British sailing team hopes to get Newey onboard

By Samuel Petrequin, AP, 10 June 2014
© AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie is trying to raise £80 million ($135 million) and secure help from the Formula One racing world in a bid to bring the America's Cup trophy to Britain in 2017.

Ainslie won the regatta last year as a crew member of Oracle Team USA, which defended its title in a stunning comeback to beat Emirates Team New Zealand.

"But standing there on the podium lifting the America's Cup, it did cross my mind that it would be much more fulfilling with a British team, and so that is the goal," Ainslie said Tuesday.

Ainslie, knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2012, launched his project at a ceremony in London attended by the Duchess of Cambridge, a keen sailor herself.

The new team -- Ben Ainslie Racing -- is backed by Charles Dunstone, the chairman and co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, and Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of the organising committee of the 2012 London Olympics.

Both men have been in contact with different British F1 teams to get them involved in the project. Ainslie confirmed that Red Bull F1 team design chief Adrian Newey could help with the boat's aerodynamics and technologies.

"He is the most successful Formula One designer in history and is keen on sailing the America's Cup," Ainslie said. "He has a lot of commitment still with Formula One and it really just depends how he could perhaps fits something in to be involved with the team. It would be a huge asset for us if he can find time."

 

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