Triple Olympic gold medallist to launch America's Cup team

It has been revealed that British sailor Ben Ansilie will start his own America’s Cup team following the Olympic Games in London this summer.

Ainslie, 34, who will be competing in the heavyweight Finn Class this August, has today revealed his plans to start new team under the name Ben Ainslie Racing.

In a press conference at London’s Festival Hall this morning, he was quick to dismiss ideas that this would impact on his Olympic bid, insisiting that he is “100 % focused and committed to the Olympics”.

Watch the press conference on YBW.

Under the terms of the Protocol for the 34th
America’s Cup the team, to be known as BAR, will have to
be entered by a yacht club, revealed to be Royal Cornwall Yacht Club. The Commodore of the club Peter Collet said: “It’s a time for everybody in the UK yachting industry to get behind Ben Ainslie.”

Due to time constraints, the new Ben Ainslie Racing team do not intend to challenge for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, and Ben will join Oracle racing to help defend their title. Russel Coutts of Oracle said: “It’s a great thing for Oracle Racing to have someone of this calibre racing with us.”

Ben will learn from the Oracle team before entering the 35th America’s Cup in late 2012 with his own team. Speaking of the arrangement, Russel Coutts said “I’m certainly happy with the relationship and I think, from Ben’s point of view, certainly he couldn’t be in a better position.”

This is not the first time Ben Ainslie has been involved in the challenge for the America’s Cup. Back in 2007, he stood in as a back-up helmsman for Dean Barker as part of Team New Zealand.