The Ben Ainslie Racing team is considering one site in Old Portsmouth plus two sites in Southampton

The world’s most successful

Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie has confirmed plans to base an America’s Cup

team on the south coast of England.


The Lymington yachtsman is putting

together a UK team to challenge for the prestigious sailing prize.

Ben Ainslie Racing company has submitted

a planning application to Portsmouth City Council to build his team HQ on East

Street in the city.

A

team spokesman said: ‘Ben Ainslie Racing would like to establish a base on the

south coast, and a number of sites are currently being considered. The site at

Camber Quay in Old Portsmouth is one site under consideration along with two

sites in Southampton.

‘Planning

consent is being sought for the site, so that should the decision be made to

progress with the project in Portsmouth then work can start as soon as

possible.

‘The proposals at Camber Quay are for a fully sustainable team base,

built to BREAAM excellent standards, and would incorporate the team’s sailing

operations, R&D, boatbuilding, sports science and fitness facilities, along

with a controlled visitors centre to showcase innovation and technology along

with developing skills required for campaign’s success.’

Proposals for a large base proposed for

the Old Portsmouth area were recently shown to residents in a display at the Royal Naval

Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club.

The plans have been drawn up by

Fareham-based HGP Architects, which designed the Spinnaker Tower, Port Solent

and the Sails of the South.

Last year Sir Ben won the America’s Cup as

navigator on board the US boat Oracle but now his sights are set on winning the

prestigious trophy for Great Britain.

The competition first took place off the Isle of

Wight in 1851, but it has never been won by Britain.

Announcements

will soon be made about Sir Ben’s America’s Cup team and sponsors, with

all members expected to be British. His AC62 designers will also be unveiled.

The

team and new office premises near Southampton plus Sir Ben’s Extreme Sailing

Series campaign, which has boosted his experience of helming multihulls, has been

funded mainly by two of British sailing enthusiasts Sir Charles Dunstone,

co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, and entrepreneur Sir Keith Mills.

Both

magnates have publicly supported the idea of bringing the America’s Cup back to

Britain.

Images: Artist impressions of the proposed Ben Ainslie Racing AC team base at Portsmouth