• Sailing

Ainslie ready for America's Cup challenge

ESPN staff
August 16, 2012
Ben Ainslie is preparing for America's Cup sailing © Getty Images

Ben Ainslie is preparing to start a new chapter in his sailing career after becoming the most decorated Olympic sailor in history at London 2012.

Ainslie, who won his fourth Olympic gold medal in Weymouth, has now turned his back on the Olympics to pursue his dream of winning the America's Cup.

Ainslie's hopes of competing in the oldest trophy in international sport were crushed when Team Origin were forced to abandon their plans two years ago, but he has now joined defending champions Team Oracle ahead of next year's event.

Ainslie, who is moving San Francisco this week, has also set up his own team, Ben Ainslie Racing, to compete in the America's Cup World Series. After carrying the GB flag in the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday, Ainslie has now set his sights on a new challenge.

"Carrying the flag on Sunday was probably the greatest honour of my life," Ainslie said in his column for the Daily Telegraph. "But it's time for the dream to end; a new chapter in my life begins on Friday when I fly to San Francisco to begin my America's Cup adventure.

"I have said many times that I had two goals when I started my career; to win Olympic gold and to win the America's Cup, the pinnacle of big boat sailing.

"I feel confident now that we have the right building blocks in place to give us a chance of one day competing for the only major international sporting trophy Great Britain has never won."

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