Sailor Signing | Finn Sailor James Skulczuk
Finn sailor and cycling enthusiast James Skuczuk joins INEOS Britannia as a Cyclor.
“I am extremely excited to be combining my two passions of cycling and sailing” Meet James Skuczuk the newest recruit to the INEOS Britannia Sailing Team, the challenger of record for the 37th Americas Cup.
James learned to sail when he was a boy “My first-time sailing was when my dad took me down to the local Yacht Club. I learnt to sail in an Opi, I was six at the time and after that I've never looked back.” As a keen sailor and passionate sportsman James quickly progressed through the single-handed RYA pathway “through toppers, laser standards and then in 2016 I started sailing the Finn after I couldn't keep the weight down. I loved it I was the right weight for it and everything felt how it should.”
In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic started, this halted James’ sailing career for a short while.“I knew that fitness was one of my biggest strengths in the Finn and I didn’t really want to lose it. I kept working hard on my cycling, the Gym and the fitness side of it. Then when the America's Cup announced that it was going cycling, I decided to give Giles a call and see what the plan was for the America's cup. Then after some trials here I am! It has all worked out for me I am very grateful."
James is looking forward to a new challenge “it's completely different to my previous sailing experiences. As my dinghy sailing was all in slow displacement boats the Cup is foiling, fast and high paced with short racecourses and lots of action, it's one-on-one. Where-as before I was racing in a huge fleet where you could have up to 100 plus boats on the start line. I haven't done any foiling before so it's going to be a big step up and hopefully a quick learning curve!"
James has been down at the team’s winter training camp in Palma this past week. "It's great to meet new faces and people that you haven't met before, as well as ones that are so highly regarded in the sailing world" "You've got Ben Ainslie, who I would say was a hero to me growing up, but now I am on the same team as him! It is also nice to be back with people that I knew from the Finn sailing days, such as Ben Cornish and Giles Scott.”
“It is also great to be cycling alongside the rowers that have joined the sailing team, who are also regarded as some of the fittest athletes. It is so inspiring to be around the best of the best!"
It is great to have James onboard – we wish him all the best in this new challenge!