A Max­o­nian on a mission

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS - PIPPA FIELD

A MAN on a mission, Sir Ben Ainslie ad­mits the ex­cite­ment is build­ing as qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Amer­ica’s Cup draws closer.

The four-time Olympic cham­pion is bid­ding to help Bri­tain to even more glory on the wa­ter by claim­ing victory in the Amer­ica’s Cup for the first time in the com­pe­ti­tion’s his­tory with his team Ben Ainslie Rac­ing (BAR).

The lat­est de­vel­op­ments saw the Duchess of Cam­bridge – Royal Pa­tron of the 1851 Trust, which works with un­der-25s to in­spire them to take to the sea – check on the progress be­ing made.

BAR’s head­quar­ters are due to be com­pleted by the end of May, while qual­i­fi­ca­tion races for the Amer­ica’s Cup begin in Cagliari, Italy, in June.

The Duchess was in­tro­duced to BAR’s de­sign team and Ainslie, whose team spent time last month out train­ing in the 2017 event venue of Ber­muda, ad­mits progress is com­ing along nicely.

“The base is sched­uled to be com­pleted by the end of May and we’ll start mov­ing in by the end of June,” said the Max­o­nian knight. “It’s a big step for us. It was good to get the Duchess down and for her to see what was go­ing on and what the trust is up to.

“It’s an amaz­ing team ef­fort, with a huge amount of peo­ple mak­ing it all hap­pen.

“It’s a pretty in­tense pro­gramme and it will be all the way through. We have the first qual­i­fi­ca­tion event in Sar­dinia in June so it’s a busy time.”

With so much to or­gan­ise, it’s fair to say life has not slowed down for Ainslie since he re­tired in the wake of his fourth Olympic gold medal at Lon­don 2012.

While ad­mit­ting it will be strange not to be in­volved in Rio 2016 af­ter com­pet­ing at the last five Games, the 38-year-old in­sists his ap­petite for suc­cess is still as strong but this time it is fo­cused on the Amer­ica’s Cup.

“I am sure I will miss the Olympics but we’ll be back­ing the team 100 per cent,” he added.

THE 1851 Trust aims to in­spire and en­gage a new gen­er­a­tion through sail­ing and the marine in­dus­try, pro­vid­ing young peo­ple with the ed­u­ca­tion, skills and train­ing to be­come in­no­va­tors of the fu­ture, and ste­wards of the marine en­vi­ron­ment. The 1851 Trust will work with other char­i­ties to de­liver goals.

For more visit www.1851Trust.org.uk

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