Road to the 35th America's Cup part 1

Oracle Team USA's Tom Slingsby brings us up to speed
As a demonstration that winning an Olympic medal is the best way to launch yourself into a career at the most elite end of pro sailing, so Australian London 2012 Laser gold medallist Tom Slingsby spent last year as Oracle Team USA’s AC72 strategist and last week in Capri was competing as tactician on board Tony Langley’s Gladiator in the Barclays 52 Super Series, a role he’s committed to for the rest of this season. Slingsby says he has sailed a lot on TPs before – he was a long term crew of Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan (formerly the Emirates Team NZ Audi MedCup winner, now sold to American Gunther Buerman) – but last week was his first experience racing one in the Barclays 52 Super Series. “It is great,” says Slingsby of the Super Series, “and there’s great venues - the whole circuit is around the Med at a nice time of year. And 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, whether it’s one designs or the America’s Cup. This is definitely an up-there fleet.” Obviously after sailing AC72s in anger for many months, any other water-borne competition is likely to seem pedestrian, however Slingsby says he’s been used to making this type of transition, having moved from fast boats to slower boats, cats to monohulls, and back, for many years. “I used to swap between my Laser and my Moth pretty regularly. It takes you 20 minutes to re-adapt, but then you’re off again. The AC72 is definitely a different type of sailing, but it just means you have to be looking for different things and your priorities are different: It is not as much