Touchdown

Team GBR's sailors arrived at Heathrow on a grey British morning

Wednesday October 4th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Team GBR's plunderIt's a cliche, but Team GBR's sailors arrived at Heathrow on Wednesday morning to a hero's welcome - with ranked masses of fleet street snappers, television crews and radio reporters - and more than enough people to raise a big cheer.

Speaking to the BBC's Radio 4, Ben Ainslie, like Matthew Pinsent the day before, took the opportunity to stress how important the Lottery funding has been to the sailing team. This comes amid rumours that because less people are buying tickets and receipts are down, the funding coming through to the Olympic sports will be cut. There is also the threat that because the bid process for the Lottery franchise is now beset with legal difficulties, the Lottery itself could be suspended at the end of Camelot's term. And that would cost all the 'good causes' that currently benefit, a great deal of money - estimates run at £4 million a day.

Ainslie also said that he'd sought Robert Scheidt out in one of Sydney's sailing clubs, to buy him a drink and put that last race fracas behind them. Scheidt was still pretty upset, Ainslie told Radio 4, but Ben thought, 'he'll get over it'. It looks like one of the most memorable rivalries in sailing is about to come to an end though, Ainslie also said at Heathrow that he would be moving on from Lasers - though he didn't mention what was next.

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