Ben Ainslie: Seeking to bring Britain back to the America’s Cup
Published on December 12th, 2013
Sir Ben Ainslie believes he is facing his biggest challenge yet – to bring Britain back to the America’s Cup. Not since 2003 has the country sought to challenge for the Auld Mug, but Ainslie is seeking to slingshot from his 2013 success as tactician with defender Oracle Team USA and have his country contend for the 35th Match.
Ainslie, who has won medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1996 to 2012, is currently on a fundraising and support drive to help raise money to launch a British America’s Cup challenge.
“I’m working very hard on the fundraising right now – it is a crucial part of having a British America’s Cup boat. The funds are crucial in building a team, I have had a lot of positive conversations and I’m still very hopeful but we need support and backing. There are dates we need to hit and ultimately by the New Year we need to have met those targets. We then need to wait and see where, when and what boats will be involved in the next America’s Cup and decide how we integrate all of our partners. Obviously it is a lot of money to raise to have a competitive team for the future but we have had a tremendous amount of support from the public.
“Coming back from San Francisco, it was amazing to see that, globally, the America’s Cup really took hold. I’m confident of having a very strong British team and I’m confident of having the funding and backing in place – but we need to keep working very hard. The America’s Cup is about teamwork and we have an enormous number of fantastic sailors in the UK, who I know could be very successful. At the moment the America’s Cup is not exclusive to nationalities – although predominantly we will have a British boat, we will also bring in people from other countries that can make a real impact to our team. The America’s Cup is my focus right now and my future – I have moved away from the Olympic Games and this is what it’s all about me.”