A Maxonian on a mission
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