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Slingsby back at helm for Oracle

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Tom Slingsby is expected to resume training with his Oracle Team USA team-mates this month.

The Oracle sailing team manager, helmsman and tactician is on the mend after having surgery to replace a damaged disc in his back at the DISC Sports & Spine Centre in Marina del Rey, California, the same clinic where Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, recently had elbow surgery.

“I'm feeling good and looking forward to sailing again soon,” Slingsby said.

The Australian won the gold medal in the single-handed Laser at the 2012 Olympic regatta in England and opted not to defend his title in Rio as Oracle ramp up their preparations for the defence of the ‘Auld Mug' next summer in the Great Sound.

“The good thing about the timing for the operation is that I've been able to watch a lot of the Olympic Games over the past week or so as I go through the early recovery process,” said Slingsby, a five-times Laser world champion and 2010 ISAF World Sailor of the Year.

Slingsby and fellow Aussie Spithill expect to be fit enough to compete at the next month's Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series regatta in Toulon as Oracle resume their quest for a maiden regatta victory in the fleet racing event featuring the foiling AC45F catamaran.

Spithill tore a tendon in his left elbow while competing at July's World Series in Portsmouth, England and flew straight to California for treatment at the end of the regatta.

Last year, the multiple America's Cup winner, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and past King Edward VII Gold Cup winner underwent an operation for an injury on his right elbow that flared in the build-up to Oracle's successful defence of the America's Cup in 2013.

“I injured the left elbow from overloading my arm training due to the original injury and long recovery of my right elbow,” Spithill said.

“When they opened the arm up they discovered that the tear had become much worse and was almost off the bone, likely from pushing it in Portsmouth, so [it was] important we did it when we did.”

Oracle, who trail World Series leaders Land Rover BAR, the British challenger, by a solitary point heading into the next event in Toulon, have now resumed training in Bermuda after taking a short summer break.

Back in the saddle: Slingsby is almost ready to start training again (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 17, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated August 17, 2016 at 7:05 am)

Slingsby back at helm for Oracle

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