Ben Ainslie dramatically stepping down as Emirates GBR driver to be replaced by Giles Scott has been examined in the latest episode of SailGP’s behind-the-scenes docuseries Racing on the Edge.
Ainslie, who is replaced by Scott with immediate effect, reflects on his tenure as Emirates GBR driver and the team’s summer triumphs in Saint-Tropez and Taranto, which followed a win hiatus of more than two years. The fifth episode of the season goes behind-the-scenes of Ainslie’s last appearance as driver in Dubai and explores his long-held ambition to win the league.
von Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor
“I wanted to leave the league on a high, if we could have won that Final [in San Francisco] then I think I would have stepped away at that moment,” he says “That’s life, it doesn’t always go to plan. The most important thing is where the team goes from here and I’d like to think that the team is in a fantastic place on and off the water to be one of the real success stories of SailGP for many years to come.”
Elsewhere, Racing on the Edge focuses on the collapse of New Zealand’s 29m wing after the first day of racing in Saint-Tropez, which resulted in the Kiwis sitting out the rest of the event to watch from the sidelines.
In Dubai however, a light wind forecast saw SailGP boss Russell Coutts offer teams the opportunity to race with the 29m wing again. Exclusive access shows the decision making as the teams grapple with the decision to reintroduce the wing.
Speaking about the incident, Kiwi wing trimmer Blair Tuke says: “When you have a structural failure of components, I guess the consequences can be the absolute worst.”
But Dubai’s three-boat Final, now lauded as one of the most exciting in SailGP’s history, saw a photo finish between New Zealand, Australia and Canada, ultimately handing the Kiwis the victory by a whisker with the 29m wing in tow.
With unmatched access into the league, Racing on the Edge features behind-the scenes-insight and up-close interviews with the Championship’s biggest personalities, including Australia driver Tom Slingsby, Canada’s Phil Robertson and New Zealand’s dynamic duo Pete Burling and Blair Tuke.
Every episode of Racing on the Edge is available on SailGP’s YouTube channel.