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Displaying items by tag: Ben Ainslie

#AmericasCup - Olympic sailing legend Sir Ben Ainslie confirmed his backing of a British contingent among the six entries in the next America's Cup, as announced at a press conference today.

But it's not yet confirmed if he will be one of the crew on board, as he was when he helped Oracle Team USA to the 'Auld Mug' almost a year ago.

Bloomberg has more on the press gathering in London, at which Ainslie spoke of his wish to "bring the America's Cup home" when the yachts get racing in 2017 at a venue still to be decided after Team Australia pulled out over the summer.

Indeed, next time out 'Sir Ben' will go head to head with the team he led to a remarkable comeback victory last year in San Francisco.

However, as the Western Morning News reports, the Olympian is was tight-lipped about his own involvement on the team, only commenting that it would be "predominantly British" and would comprise "experienced guys who have been successful in the cup and some younger talent coming through, particularly British talent."

He added: "If we were going racing tomorrow I would be steering the boat but that might not be the answer in a couple of years’ time."

Published in America's Cup
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The British Royal Yacht Squadron Racing (RYSR) has had its challenge accepted by the America's Cup defender, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. RYSR is the affiliate club of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the challenging club for Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), now the official British entry for the 35th America's Cup in 2017.

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), having won the 34th America's Cup, holds the America's Cup in accordance with the terms of a Deed of Gift dated 24 October 1887 and will be hosting the event in three years' time, although the location is yet to be confirmed, being either San Diego or Bermuda.

RYSR submitted its Notice of Challenge to the GGYC during the two-month open entry period which closed on Friday 8th August. The entry has now been formally accepted.

Each team that challenges for the America's Cup is required to do so through a host club. The America's Cup started its long history at the Royal Yacht Squadron when the schooner America beat a fleet of British racing yachts to the finish line there on 22 August 1851, watched by Queen Victoria.

"We are delighted that Ben Ainslie Racing, led by Sir Ben, has asked Royal Yacht Squadron Racing to challenge on his behalf and are sure that, if anyone can bring the Cup back to its original home, he and his excellent BAR team can," commented Simon van der Byl, CEO of RYSR.

Published in America's Cup

#americascup – Sir Ben Ainslie likes to defy the odds but his latest race against time could even test his skills of generating something from nothing writes James Toney.
Last year Britain's most able seaman since Admiral Nelson masterminded one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all-time, calling the tactics as Oracle Team USA sailed back from a virtual Dead Sea to win the America's Cup in San Francisco.
But sailing with a Stars and Stripe on his sleeve took something off the moment for the four-time Olympic and eight-time world champion.
Britain has staged the Olympics, finally won the men's singles title at Wimbledon and seized yellow at the Tour de France two years.
But the Auld Mug is arguably the last sporting summit to be conquered and it's time to end 163 years of maritime misery, with Sir Ben at the helm and a nation providing the wind in his sails.
However, turning a required investment of £80 million into a success will not be easy, new teams rarely succeed on their maiden voyages - indeed it took US software billionaire Larry Ellison two attempts – a reported $200 million - before his success in Valencia four years ago.
"It is never easy, but it is about bringing together the right people who have built successful corporations, designed successful America's Cup boats, sailed on winning boats, brought the Olympics to Britain and we have those people," said Ainslie, who is being backed by London 2012 deputy chairman Sir Keith Mills and Carphone Warehouse co-founder Sir Charles Dunstone in his campaign.
"Winning last year was more powerful that anything I'd previously achieved but it would have been so much more fulfilling with a British team and that's the goal.
"Since childhood I've had this burning desire and ambition to be part of a winning British America's Cup team. We don't just want to take part, we're here to win and we've got a budget that will make us competitive."
Next week Ainslie will seek to capture one of his sport's most famous records as he seeks to set the quickest monohull circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight at the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
He already holds the multihull record from last year and the event has deep rooted historical links to his America's Cup campaign.
The race was first contested as a 52-mile circuit sail on the Solent in 1851 - the schooner America won - claiming trophy naming rights - and a British boat has never won it back.
Ainslie - who has already raised 40 percent of his required budget - could have named his price to be involved with another campaign but wanted to fly the British flag, though he's drafted in experienced Kiwi Jono McBeth to the key role of sailing manager.
"For me, it is probably not the easy option, but it is certainly the right option," added Ainslie, who received a royal seal of approval to his challenge from the Duchess of Cambridge.
"It is about righting a wrong and bringing the cup back to British waters for the first time ever.
"I know what it is like to be successful but I'd like to do that under the British flag - with a boat the whole country can get behind. All of us are here to win the America's Cup and we will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal."

Ben Ainslie Racing Team Members

Investor Group and Board Members

Sir Charles Dunstone - Founding Shareholder and Chairman

Sir Keith Mills GBE - Founding Shareholder and Board Member

Chris Bake - Founding Shareholder and Board Member

Peter Dubens - Founding Shareholder

Robert Elliott - Independent Board Member

Lord Michael Grade CBE - Independent Board Member

Lord Irvine Laidlaw - Founding Shareholder

Ian Taylor - Founding Shareholder

Jon Wood – Founding Shareholder and Board Member

Management Team

Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) – Team Principal and Skipper

Jono Macbeth (NZL) – Sailing Team Manager and Sailor

Andy Claughton (GBR) – Technical Director

Andy Hindley (GBR) – Chief Operating Officer and Chief Finance Officer

James Stagg (GBR) – Shore Team Manager

Jo Grindley (GBR) – Head of Commercial, Marketing, Communications and Events

Design Team

Andy Claughton (GBR) – Design and Naval Architecture

Dirk Kramers (NED/USA) – Design and Engineering

Clay Oliver (USA) – Design and Performance Simulation

Rodrigo Azcueta (ARG) – Design and Computational Fluid Dynamics

Luc du Bois (SUI) – Instrumentation and Performance Analysis

Francisco Azevedo (POR) – 3D Modelling

Jason Ker (GBR) – Design and Naval Architecture

Matteo Ledri (ITA) – Computational Fluid Dynamics

Johannes Mausolf (GER) – Performance Prediction and Software Development

Benjamin Muyl (FRA) – Design and Naval Architecture

Simon Schofield (GBR) – 3D Design and Modelling

Benjamin Vernieres (FRA) – 3D Modelling

Sailing Team

Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) – Skipper

Jono Macbeth (NZL) – Sailing Team Manager

Andy McLean (NZL)– Sailing and Design Team Liaison

David Carr (GBR) – Sailing Team

Matt Cornwell (GBR) – Sailing Team

Nick Hutton (GBR) – Sailing Team

Published in America's Cup
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The home of the 2012 sailing  Olympic regatta, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) has announced a prestigious new collaboration with the 'Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation' (ASSF). The ASSF founded by the Academy's Director, Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy OBE and Andrew's wife Leah to honour his life and legacy, will be opening the 'Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre' at the same venue where Andrew 'Bart' Simpson competed during the Olympic Games.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, based in Andrew's home county of Dorset, will act as a hub for all of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation's activities, helping the Foundation fulfil its charitable objectives. The RYA accredited Centre will open in May 2014 offering a range of sailing courses for young people, community organisations and adults; including programmes for schools, as well as club sailors.

Peter Allam, Chief Executive at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy explains the relevance to the local community; 'the ASSF has agreed to work closely with the Academy and the Chesil Trust to deliver the 'Rod Shipley Sail for a Fiver' scheme which has to date assisted 12,000 local children to experience sailing on the waters of Portland Harbour. The scheme has run successfully for 10 years and currently introduces 1,500 children to water sports annually. The Academy is committed long term to inspiring the next generation through sailing. Working in hand with the ASSF, this relationship will make a significant contribution to the ongoing development of the Olympic and Paralympic sailing legacy here at the WPNSA'.

Amanda Simpson, Andrew's sister and a Trustee of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation as well as being an accomplished sailor in her own right commented, 'this is a fantastic opportunity for ASSF to engage with grass roots sailing in a place where Andrew spent much of his youth and adult sailing life. We look forward to working with local and national communities to make this venture at the WPNSA a huge success'.

Published in Olympic

#AmericasCup - Having already mastered the seas, now British Olympic and America's Cup hero Sir Ben Ainslie wants to conquer the skies.

The Bournemouth Echo reports on his recent appearance on BBC Radio's Desert Island Discs, where he expressed his desire for his very own flight simulator to practice with, as he lacks the time to properly pursue the flying lessons he's already started.

Sir Ben also spoke of scaring himself by his competitive nature and dark moods after race losses, but at the same time confirmed he's driven by "one burning desire" - to win the America's Cup with a British team and repeat last summer's leading of Oracle Team USA to an amazing against-all-odds comeback victory.

With organisers proposing a 'nationality rule' for the next America's Cup, Ainslie's dream may come sooner than later - and he's got at least one major supporter in superstar Formula 1 car designer Adrian Newey.

Published in America's Cup
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#AmericasCup - Fresh off of helping comeback kids Oracle Team USA to the America's Cup in San Francisco last week, Britain's Olympic sailing superstar Sir Ben Ainslie gets the profile treatment in The Guardian this weekend.

Credited by many with the astonishing turnaround in Oracle's fortunes as they trailed Emirates Team NZ by one race win to eight in the first-to-nine contest, Ainslie is nonetheless discreet about the achievement, reminding interviewer Sam Wollaston: "There were 120 guys on the team and 11 of us on the water. It's certainly not about individuals. I'm not just trying to be modest."

'Sir Ben' feels he's matured over his long top-flight sailing career - dating back to his silver medal win in Atlanta in 1996 aged just 19 - and no longer turns "into a bit of a monster on the water".

And at least the Olympic gold medallist recognises what everybody else can see in him - that he's able to "produce the best performances under pressure, when things aren't going that well. I love the challenge, being on the back foot."

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in America's Cup
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#rtir – British sailing superstar Ben Ainslie stormed across the finish line at 0802:15, accompanied by a swarm of RIBs and Ian Roman's photo helicopter, to smash the 12-year-old race record. He finished the race in 2 hours 52 minutes 15 seconds, carving more than 16 minutes off Francis Joyon's 2001 time and taking the record time to less than three hours.
Ben and his team on J.P.Morgan BAR celebrate their fabulous record-breaking achievement right after crossing the line in today's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Photo: Patrick Eden

Second across the finish line was Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard. Having sailed the first half of the race in 1 hour 40 minutes the giant monohull looked to be well inside the record time of 3 hours 53 minutes she set in 2008. However, Leopard slowed in the second half of the race and it wasn't clear that she would better the record time until she was a few minutes away from the finish. She finally crossed the line at 0843.50, shaving 9 minutes 45 seconds off her previous record.

Speaking while enjoying a glass of celebratory champagne, Slade said: "When we were rounding St Catherine's Point we were concerned that the wind would start dying off Shanklin - but it stayed up all the way round the Island. We're also looking forward to the handicap result - if it drops as forecast we could do well on handicap as well. It looks like it will be a good day for everyone - they will all get round and everyone's going to have a great day."

The back markers in the fleet of almost 1,500 boats are having a very different experience to the front-runners. Stephen Payne's Moody 27 family cruiser Phantom of Cramond in ISCRS Division 8B, for instance, is enjoying a much more leisurely sail - at 0850 they were passing Yarmouth, just 9 miles from the start.

With the winds stronger than forecast so far, some damaged sails have been seen. Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas, sailing with Campbell Field on the Elan 450 Squire Sanders, reported splitting a spinnaker in half between the Needles and St Catherine's Point.

Published in Racing

Ben Ainslie's  AC45 catamaran will be racing on British waters for the first time when it competes in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on the 1st June. The iconic Race around the Isle of Wight will mark the first occasion Ainslie will compete on home waters since winning his historic fourth Olympic gold in Weymouth last year.

Skipper Ben Ainslie summarises the reason behind entering: "It's been a fantastic experience to race the AC45's in the America's Cup World Series, this was an opportunity to bring the boat to the UK to show the British public how dynamic and exciting these boat are. The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race provides the perfect opportunity to race the AC45 on an iconic course in Britain's largest yacht Race".

The current multihull record of 3 hours 8 minutes and 29 seconds has stood since 2001, held by offshore legend Francis Joyon. It was very nearly beaten last year by the Multi 50 trimaran Actual, missing out by just 1min, 28secs.
Ben continued: "I've had a few people comment about going for the Race record, in order for the team to have any chance of getting close the record we would need to have the perfect conditions. We're aiming to get round as quickly as possible but the most important is to race safely and have great fun, whatever happens after that is an added bonus".
It was only right and correct that the team will change to an all British crew for this one off Race and Ben is bringing in a group of experienced sailors. Mark Bulkeley (Head sail trimmer) and Matt Cornwall (Bowman) have a wealth of AC45 sailing experience competing for Team Korea and Artemis in the 2012 -13 America Cup World Series. Ben also won the World Match Racing Championship with Matt in 2010. The other two crew roles on board will be taken by Andrew Mills (Runner) and Mark Andrews (wing trimmer). Both sail as part of the British Sailing Team in the Finn Class and were training partners for Ben in the lead up to London 2012.
The first America's Cup was raced clockwise around the Isle of Wight in 1851. A race originally called the "100 Guinea Cup" which was won by the New York yacht America which gave rise to the America's Cup.
Ben summarises: "The Round the Island is slightly different to the original Cup course as its counter clockwise and I will be racing against close to 1,900 other boats but never the less it will still be a fantastic opportunity to Race the new generation of Cup boats on the same waters over 160 years later".
For J.P. Morgan this is a celebration of their commitment to the sport of sailing... Keith Evins, head of UK marketing, J.P. Morgan Asset Management commented: "We are very proud of our long standing sponsorship of both the Round the Island Race and Ben through his Olympic campaign and recently his new America's Cup world Series team. It will be a fantastic spectacle for spectators and competitors seeing J.P. Morgan BAR racing around the iconic landmarks of the Isle of Wight."

Published in News Update
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#Honours - British Olympic sailing hero Ben Ainslie has finished out his record-breaking year with a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

The most decorated Olympic sailor of all time claimed his fourth straight gold – and fifth Olympic medal in total – on the waters of Weymouth and Portland this summer in what was a fitting curtain call to a stellar 16-year Olympic career.

“This is an incredible honour,” the 35-year-old Ainslie told the Royal Yachting Association.  “When I set out Olympic sailing 20 years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen.

“I couldn't have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.”

Last month Ainslie announced his retirement from Olympic sailing in order to focus on his America’s Cup ambitions. His announcement came just weeks after he was named the male winner of the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award at the Mansion House in Dublin.

In other honours, David ‘Sid’ Howlett - who coached Ben Ainslie to his record-breaking fourth Olympic gold and sixth Finn World Championship title this summer - was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to British sailing since 1988.

And Helena Lucas, who became the first Paralympic gold medallist for sailing as the only female among an otherwise all-male fleet in the 2.4mR class, was also awarded an MBE.

“It's a real honour and a fantastic end to an amazing year!” she said. “It was totally unexpected as there have been so many outstanding sporting achievements this year!”     

Beyond the Olympics and Paralympics, there was also recognition for Malcolm Torry, who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to sailing and to people with disabilities for his work through Carsington Sailability in Derbyshire.   

RYA chief executive Sarah Treseder commented: “We are all absolutely thrilled for sailing’s award recipients, who have all made major contributions either to the RYA community, or the sport of sailing and its successes on the world stage across so many years.

“They are such great ambassadors for our sport, and we’re delighted and so proud that their hard work and achievements have been recognised after the sporting success story that 2012 has been for the country.”   

Published in Olympics 2012

#rio – Ben Ainslie has announced his retirement from Olympic sailing. At London 2012 Ainslie cemented his place in sporting history by securing his fourth consecutive gold medal, it was the culmination of an Olympic career spanning sixteen years.

The British star, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said that he had waited for the recent International Sailing Federation conference in Dublin to see which race classes would be on the Olympic programme for 2016 in Brazil, as despite initial suggestions that he would not return, he had had second thoughts.

His final gold medal also entered Ainslie into the history books making the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.

For Ainslie the decision was not an easy one, "When I look back there are so many special memories; from that first medal in Atlanta 16 years ago to carrying the flag at the closing ceremony in London 2012. London was an incredibly special Olympics, competing on home waters and in front of a home crowd, I don't think anything will be able to top that experience. But you have to move forwards and it is time to move onto the next challenge in my career."

Ainslie has taken the bold move to setup a team to challenge for the 35th America's Cup. This announcement marks the start of a new chapter in his career as he now shifts his focus to winning the America's Cup and bringing the oldest trophy in sport back to Britain. Conceived by the British in 1851, the America's Cup is the only international sporting trophy Great Britain has never won.

The team has taken the first steps on this road with J.P.Morgan who is title sponsor to the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) AC45 team, who are competing in the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) 2012-13. The team has shown great promise finishing second at the last ACWS event in October.

"The America's Cup has always been a goal for me. With the new format of the America's Cup World Series and the increased commericalistaion of the event, I feel confident that we can continue to build towards creating a commercially viable team, with the ultimate goal of challenging for the 35th America's Cup."

"Stepping away from the Olympics was not an easy decision to make and I wanted to take some time after London to think about the future and what the next challenge would be. I've had an amazing Olympic sailing career and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the countless number of people who have been involved in my sailing career to date. Their support enabled me to achieve my dreams and I could not have done it without them."

John Derbyshire, Royal Yachting Association Performance Director, commented:

"Ben has always made it clear that his two career goals have been to win Olympic gold, and to win the America's Cup.  With four Olympic golds and a silver across five Games, and now the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, he has nothing left to prove in Olympic terms and there can be no question that he's more than achieved his first goal.  It's therefore entirely understandable that he should now want to turn his attentions to the second, and hopefully lead a British team to win the oldest trophy in sport for the very first time.

"The word 'legend' is often over-used in sport, but Ben really is one – a determined yet unassuming, modest, often under-recognised legend in this nation's sporting history.  He has been a talismanic figure in the RYA's Olympic programme for over 16 years, through his successes inspiring new waves of sailors to get involved in the sport, and passing on his tireless work ethic and campaign skills to other young talents who will look to follow in his footsteps and take on the challenge of keeping GBR a leading light in Olympic sailing in the years to come."

The next ten months will see Ainslie train and compete with the America's Cup defenders ORACLE Team USA in San Francisco, where he will gain invaluable experience helming one of two AC72s in the build up to the 34th America's Cup in September 2013.

Olympic medals

2012 – GOLD Olympics Finn class, London

2008 – GOLD Olympics Finn class, Beijing

2004 – GOLD Olympics Finn class, Athens

2000 – GOLD Olympics Laser class, Sydney

1996 – SILVER Olympics Laser class, Atlanta

World Titles

2012 – GOLD Finn World Championships

2008 – GOLD Finn World Championships

2005 – GOLD Finn World Championships

2004 – GOLD Finn World Championships

2003 – GOLD Finn World Championships

2002 – GOLD Finn World Championships

1999 – GOLD Laser World Championships

1998 – GOLD Laser World Championships

1995 – GOLD ISAF Youth World Championships (Laser class)

1993 – GOLD Laser Radial World Championships

European Titles

2008 – GOLD Finn European Championships

2005 – GOLD Finn European Championships

2003 – GOLD Finn European Championships

2002 – GOLD Finn European Championships

2000 – GOLD Laser European Championships

1999 – GOLD Laser European Championships

1998 – GOLD Laser European Championships

1996 – GOLD Laser European Championships

1993 – GOLD Laser Radial European Championships

Published in Olympics 2012
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!