New backer for Ainslie
Ainslie will again be competing in the Finn Class. After his medal-winning performances in the last three Olympic Games, eyes will be focussed expectantly towards Ben in the lead up to Beijing. 2007 however will be the most difficult and exciting year in Ben’s career to date in terms of Olympic sailing. The ISAF World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, between 2–13 July, is a qualifying event for Skandia Team GBR sailor’s to gain selection to the 2008 Olympics. Ben’s America’s Cup commitments with Emirates Team New Zealand potentially will not finish until 7 July 2007.
As Ainslie comments: “It’s going to be an exciting year with Emirates Team New Zealand as we compete for the America’s Cup in Valencia. As soon as the America’s Cup campaign is finished I will be straight back in the Finn looking to qualify for and compete in Beijing. There will be no time between the America’s Cup and the ISAF World Championships in Caiscais, Portugal. It is going to be a challenge, but I am very lucky to have secured JPMorgan Asset Management as a title sponsor in support of my campaign.
“I have a fantastic team around me; David Howlett my coach in Athens has continued to work on the Olympic campaign along with Jez Fanstone whilst I have been away training with Emirates Team New Zealand. I have the full support of the RYA as part of Skandia Team GBR and family and friends alike. I think after the Olympic Test event in China last year there is an expectation I will step straight back into the Finn dinghy and win, but in reality it is going to take a huge amount of hard work.
“Sponsorship is crucial in this sport and it’s always hard to fund a campaign at an Olympic level, I am looking forward to working with JPMorgan Asset Management and I hope to be able to share future success with them.”
Campbell Fleming JPMorgan Asset Management, Head of UK Business commented: “We are delighted that Ben has joined double Olympic medallist Shirley Robertson to act as ambassadors for JPMorgan’s world-class products. We are very excited to be supporting Ben, one of Britain’s most talented sportsmen, on his route towards the Beijing Olympics. Ben is an ‘all-weather performer’ and having won three Olympic medals he is well suited to support our total return funds, which aim to produce a positive return regardless of market conditions”.
In addition to their sponsorship of Olympic sailors Ben Ainslie and Shirley Roberston, JPMAM has shown its continued commitment to sailing initiatives through 2007 and beyond, with a continued commitment to sponsor the UK’s largest and most famous yacht race The Round the Island Race until 2010 with the option to further extend until 2013. This runs alongside their continued support of the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Race Series running from November to March 2007 over eight weekends in the UK.
Ben’s focus for the future is to combine both competing in the America’s Cup with the quest for more Olympic medals and is not ruling out the possibility of competing on home turf at the 2012 London Games where Ben will be just 35 years old.