With the next America’s Cup challenge not till 2017, the Olympic gold-medallist has hinted he might not be at the helm of the British team

Olympic sailing star
Sir Ben Ainslie has hinted that he might not be at the helm of Britain’s next America’s
Cup challenge in 2017.

Speaking to Reuters at
a news conference on Tuesday, the 37-year-old discussed setting up the British team
and the new talent coming through.

He said: “We have a
mixture of guys, some with experience of previous Cup campaigns and some
younger talent coming through, particularly British talent who race in 49ers
and classes like that.

“If we were racing
tomorrow I would be steering the boat, but maybe that’s not the same answer I
would give in a couple of years time.

“I reckon recreational
sailors are seeing more of the water than me this year.

“There have been a few
moments where I thought, ‘yeah it’s great to get out of the office’. But that
was always the plan, to set the team up, get the funding, the designers, the

Ainslie, who won the
last America’s Cup with Team Oracle, has been extremely busy over the past year
acquiring funding, designers and sailors in order to launch a British campaign.

However, delays in
stating where the 2017 event will take place have caused difficulties for teams
looking to enter, with San Diego and Bermuda currently the two favourites. 

“In an ideal world, 12
months down the road it would be nice to have a venue and a date set in stone
but for a number of different reasons that hasn’t happened.

“The great thing is,
the teams are coming together to rectify that. Probably more important for the
future, so that after this next race we will know what the boat will be, what
the venue will be and get a structure in place early on.

“It’s crazy really. We
had such a successful race last time, we needed the continuity to keep the
momentum going.”