FOUR-TIME Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie insists plans to establish a British-based America’s Cup team will only come to fruition if he sees a realistic chance of winning.
The 36-year-old played a key role in Oracle Team USA’s incredible comeback to defeat Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8 last week, stepping into the role of tactician as his squad overturned an 8-1 deficit.
Now Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history having also won silver at the Atlanta Games in 1996, wants to help a British team taste America’s Cup glory for the first time ever, but insists there will be no half measures.
“None of us want to do it unless we’ve got a good shot of winning it. Otherwise, we’re just wasting everyone’s time,” said Ainslie, who took the first steps to launching his own team last year.
“I’m heading back to the UK on Monday [today]. I’ve got some key meetings and we’ll talk pretty honestly about whether we think it’s realistic to get a campaign together.
“It’s the cost of securing the talent. It’s a relatively small world, the America’s Cup world, and there are probably four or five guys out there who can design a winning boat.
“If you don’t have one of those guys then realistically you are probably not going to win, and obviously the key sailors as well.”