Preview | GC32 Racing Tour, Villasimius

Ben Ainslie returns to the helm

Four weeks on from their winning performance at Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma, INEOS TEAM UK have arrived in Villasimius for the penultimate event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2018.

Villasimius is the penultimate event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2018.
© Jesus Renado


Last time out in Palma skipper Sir Ben Ainslie handed over the helm to Leigh McMillan but will be back steering again in Italy this week.

Team Principal and Skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie; “The first event in Lagos (Portugal) was a big learning curve and it was good to podium. Next up Leigh (McMillan) and the guys did a great job in Palma and we now have to take the learnings from the first two events and keep working hard to improve our performance levels.”

Iain Jensen and Ben Ainslie return to GC32 Racing Tour in Sardinia
© Harry KH


Ainslie is not the only squad member to return with Australian Olympic gold and silver medallist, Iain Jensen coming back in as a mainsail trimmer. The rest of the squad remains the same with two-times America’s Cup winner Joey Newton (AUS/GBR) as jib trimmer, 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champion, Neil Hunter (GBR) on the bow and former America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailor Luke Parkinson (AUS) completing the line-up in the float position.

INEOS TEAM UK take flight
© Jesus Renedo
Jesus Renedo


This will be his first time any of the squad has raced in Villasimius and only the second time the port, that locals describe as the ‘Polynesia of the Mediterranean’, has hosted a major international yacht race.

Ainslie continued; “It’s always exciting to head to a new venue, we have all raced out of Porto Cervo and Cagliari before but Villasimius will be a new experience. We have heard good things with a big range of conditions expected and most importantly fast foiling racing, we are looking forward to getting out there!”.

The GC32 Racing Tour, Villasimius is the fourth event of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour with eight teams from seven nations competing over four days of racing. Racing starts on Thursday 13th September at 1300 local time with five races scheduled each day.

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INEOS TEAM UK GC32 Race Squad:
Ben Ainslie, Helm
Iain Jensen, Mainsail
Joey Newton, Jib Trim
Neil Hunter, Bow
Luke Parkinson, Float

Support team:
Jono Macbeth, Sailing Team Manager
Rob Wilson, Coach
Matty Adams, Senior Shore Support
Aston Campion, Shore Support
Ben Williams, Head of Human Performance
Oli Greber, INEOS Rebels

2018 GC32 Racing Tour:
GC32 World Championships 23-27 May - Lake Garda, Italy (INEOS TEAM UK DID NOT COMPETE)
GC32 Lagos Cup, 27 June – 1 July - Lagos, Portugal
GC32 37th Copa Del Rey MAPFRE, 31 July – 4 August - Palma de Mallorca, Spain
GC32 Villasimius Cup, 12 – 16 September - Villasímius, Sardinia, Italy
GC32 TPM Med Cup, 10 –14 October - Toulon, France