Team Ben Ainslie Racing’s Foiling Catamaran Hits the Waters of Bermuda with Momentum
Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie and his crew of world class sailors recently began training on-and under-the waters of Bermuda for the 35th America’s Cup, ahead of the rest of the competition. The week was spent learning the conditions and working towards hitting 35 mph.
Not only did the training go smoothly off the coast of the North Atlantic island, but the rest of Ben Ainslie’s campaign to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain in 2017 appears to be gathering momentum with support from a growing number of investors.
It has been rumoured that Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is currently considering joining the project. It is thought that Ainslie proposed that the Virgin founder join Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone and a various other investors by backing the campaign when he recently stayed on Branson’s Necker Island alongside his new wife Georgie Thompson. Although the couple’s stay provided an opportunity for Ainslie to secure Branson’s support, their journey to the private island sailing from British Virgin Islands ended in disaster after their sail broke and they had to be rescued by Necker Island staff. Although the incident may have been slightly embarrassing for the decorated sailing champion, Virgin’s involvement in the campaign looks likely.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) January 12, 2015
Although Ben Ainslie is still looking for financial backing to help his team win the America’s Cup in 2017, Team BAR current budget of £80m is being optimised by Milton Keynes-based tech company Matrix. As a result, Ainslie’s campaign has been described as the greenest America’s Cup campaign to date. Matrix SCM have given the opportunity to a number of small suppliers to help build the British team’s state-of-the-art yacht with a focus on limiting the build’s carbon footprint. This choice will also help put money back into the pockets of businesses around the Solent area near Team BAR’s base in Portsmouth.
2015 is looking like a great year for Team BAR as the America’s Cup World Series begins and the world’s most famous sailing event comes to Portsmouth for the 23-26 July.
Article by Jack Bartrop