Ben Ainslie looks to America's Cup


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The Independent Online

Ben Ainslie may have called time on his Olympic career yesterday but he is already looking forward to the next chapter, which he hopes will bring success in the America's Cup.

The 35-year-old became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time this summer, collecting a fourth gold, coupled with the silver picked up in Atlanta.

Few had expected Ainslie to add to that haul in Rio de Janeiro, because of America's Cup commitments and the toll dinghy sailing was having on his body.

"It is the close of one chapter and start of another," said Ainslie, who not only took Olympic gold this year but a record sixth Finn Gold Cup on his home waters in Falmouth.

"I am obviously not retiring from sailing in general, just the Olympic side. In many ways, it is actually quite exciting to be able to focus 100 per cent on this new project with the America's Cup."

The Lymington-based sailor was named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year for a record-breaking fourth time and claimed the British Olympic Association's Athlete of the Year Trophy for Sailing for a third time.

He is also among the 12 contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, an accolade never before won by a sailor.