Ben Ainslie on his America's Cup future

Mark Lloyd /
British AC45, joining Oracle Racing, RIBgate and returning to Falmouth
As soon as the Olympics conclude this year, Ben Ainslie is to campaign an AC45 with backing from Oracle Racing, while outside of the America’s Cup World Series he will be part of Larry Ellison’s defending team for the 34th America’s Cup, it was announced yesterday at a grand gathering at London’s Royal Festival Hall. It should be remembered that Ainslie will be a key feature of the 2012 Olympic Games, not just in sailing or in the UK, but internationally and across the whole Olympiad. For with three Olympic golds and one silver already and the strong prospect of collecting his fourth gold in Weymouth in August, he is lining up to be one of the greatest Olympians of all time. To put this into perspective: over the course of six Olympic Games Sir Steve Redgrave won five gold medals (plus a bronze in Seoul), one of only four people to achieve this feat in the history of the modern Olympiad. At present Ainslie’s three golds and one silver equals what two other of the greatest ever Olympic sailors, Jochen Schuemann and Valentyn Mankin, achieved in their careers, but it is one gold short of Paul Elvstrom’s four gold tally and one medal short of Torben Grael’s impressive two golds, two bronzes and a silver. So if the British Olympic living legend can transfer this profile on to the America’s Cup then it will be to everyone’s benefit – Ainslie, Oracle, sailing, sailing in the UK, a future British America’s Cup challenge...etc According to Ainslie, discussions began with Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts last summer. “I got in touch with Russell because I was interested in starting my own team for the 45s and trying to build that up to something. And then Russell said ‘funny you should say that, because I have been