Giles Scott is adamant his past rivalry with Sir Ben Ainslie will become a huge benefit after he joined the four-time Olympic champion’s British 2017 America’s Cup team.
Scott and Ainslie were involved in a fierce battle to sail the sole British Finn boat at the London 2012 Olympics, a fight that was ultimately won by the latter.
Ainslie went on to win an historic fourth Olympic title, and fifth Games medal in total, in Weymouth before moving on from the Finn and concentrating on the America’s Cup.
As a replacement tactician, he was influential in Oracle Team USA’s remarkable comeback to win the America’s Cup in September last year before turning his attentions to his own campaign with Ben Ainslie Racing.
Scott, a two-time world champion in the Finn, is no stranger to the America’s cup having started sailing with Team Korea and being part of Luna Rossa during their 2013 campaign.
And, having gotten to know all aspects of each other on and off the water as their rivalry reached a climax on the road to London 2012, Giles is confident of success.
“It’s very useful to have been through that, because if two people were ever going to fall out over something, it would be over an Olympic selection – you are battling each other for your dream,” said Scott.
“Going forward from that, I have a knowledge of him and how he performs – what he likes, what he doesn’t like – you just know each other, so I think it can only be a positive thing. The one good thing that came out of it was that it opened up the America’s Cup doorway.”
Scott’s second Finn Gold Cup victory this September has put him in pole position ahead of a long-awaited Olympic debut on the waters of Rio in 2016.
He becomes the eighth sailor to join the British America’s Cup team and Ainslie is in no doubt that his once fierce rival will be a key member.
“All the guys you speak to at Luna Rossa only have good things to say about Giles and how he fitted in with the team,” said Ainslie.
“And that’s one of the reasons why we wanted him to be part of this team. There are a handful of sailors of his generation in the world that stand out as really a cut above the rest, and Giles is clearly one of those.
“We have been very selective about the people that we have brought in; we know that they will gel with the team. And with Giles, it was a ‘no-brainer’. A good team player and a winner. We are very excited about him being with us.”
© Sportsbeat 2014