Vuitton Cup, Valencia – Spain with Team NZ
Athens 2004 Olympic Games: Gold Medal
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games: Gold Medal
Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games: Silver Medal
11 times World Champion
Nine times European Champion
Four times World Sailor of the Year
Grant Simmer is CEO of Britain’s America’s Cup team. He has competed in 10 America's Cup cycles, winning sport's oldest international trophy four times. His first Cup experience was as a young navigator aboard Australia II's, during their historic victory in 1983, breaking America's 132-year stronghold on the Cup. It was the first time in the competition's history that the trophy had left American shores. The Australian born sailor/designer has gone on to win the America's Cup three further times as head of design, managing director and general manager with Swiss team Alinghi and more recently with ORACLE TEAM USA.
2013: Winner 34th America’s Cup with OTUSA (San Francisco, USA)
2013: Inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame
2003 & 2007: Winner America’s Cup with Alinghi (Auckland, New Zeland & Valencia, Spain)
1983: Winner America’s Cup Australia II (Newport, USA)
Chief DesignerNZLNick HolroydChief Designer
Nick is Chief Designer of the British Challenge. Originally a University of Auckland graduate in Mechanical Engineering, Holroyd began to specialise in sailboat racing with an MSc in Maritime CFD and Applied Mechanics at the University of Southampton. He followed that with an 18-year stint at Team New Zealand, beginning in 1997 as a foil designer and naval architect for the team that won the 30th America's Cup in Auckland in 2000. Before joining the British entry, Nick was formerly the Technical Director at Softbank Team Japan for the 35th America's Cup.
Sailing Team ManagerNZLJono MacbethSailing Team Manager
A three-times America’s Cup winner, New Zealand’s Jonathan ‘Jono’ Macbeth is the most successful and experienced America’s Cup (AC) sailor in the team. Jono’s Cup career started when he joined ‘Team New Zealand’ in 1997 ahead of their successful defense of the 31st America’s Cup in 2000. He moved across to BMW ORACLE Racing to campaign for the 33rd Cup in 2010 and claimed his second AC win in Valencia, Spain.
Jono shared AC success alongside Ben Ainslie and Grant Simmer, racing as a grinder on-board winning 34th America’s Cup team, ORACLE TEAM USA. His relationship with Ben dates back to 2007, when they joined forces on-board Team New Zealand to win the Louis Vuitton Cup in Spain. Jono takes on the position of Sailing Team Manager.
2015/16: Winner Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (Team Manager)
2013: Defender and Winner – 34th America’s Cup, with ORACLE TEAM USA
2010: Winner – 33rd America’s Cup, with BMW ORACLE Racing
2007: Challenger and runner up – 32nd America’s Cup, with Team New Zealand
2007: Winner – Louis Vuitton Cup, with Team New Zealand
2003: Defender and runner up – 32nd America’s Cup, with Team New Zealand
2000: Defender and winner – 31st America’s Cup, with Team New Zealand
CMO / CCOGBRJo GrindleyCMO / CCO
Jo is the CMO/CCO for Britain's America's Cup team. Jo has worked alongside Sir Ben Ainslie for 17 years securing all his commercial funding through three Olympic campaigns and in 2011 the pair set the strategy of setting up a British America’s Cup team, to challenge for and win the trophy for Britain.
A mother of two teenage daughters who lives in Gurnard on the Isle of Wight, keen recreational cyclist and runner. In 2018 Jo ran the London Marathon for Heads Together, having previously cycled from London to Paris and rowed the English Channel for charity.
Jo started her working life at Lloyds Bank International, but her love of sailing eventually pulled her from the City to compete on the International Match Racing Circuit for four years with double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson. The team were ranked number one in the world for over 12 months.
Whilst competing on the sailing circuit, Jo freelanced as a sailing writer and TV news producer. These tools along with her marketing background proved invaluable when she started the sports marketing agency, Into the Blue in 2005.
Manufacturing ManagerFRAMichel MarieManufacturing Manager
Michel Marie was born in France and is married to a New Zealander. He graduated from the University of Caen in Physics and Measurements and studied Construction Technologies at the University of Nantes. He twice raced the Mini-Transat on boats he designed and built himself. He subsequently competed in the Whitbread Round the World Race as a bowman aboard Rucanor Sport before moving into boat-building, initially with Marten Marine in New Zealand. His first involvement with the America’s Cup was with the construction and shore team of Le Défi Français in 1992. He has since competed in five Cups, most recently holding senior management positions with Alinghi (2000 – 2007) and BMW Oracle Racing (2007 – 2010) for three America’s Cup victories. He has also worked on the construction and project management for yachts as diverse as Mari Cha III (carbon fibre cruiser), RAN 5 (72’ Mini Maxi), Merit Cup (Whitbread 60) and Merit / La Poste (Maxi IOR Whitbread)
Head of OperationsGBRJames StaggHead of Operations
James began his marine career with a brief period as a trainee sailmaker at North Sails, but quickly moved onto the regatta circuit, sailing as a bowman, and working on boat build, refit and maintenance projects. He spent many successful years on the World Match Racing Tour, as well as competing in the Admiral’s Cup, Med Cup and many other top flight events. James raced in the 2003 America’s Cup with GBR Challenge. He slowly moved into project management and has brought to life a succession of high profile and successful racing boats.
Head of FinanceGBRMatt RobinsonHead of Finance
Matt joins the team as Head of Finance. He comes from a background of Engineering & Construction and Project Finance, helping Finance teams to understand and interact with everyone in the organisation to provide a first-class finance service. He has graduated from Manchester University with a degree in International Management with French. In his spare time, Matt enjoys training for triathlons and doing charity work.
Tactician & Design liaisonGBRGiles ScottTactician & Design liaison
Giles was born in 1987 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire UK and studied Geography at Southampton University.
Giles had a successful youth sailing career before going on to win the RYA Youth Championships and Trials in 2005 in the Laser Standard, followed by a gold medal at the ISAF World Youth Championships. In 2006, Giles started sailing the Finn Olympic single-handed dinghy, he instantly took to the boat and in his first year finished 14th at the World Championships. Giles progressed up the ranks, winning the 2011 Finn European and World Championships, and pushing Ben Ainslie all the way in selection trials for the Team GBR spot at the London 2012 Olympics.
He then moved into the America’s Cup circuit first on board with Team Korea which led to joining the Italian Challenger, Prada Luna Rossa for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.
Back in the Finn, during the 2014 season Giles was head and shoulders above the rest of fleet, picking up seven consecutive regatta victories. He looked untouchable in his build-up to the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds, and delivered with an exemplary performance to comfortably win his second Finn world title. Giles went on to achieve his Olympic dream by dominating the Finn Class at 2016 Rio Olympics and bringing gold back to Britain.
Straight after the 2016 games, Giles returned to America’s Cup racing re-joining Ben Ainslie’s British Challenger to compete in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. He is now campaigning for his third America’s Cup, helping the British entry prepare for the 36th America's Cup in 2021 and continuing the journey to bring the Cup home.
2017: Semi-finalist 35th America’s Cup, Bermuda
2016: Olympic Gold, Rio 2016
2015/16: Winner Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series
2014: ISAF Sailing Finn World Champion
2014: Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014 (Rio 2016 Test Event), gold medal
2014: Finn European Champion
Over 15 gold medal wins at European and International regattas since 2008
2013: Runner up – Louis Vuitton Cup, Prada Luna Rossa Challenge, AC72
2012/13: Winner – ACWS Prada Luna Rossa Challenge, AC45
2012: ACWS San Francisco – Team Korea
2011 ISAF Sailing Finn World Champion
Bronze medal at World and European Laser Radial Youth Championships
2005: Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships