Glenn Ashby, six times A-Cat World Champion, to join BMW Oracle in San Diego
[Source: The Bendigo Advertizer] Glenn Ashby is about to embark on a one-month trial in the United States that could lead to a role in the world’s most prestigious sailing event - the America’s Cup.
Later this month the Strathfieldsaye sailor will head to the world-famous San Diego Yacht Club where he will begin a four-week stint with the BMW Oracle Racing team.
BMW Oracle was the American challenger in the 2007 America’s Cup, which was won by Swiss boat Alinghi.
“I’m going to do some sailing with the America’s Cup crew on their big trimaran,” Ashby said.
Glenn Ashby, six times A-Cat World Champion. Belmont, Australia, 5 January 2009. Photo copyright Andrea Francolini
“I’ll do some coaching work with them in San Diego, which is a wonderful opportunity for me. BMW Oracle is one of the main contenders for the next America’s Cup in 2010.
“It could lead to a spot on the crew for the next America’s Cup, but that’s a long way down the track at this stage. If the opportunity arose to be part of an America’s Cup team I’d love to be part of it.
“The Olympic level is one end at the elite level of the sport and the America’s Cup is the other ultimate level of sailing and yacht racing that I’d like to experience - not just for the racing side of things, but the design aspects and technology. The technology these guys have access to is pretty much the same as what the formula one teams have.
“They have the same sort of budgets, so it would be a great experience for me from a business point of view as well.” Ashby runs his own sailing business in Strathfieldsaye.
He won his sixth A-class catamaran world championship at Lake Macquarie this week and that, combined with his silver medal in the Tornado class at the Beijing Olympics, has made him hot property in sailing ranks.
“Now that the Olympic stuff is finished for four years, I’m taking the opportunity to try a few things in the next couple of years,” he said.
“There’s quite a lot of doors opening after the Olympics and there’s potentially some offshore opportunities for me on the big boats. The A-class catamarans are a technology base for the bigger boats and there were a lot of people around watching the world titles this week looking for new ideas. I guess that’s helped me to get these opportunities in America and Europe with the big boats.”