British 35th America's Cup campaign


Jon Nash /Ben Ainslie Racing
Ben Ainslie discusses the prospects for his new team
At London 2012 Ben Ainslie achieved the incredible feat of outstripping Paul Elvström’s record to become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, with four gold medals and one silver. For this he was deservedly knighted. This achieved some good coverage in the national press at the time, but oddly represented a mere whimper compared to the furore caused by his part in Oracle Team USA winning the America’s Cup last month. Oracle’s turnaround victory, that had the effect of doubling the length of the America’s Cup competition, also turned around the fortunes of the event itself. Had the score gone 9-1 to Emirates Team New Zealand, the taste of the one boat races and sorely uneven matches that featured in the Louis Vuitton Cup, would have remained in people’s mouths. But fortunately it didn’t and since returning from San Francisco, Ainslie has been riding the crest of a wave of media interest, thanks to the integral role he played in Oracle Team USA’s successful defence. But equally impressive is how the event and the giant airborne catamarans racing around San Francisco at unimaginably fast speeds - their body armour-clad crew stepping off them at the end of the day like astronauts - engaged the general public with sailing in a way that we haven’t witnessed in the UK since Ellen MacArthur’s solo round the world record owned the headlines eight years ago. This was exactly as the architects of the 34th America’s Cup, Ellison and Russell Coutts, had always hoped would happen and we sceptics never thought they’d achieve. “It was close to being a 9-1 or a 9-0 whitewash,” admits Ainslie. “Thankfully it turned itself around and became one of the best Cups ever. We were very lucky in many ways that that was the case, not least for

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