Straight off the back of her recent success in the Women’s 470 class in Tokyo, Hannah Mills, now the world’s most successful female Olympic sailor (two gold and one silver medal), is joining Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain SailGP Team for the upcoming European SailGP events in Saint-Tropez, France and Cadiz, Spain.
After previously trialling with the British team in the Season 2 opener in Bermuda, Mills will be training as an understudy driver with Ben Ainslie for the upcoming two SailGP events.
Speaking about re-joining the Great Britain SailGP Team Hannah Mills said: “I am incredibly excited to be joining the team again. I have been watching all the events, cheering them on, so I am really buzzing to get stuck in. My priority here will be to start learning more detail about the different roles, more on the wing trimming from Goobs [Iain Jensen], the flight control from Parko [Luke Parkinson] and obviously helming from Ben. I will be asking lots of questions from the team, the more I can learn, the more I can talk to other female athletes coming through and inspire them to take up these opportunities.”
Off the water, meanwhile, following a winning performance in Denmark, the Great Britain SailGP Team are second overall in SailGP’s Impact League, a second leaderboard which tracks the positive actions the teams make to reduce their overall carbon footprint and help accelerate inclusivity in sailing. The team will aim to continue to make a positive impact whilst in Saint-Tropez, including through live virtual STEM education lessons with the team’s Race For The Future partner, STEM Crew.
“The commitment SailGP has shown is awesome”, Mills added. “I have long been passionate about sustainability, and SailGP’s Purpose commitment, both in terms of their sustainability goals as well as its gender equity initiative, is so important, beyond anything on the water. With regards to female sailors on these foiling F50s, it is the opportunity and the experience gap that needs to be bridged and hopefully through programmes like this we can start to do that. It is brilliant to see the sport now creating a platform and teams like the Great Britain SailGP Team taking this on with a structured pathway for women’s sailing into high performance team racing.”
Mills re-joins the team in a strong position, with the crew currently in second place in the overall Championship standings, two points behind Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team. The British team will be looking to build on a strong third-place finish in Aarhus, Denmark, to retake the lead at the top of the Championship table. Mills is not the only member of the squad arriving in France on a high. Wing Trimmer Iain Jensen last week finished runner-up in the highly competitive Moth World Championships in Lake Garda.
Speaking ahead of the fifth event of season two in Saint-Tropez, Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and Driver Ben Ainslie said: “The season is really heating up with the level of competition up there with anything we have ever seen in the sport. It was great to get back into the final podium race in Aarhus, things obviously did not quite go our way but that has given us extra determination to push our performance even harder in Saint-Tropez.
“We are also hugely excited to welcome Hannah Mills back, re-joining the team after being with us in Bermuda before creating history in Tokyo and winning another Olympic gold. Hannah brings a huge amount of talent to the team and the same core values. We look forward to her joining the team in France.”
The France Sail Grand Prix is live on Sky Sports from 12:30PM BST on Saturday September 11 and Sunday September 12 and is also free to view on SailGP’s YouTube channel. For full viewing details visit SailGP.com/watch.