Ainslie defends Oracle cup role

Ben Ainslie yesterday insisted that America's Cup commitments will not jeopardise his quest for a fourth Olympic gold this summer.

On home waters this August, the 34-year-old will look to become the most successful Olympic sailor ever, before turning attention to the oldest active trophy in international sport.

Ainslie yesterday announced the launch of his own America's Cup team in central London, with Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) set to compete in the 2012/13 World Series after the Olympics.

BAR will be underwritten by Oracle Racing, whom Ainslie will join for their defence of the 34th America's Cup, but the Lymington-based sailor does not believe the busy schedule will take him off course for Olympic gold.

"I have always had other things going on in sailing around the Olympics," he said. "I have never been solely focused on the Olympics the whole way through a cycle.

"In the last cycle I was involved with Emirates Team New Zealand in the America's Cup and before that the One World Challenge with the American team. I have found, in fact, that it is a good way to build your skills, gain new ones and keep fresh for the Olympic side of things.

"I don't see it as a distraction and, as I said, the focus is 100 per cent on the Finn and this summer, making sure I do everything I can to be best prepared to get the right result."

While Ainslie will join Oracle for the 34th America's Cup, he harbours serious ambitions of challenging them in the following edition.

BAR will race in the AC45 class in the 2012/13 season in a bid to build a brand that will help attract sponsors to cover the estimated £30m required for a full-blown America's Cup assault.

"It is a really great opportunity that has come together with Oracle Racing to put this team together now for the America's Cup World Series and develop that through the 2012/13 season," he said.

"We want to build up BAR and get the right partners involved so in the future, post-2013, we can be in a position to be a successful, strong challenger for the America's Cup. That is the goal in the larger picture, but the focus right now is on the summer, London 2012."

Having felt impeded by a media boat's wake on the downwind leg of his ninth race at last month's World Championship, Ainslie swam over to the offending boat and hauled himself on board to remonstrate with the crew.

The Royal Yachting Association is considering whether to take any further action as a result and Ainslie is keen to put the issue to bed.

"It was a very disappointing situation," he said. "Very, very frustrating. I obviously regret what happened but I was happy with my performance."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future