Ben Ainslie's tough decision


America's Cup in 2013 or the Olympic Games in 2012
Ben Ainslie is facing one of the hardest decisions in his career: with the announcement that the 34th America’s Cup is to take place in 2013 and not 2014 as previously thought, combined with the Games being in 2012, Ainslie doesn’t believe it is possible to be successful in both. So he, along with his TeamOrigin tactician and strategist Beijing Gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are faced with a decision and one they must make quickly: option a) is to go down the America’s Cup route which would cost Skandia Team GBR two of their hottest medal prospects for 2012, including the opportunity for Ainslie to become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, while option b) is to commit to the Games which would be a major blow for Sir Keith Mills’ America’s Cup challenge. “You are forced into making a decision one way or the other, which is frustrating,” says Ainslie. “But there is nothing you can do about these things. You have to take the information as it comes and try and be ration and make the right decisions.” It is not hard to see that the radical announcements concerning the 34th America’s Cup – from the wingmasted catamarans and the racing to be held on different styles of courses, etc – for Ainslie might make the Olympic option more appealing, particularly as the training he and TeamOrigin have put in over the last three years, plus what he has personally done since his time with Emirates Team New Zealand in the lead up to 2007 are now of less value with the goal posts having moved so substantially. Saying this, the move to wingsail catamarans doesn’t seem to phase him particularly. Already TeamOrigin are planning a strategy to fast-track their sailors into becoming multihull experts.

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