Gladiator strengthens 2014 team with Americas Cup winners

Light airs dominate inaugural event in Capri

Gladiator was one of nine boats from eight different countries that lined up for the inaugural event of the 2014 Barclays 52 Super Series, competing for the first time off the beautiful island of Capri in the bay of Naples, Italy. The fleet joined an International Maxi Association fleet, also of nine boats, to compete in the Rolex Capri Regatta, now in its 30th year.

On board the Gladiator for 2014, Tom Slingsby and Joe Spooner join the team as tactician and grinder respectively, following their successful defense of the 34th Americas Cup on board Larry Ellison’s Oracle in San Francisco last year.

Slingsby: “…the racing is excellent, you have the best tacticians from around the world and some of the best crews. So it is great coming to this from different types of sailing… are racing against the best skippers and tacticians in the world. That is why I come and do this stuff. I am full time with Oracle and we have plenty going on, but I do this because I am always learning….you are always learning and you can never ever be good enough."

Tom Slingsby – divides his time between the Gladiator programme and Team Oracle

The 52 fleet was not only at its strongest for some years but also saw the series debut of the recently launched Brazilian owned Phoenix, the first of the latest generation of TP52s to be built to the 2015 rule. Light airs dominated the event with racing on day 3, the coastal race, cancelled due to shortage of wind with Gladiator leading the field, having come from 8th position in the super-light breeze. Two further races were also cancelled on day four. The team finished in 6th place overall.

The Gladiator team next compete in Porto Cervo, Sardina, in two weeks. There are four Med events in the 2014 Barclays 52 Super Series – Capri (18th - 24th May), Porto Cervo (10th - 14th June), Palma de Mallorca (4th - 9th August) and Ibiza (17th - 21st September).