Tom Slingsby grew up both sailing and playing tennis at a competitive level. He admits tennis was his favorite sport at the time, and he debated where to focus his attention. After a few months of training in the Laser Class turned into a first-place performance at Australian Nationals as a teenager, he decided to spend more time on the water.
Now with eight world titles, an Olympic gold medal, ISAF World Sailor of the Year honors and an America’s Cup win, all before the age of 30, it would seem he made the right choice.
Slingsby originally joined ORACLE TEAM USA with a dual focus. He was campaigning in the Laser for the 2012 Olympic Games and integrating into his first America’s Cup team.
After taking care of business with an Olympic gold medal, he became an integral part of ORACLE TEAM USA’s afterguard and sailing team during the final push for the Cup.
Slingsby was early to recognize the gains to be made in upwind foiling on an AC72 and pressed his case for the team to spend more time practicing this mode. In overcoming an 8-1 deficit to win the America’s Cup, upwind speed proved to be a critical factor in the win over a strong New Zealand challenger.
Slingsby’s contribution on and off the water was noticed and he was the first sailor retained by ORACLE TEAM USA in their Defense of the 35th America’s Cup. He has taken the role of sailing team manager for the campaign in addition to his onboard duties.