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Olympic star Hannah Mills to lead British team in Puig Women's America's Cup

LONDON (AP) — Hannah Mills, the most-decorated female sailor in Olympic history, will lead the British team in the inaugural Puig Women’s America’s Cup in October in Barcelona.

Mills will helm the British boat and be reunited with Saskia Clark eight years after they won a gold medal together in the 470 class in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. They also won a silver medal in the 2012 London Games.

The Women’s America’s Cup and Youth America’s Cup will take place alongside the 37th America’s Cup.

Mills and Sir Ben Ainslie, the most-decorated sailor in Olympic history with four gold medals and one silver, on Monday announced the teams that were selected through the Athena Pathway, which they launched in August 2022 to fast-track development in high-performance sailing and bring diversity into the sport and the UK marine industry.

The 12-member team was picked from more than 300 applicants.

“It’s an incredible milestone for our sport,” Mills said. “These athletes represent a new era of inclusivity and excellence in competitive sailing.”

Racing in the women’s and youth America’s Cup regattas will be in AC40 foiling monohulls, which are roughly half the size of the foiling boats that will be used in the America’s Cup itself.

Overall, Mills won two Olympic gold medals and one silver. Clark won one gold and one silver.

“Hannah and I had a great Olympic career together and I’m looking forward to reuniting, taking all the learnings from our Olympic experiences and applying them into a broader team environment in a new class of boat,” Clark said.

Mills also competes on the British SailGP team co-owned by Ainslie. Ainslie recently stepped down as skipper of the SailGP team but remains as CEO to focus on his duties as skipper and CEO of INEOS Britannia, one of five challengers that will compete for the right to face Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup.

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports