Meet Ben & Nic

Our partnership started in late September 2014.  In November 2014 and at our first major event sailing together, the 2014 Sailing World Cup Finals in Abu Dhabi we finished 7th overall, competing against the top 20 boats in the world.  

In January 2015 we won silver at the Sailing World Cup in Miami, but the highlight of 2015 was winning the European Championships in Barcelona in early October, proving that we definitely have the potential to be the best in the World!

In 2016 we finished 6th at the Worlds in Clearwater, Florida, 4th at the Sailing World Cup in Hyeres and then won the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth & Portland - the final major event before the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

We are currently ranked 3rd in the Nacra 17 world rankings, and best GBR boat - here’s a bit more information about us both:

Ben Saxton (age 26)

Ben was born in Cambridge and comes from north Hertfordshire and graduated from Southampton University in 2011 with a BSc in Business Studies - he now lives in Weymouth.  He learnt to sail at Grafham Water and has been competing and winning at international level since 2002 in Optimist, 29er, 420 and team racing events.

Prior to teaming up with Nic, Ben's podium helming successes in Olympic class sailing included:

  • 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship – Silver Medal

  • 2012 470 European Championship – Silver Medal

Helming in other dinghies he won the Merlin Rocket National Championships in 2015 and the RS200 National Championships in 2012 and went on to win the 2015 and 2012 Endeavour Trophy events (UK Champion of Champions).  

In keel boats he was third at the 2015 Etchells Europeans (tactician and main) and won 2015 Cowes Week Class 4 (tactician) in 'Strait Dealer' (JPK 1010).

Ben has been a member of The British Sailing Team, since 2008, helming a 470 and then the Nacra 17 catamaran.

He’s also a keen cyclist and skier, but the skiing is now on hold whilst he pursues his Olympic dream!

Nicola Groves (age 27)

Nicola comes from London and graduated from Exeter University in 2010 with a BSc in Human Biosciences, and worked as a Senior Account Executive in an advertising agency before making the transition into full time sailing in 2012 - she now lives near Southampton.

With the introduction of the 49erFX to the Olympic programme, Nic was invited to join the British Sailing Team, being one of the few experienced female skiff crews in the UK at that time, and in 2013 she went on to win a gold medal at Sail for Gold in Weymouth. Other successes in the 49er FX include:

  • 2013 49erFX European Championship – Bronze Medal

  • 2013 49erFX World Championships – 8th

Before the introduction of the 49erFX, Nic learnt to sail at Island Barn Reservoir and sailed a wide variety of classes and competed internationally in the Topper and 29er at youth level. She went onto sail the RS800, RS200 and SB20s while at university and when working full time.