There was a sense of finality in the air last Sunday at the America’s Cup World Series Naples. The close of the event also signaled the end of the second season of racing in the AC45, the wing sail catamaran created as a primer for the AC72s that will be showcased in the upcoming Summer of Racing on San Francisco Bay.
For Ben Ainslie, however, the show doesn’t end. Ainslie plans to enter his No. 3 boat, branded J.P. Morgan BAR, in the annual race around the Isle of Wight, scheduled June 1. The multihull record for the 50-nautical-mile course stands at 3 hours, 8 minutes and 29 seconds, set by a 60-foot trimaran in 2001. Ainslie’s goal is simply to have fun.
“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 boats are,” said Ainslie, a member of ORACLE TEAM USA. “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.”
Since winning a record-equaling fourth Gold medal at last summer’s Olympics, also a record-tying fifth Olympic medal overall, Ainslie has been promoting the sport of sailing to the British public in an attempt to diffuse long-standing misconceptions aobut the sport.
“Sailing is often mistaken, because people think it’s either a very expensive, very elitist sport, or it’s just far too complicated. Really it’s neither,” Ainslie says. “To have an Olympic career and then move on into something like the America’s Cup or the Volvo Ocean Race, which is offshore racing, these are completely new challenges and you’ve got to learn a whole new skill set and go out and do it again. It keeps you fresh and motivated.”
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