Sir Ben Ainslie leads British assault on 2014 Extreme Sailing series

The quadruple gold and silver medal Olympic champion opens his campaign in the 40-foot catamarans in Singapore next month

Sir Ben Ainslie will head a three-pronged British assault as part of a triple America’s Cup attack on the 2014 Extreme Sailing series. He continues to line up his challenge for the next America’s Cup but will be up against France’s Franck Cammas and the challenging Team Australia wearing Team GAC Pindar colours and skippered by Seve Jarvin.

The quadruple gold and silver medal Olympic champion opens his campaign in the 40-foot catamarans in Singapore next month with a crew which will include another gold medallist, Paul Goodison, Olympic match racer Pippa Wilson, and long-time America’s Cup and world match racing colleague Matt Cornwell.

He will again be backed by JP Morgan Asset Management, which chose the London Boat Show also to announce it is extending its sponsorship of the Round the Island (of Wight) race into 2015 and 2016.

Two other Extreme 40s will be skippered by top British contenders, reigning Extreme Series champion Leigh McMillan and Rob Greenhalgh, both sponsored by Oman Sail. Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, which lost in 2013 only on countback to McMillan, will also be back in the Land Rover-backed series.

That takes in Europe, with Cardiff and St. Petersburg holding centre stage, Istanbul providing a bridge to the Middle East, include a return to Oman and the China Olympic Games sailing city of Qingdao, plus a first visit to Sydney, Australia.

Coaching the Pindar team will be their four-times world match racing tour champion Ian Williams. He is aiming for a fifth title on a circuit still being finalised and which does not start until May. “We have a largely unchanged tam and will also be doing the Congressional Cup in California again,” he said. “Losing on what would have been a third consecutive victory will motivate us even more, We are very keen to get out there and show we have still got what it takes.” 

The 35 America’s Cup is expected to be staged in San Francisco – so far no other venue has announced a bid to host the event – in August 2017 with a preceding programme of warm-up events. The terms of the competition, including the size and type of boat, are being hammered out by the holder, Oracle USA, whom Sir Ben helped to an astonishing comeback victory last September, and the Australian Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

Any British challenge would want to see the terms of that protocol due, to be published in March or April, and assess the likely budget to give a reasonable chance of winning, and look at the associated marketing opportunities for any sponsors before making a formal challenge to join the Prada-backed Italians and Team New Zealand. Seed money for a British challenge is thought to be in place. 

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy