As the INEOS Rebels UK season draws to a close following the final Extreme Sailing Series event in Mexico, a new and exciting chapter for the INEOS Rebels has begun.
In the four years since Ben Ainslie and the British team started a pathway programme into professional sailing and the America’s Cup for young British sailors, over 100 aspiring people have trialled, trained and competed as Academy and Rebel sailors. They have learnt and developed skills that will help set them on the course to a career into professional sailing, the America's Cup and the wider marine industry.
There have been many highlights, including; victory in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, 21-year-old Neil Hunter transitioning into the senior team for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda, then moving to a fully-fledged senior team member of INEOS Team UK and Annabel Vose being a pivotal member of the Youth America’s Cup team and raising the trophy.
For next two years, the team will focus on upskilling a smaller group of Rebels who will in turn become full-time sailing interns at INEOS Team UK from January 2019, with the aim to have them competing for Britain in the 36thAmerica’s Cup in New Zealand 2021.
The first two sailors to be announced are Oli Greber (23), who has been part of the Rebels programme since 2016, sailing for two seasons in the Extreme Sailing Series on the team's GC32 as well as completing a six-month shore team internship. Alongside Oli will be Finn sailor Ben Cornish (27), who is new to the world of America’s Cup.
Both will be fully immersed in the sailing team with a structured programme to provide a wide skill base to launch their America’s Cup careers. The sailors will receive support and mentoring from a wealth of talent including Ainslie and Sailing Team Manager, Jono Macbeth, a three times America’s Cup winner.
INEOS TEAM UK Team Principal and Skipper, Ben Ainslie is excited about working with both young talented sailors: “With no Youth America’s Cup planned for the 36thAmerica’s Cup the INEOS TEAM UK are still committed to providing opportunities into the America’s Cup for talented young British sailors. Both Oli and Ben have worked incredibly hard to get here and we look forward to having them as part of our team. I would like to thank everyone involved, in particular Rob Andrews and Andrew Walsh for managing and coaching such a superb programme ”
Oli Greber can’t wait to join the team, “I’m chuffed to bits to secure an INEOS Rebels place, I have massively progressed and learnt so much over the last 3 years and to achieve the goal of a place on the senior team is amazing, I have dreamt about being an America’s Cup sailor since being a young sailor. However, the hard work has just started. I need to work really hard to fulfil my position within the team.”