10 things you need to know about... Glenn Ashby

By Chris Rattue

Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby. Photo / Greg Bowker
Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby. Photo / Greg Bowker

Glenn Ashby is yachting's multihull whisperer, and the new skipper has quietly got Team New Zealand in front of the America's Cup world series fleet. Here's a rundown on the man who seems to be restoring order after the Dean Barker sacking.

1) The 38-year-old is just the third TNZ skipper in 20 years, after Russell Coutts and Dean Barker. Because he is not a helmsman, there is an unusual job split with the rising Peter Burling taking that role.

2) Ashby is a fair dinkum Aussie from landlocked Bendigo in the middle of Victoria so learnt to sail on a lake that was often near dry. Ashby was Victoria's Sportsperson of the Year in 2007 when he was world champion in three catamaran classes.

3) He has already tasted America's Cup victory as head coach of BMW Oracle when they beat Alinghi in the battle of giant multi-hulls off Valencia in 2010. A big part of Ashby's role was getting young monohull racer Jimmy Spithill up to speed as Oracle's skipper.

"There's no way I could have been ready to sail USA17 without Glenn's help. His drive and determination pushed the tight programme along," Spithill said

4) Ashby still hurts over the 2013 San Francisco disaster, when he was the TNZ wing trimmer as Oracle overturned a 1 - 8 deficit. "It was brutal - even now it still hurts to be so close. It will stay with us until the rest of our days. We've learnt a lot and have a lot of fantastic things we are going to be working on for the future. You just can't leave any stone unturned in your preparation. "

5) He had sailed A-class catamarans for just three months when he won the world title in Spain in 1996. "It was the most unbelievable and euphoric feeling I have ever felt."

6) Ashby and skipper Darren Bundock went into the 2008 Olympic Tornado class as favourites and ended up with the silver medal. He was denied a chance to go for gold in London because multihulls were dumped for the 2012 Games. His list of world championship medals is staggering and includes 15 golds.

7) mysailing.com.au reckoned that the catamaran ace is a generous genius "who is always willing to share his immense knowledge, but no matter how much he helps others set up their boats, they can't ever match him for speed or consistency."

8) Cheeky Ashby presented fellow Aussie Spithill with a legal king post in Portsmouth last year - a reminder of the world series cheating scandal which led to Oracle being handicapped two races going into the 2013 America's Cup.

9) Ashby is married to Mel and they have a sailmaking business - Ashby Sails.

10) When TNZ nearly capsized in spectacular fashion in San Francisco, Ashby was one of three sailors sent skywards. "I was just hanging on, like a koala," said Ashby, hanging on to Aussie roots.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 26 Sep 2016 12:43:25 Processing Time: 468ms