Why Tactician?

The story of our brand.

In 2013, the world witnessed one of the most amazing sporting comebacks in history, as well as a demonstration of extraordinary human technology, athleticism and leadership. The event was the 34th America’s Cup held in San Francisco.

Led by James Spithill, Tom Slingsby and Ben Ainslie, Oracle Team USA won the America’s Cup 9-8 against Team New Zealand after trailing 8-1.

Sir Ben Ainslie was brought on board during the series to take on the role of Oracle Team USA’s Tactician. As the Tactician, Ainslie’s function was to provide the Helmsman, James Spithill, with the critical real time information on what Team New Zealand were doing and how they were performing relative to Oracle USA. This real time information enabled Spithill to concentrate solely on steering Oracle USA at its optimum speed.

At the same time, Tom Slingsby, the Strategist, was keeping an eye on the longer- term strategy, factoring in wind and tide variables.

We realised that what we do has a lot in common with what a Tactician does on a racing yacht: we use our experience to give guidance, support, counsel and real time information. We provide clients with the tactics they need to reach their optimum speed – whatever that is. We are business Tacticians.

“The tactician is one of the three key roles on these bigger boats.

“Ainslie determines how to respond to another team’s move. For example, if one boat turns away from the wind, he will have to decide when to do the same.

“The tactician is responsible for the boat-on-boat manoeuvres and it’s quite a leadership role.

“He has to think about what the opposition might do and will need the strategist to inform him where the wind is coming from and ensure the helmsman is able to steer as fast as possible, and the rest of the crew need to know what is going on, too”.

John Derbyshire

Racing manager and performance director of the Royal Yachting Association, speaking to the BBC