Aussie team intact for SailGP defence

With limited preparation, Tom Slingsby and his team have to get their heads back in the game fast.
With limited preparation, Tom Slingsby and his team have to get their heads back in the game fast.

Skipper Tom Slingsby has retained his title-winning crew for Australia's SailGP series defence, adamant desire for improvement ensures there will be no complacency in the quest for the $US1 million prize.

The team was confirmed on Tuesday, a month out from opening day of the first event of the expanded seven-nation second-season series on Sydney Harbour.

Joining Slingsby again in the high-powered F50 catamaran are America's Cup winner Ky Hurst (grinder), Sydney to Hobart winners Sam Newton (grinder) and Kyle Langford (wing trimmer) and Olympic silver medallist and Tokyo 2020 hopeful Jason Waterhouse (flight controller).

London 2012 Olympic Laser gold medallist and America's Cup winner Slingsby said the group still had a lot of potential to improve.

"I gave consideration to making changes. I definitely don't want to be that team that is complacent and thinks what we did last time will be good enough to win again this year," he told AAP.

"But I think as a group we're all still learning a lot, we're all still improving a lot.

"We all get along really well and I know in my role, I can do a lot of things a lot better."

Spain and Denmark have joined Australia, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States in fielding teams with the British boasting a full-time crew featuring sailing superstar Sir Ben Ainslie.

"The British will be very hard to beat; they live and train together 365 days a year over in England," Slingsby said.

"Our team only got together last year for five events and this year six events, so we're only together maybe 40, 45 days a year.

"It's been a long layoff; we haven't been together as a group since (winning the title in) Marseille (last September).

"We've got to get everyone back together and get our heads in the game and learn how to sail these boats again."

Slingsby and his crew will start preparing two weeks before the first race.

"I guess our local knowledge might be taken away a bit this year because everyone was training here for two weeks last year and know Sydney Harbour well," Slingsby said.

The top two pointscorers over the series will again meet in a $US1million ($A1.5 million) match race to determine the overall winner.

Australian Associated Press