• America's Cup

Ainslie targeting British success in America's Cup

ESPN staff
June 10, 2014
The America's Cup has not been staged on British shores since its inaugural running in 1871 © PA Photos

Sir Ben Ainslie and the Duchess of Cambridge announced Britain's bid to win the 35th America's Cup on Tuesday.

Ainslie steered Oracle Team USA's remarkable comeback to claim a 9-8 victory against Team New Zealand in San Francisco last year and will captain a team in 2017.

The Olympic gold medallist wants to see the race return to Britain, where it first took place off the Isle of Wight in 1871. With a budget of around £80 million, Ainslie is keen to lead a British team to glory for the first time in the event's history.

"Winning that event in San Francisco with a good group of guys was way more powerful than anything I had done as an individual, to share that experience, 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.

"It is never easy, but it is about bringing together the right people who have built successful corporations, designed successful America's Cup boats, sailed on winning boats, brought the Olympics to Britain - and we have those people.

"I know what it is like to be successful. All of us are here to win the America's Cup and we will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. I learned a great deal aboard Oracle in San Francisco and I would not be challenging if I did not believe we have a real chance of winning this time.

"For me, it is probably not the easy option, but it is the right option. It is about righting a wrong and bringing the cup back to British waters for the first time ever.

"Our budget is around £80m, which is realistic to try to win, we don't just want to take part. We need to bring together the right talent in terms of designers, we have a fantastic core team and will be building the team out from here."

The America's Cup winner decides the venue and format of the next tournament. While the challengers have previously been decided in a series held before the showpiece event, qualifying races have been reorganised ahead of the 2017 staging.

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