Ben Ainslie Announces America’s Cup Plans

Multiple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie announced the formation of Ben Ainslie Racing and his team's entry into the 2012-13 America's Cup World Series due to start in August 2012.

10 January 2012.
By John Burnham

Ben Ainslie, who aims to win his fourth Olympic gold medal in the Weymouth Olympics this summer, will be racing in the America’s Cup World Series this year with his own team. Speaking at the launch at the Royal Festival Hall in London with Russell Coutts at his side, Ben was clear about his team’s schedule, stating that they have no intention to compete in the 34th America’s Cup, but the team’s plan for the future was to build up to the ‘real deal’ (the 35th America’s Cup).

America's Cup defender Russell Coutts poses with Ben Ainslie against a London backdrop on the day Ainslie, the UK's top Olympic sailor of all time, announced his involvement in upcoming America's Cup races.

Following the America’s Cup World Series, Ainslie will join Oracle Racing for the 34th America’s Cup. At the press conference, according to our reporter, he admitted that his World Series campaign was underwritten by Oracle Racing as part of the deal for his involvement in sailing with them. Put on the spot regarding the cost of his Ben Ainslie Racing campaign, Ben said a team would generally budget at around 300 million Euros. He also stated that he would be looking to build the strongest team possible, but if they happened to be British then ‘all the better’.
There was much amusement at the announcement when, in reference to the proven capability of AC45s to capsize, presenter Annabel Croft asked Ainslie how his diving skills were, to which Ben responded with a wry smile: “pretty good”. Russell Coutts, whose spectacular crash last summer has been viewed on YouTube 1.8 million times, took the opportunity to say that the best thing about the America’s Cup was that the media boats wouldn’t be getting in the way of the racing. By this time next year, Ben will apparently have his own highlight reel, although he’ll no doubt prefer less drama and simply finishing in front, something he’s made a habit of in his career.

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