Ben Ainslie To Launch America's Cup Team
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie has announced the launch of his own America's Cup team.
The 34-year-old from Lymington will compete in the Finn class in Weymouth and Portland at this summer's Games, before turning attention to the oldest active trophy in international sport.
Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) will compete in the 2012/13 America's Cup World Series and will be underwritten by Oracle Racing, who Ainslie will join for their defence of the 34th America's Cup.
''I've always tried to have a plan of what I'm doing next after the Olympics,'' Ainslie said.
''The 2012 Olympics has been the focus, but from that has come the opportunity to be able to build a team which we hope can ultimately go on to challenge for the 35th America's Cup.''
While Ainslie harbours serious ambitions of challenging for the 35th edition, he will undertake his fourth America's Cup campaign with Oracle.
''It's a fantastic opportunity, I have a huge amount of respect for Russell [Coutts], Jimmy [James Spithill] and everyone involved,'' Ainslie said.
''I think with the direction the Cup has taken in the last few years, it's actually really important that Oracle Racing win again and it continues on the path that it has taken.
''I'm very excited about it and hopefully I can help the team retain the Cup.''
Oracle Racing chief executive officer and four-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts added:
''With all the things that we are doing to improve the America's Cup commercially, I think this is a great time for someone like Ben to be laying the foundations for his own team.
''With the massive improvements to televising the racing and staging it right where fans can see it, there has never been a better arena for stars such as Ben.''