Gold medallists get big boat plans in place for 2001

Ben Ainslie jets out to Auckland while Iain Percy heads for Key West

Monday January 8th 2001, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
After picking up his BT Nautical Award on Friday night, Ben Ainslie was off to New Zealand on Saturday 6th January. Ainslie heads out to a three-month training session in Auckland with the American OneWorld America’s Cup syndicate that he has just signed up with.
Roddy Ainslie, Ben’s father, told madforsailing his role in the team was not yet defined. "He’s done a bit of grinding, a bit of trimming, and a bit of time on the wheel," said Roddy. "Now he’s off down to New Zealand to train on their two boats down there, and then to Seattle after that."

Meanwhile, Iain Percy will be getting on with some Farr 40 sailing, including doing mainsheet on Dawn Raid at Key West in mid-January, before he moves into the tactician’s role in a boat for the British Admiral’s Cup trials.

Shirley Robertson feels she is just emerging from the endless social engagements that winning a gold medal has brought over the past few months. On Monday night she goes up to London to appear in the BBC comedy sports quiz, They Think It’s All Over, where she will no doubt find herself molested by a blindfolded Jonathan Ross.

"Now I’m thinking it’s time to get back and do some sailing, but I haven’t made any firm plans yet," she told madforsailing. "I’ve been talking to people about doing some big boat sailing - at Cowes Week, the Scottish Series, things like that." She said she would be interested in getting involved in the Farr 40, but no one had approached her yet. And as for another Olympic campaign, we will have to wait and see. If there is another one, it will be in the Yngling, but Shirley has yet to commit to that decision.

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