Please select your home edition
Edition
Hella Marine - NZ - 728 - July

America's Cup- Jobson goes one on one with Ainslie (Part 3)

by ISAF Media on 23 Jan 2014
Oracle Team USA tactician Ben Ainslie Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa© http://www.lunarossachallenge.com
After having sat down with Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, ISAF Vice-President met with Ben Ainslie (GBR) shortly afterwards. Ainslie was drafted in to replace John Kostecki mid-way through the 34th America's Cup on-board Oracle Team USA and played a key part in one of the finest sporting comebacks of all time.

ISAF-Vice President Gary Jobson sat down with Ainslie at the end of 2013 to find out a little bit more about the British sailor in Part 3 of 3...Miss Part 1 or Part 2?

The three part series will be published on the ISAF website, www.sailing.org.

Gary Jobson

'I think one of the greatest things that all of us respect in sports is when you overcome adversity or make a comeback. You might not know this but I was on the water in 1996 at the Olympic Games in Savannah, and I was on the water in Sydney. And what happened in Savannah, I think you were 19 years old and this brilliant sailor from Brazil, Robert Scheidt, and you and he had to beat you in the final race and you had the match race of all time. And he got the Gold and you got the Silver. And then four years later here you are the two of you at the top of the fleet in the Lasers and you had almost the exact same scenario at the windward mark and luffing each other, but you came out on top. You've been able to do that and let me assure you there were a lot of Finn sailors including the Danish guy trying very hard to keep you from winning that medal but you pulled through. Very impressive. (Applause) There's a question that has been gnawing at me for about a month now, who are you going to sail for in the next America's Cup?'

Ainslie

'That's an easy question. I thought you were going to ask me something difficult. Well you know there is a lot going on at the moment, Gary, as you know in the America's Cup. It's an interesting period. And, of course, we need to find out what happens with the next event with what Larry Ellison, with Russell Coutts, hopefully, what they decide they want to do with the America's Cup. I think we all hope it will be back here in San Francisco.'


Jobson

'I think it should be and it will be in my view.'

Ainslie

'What an awesome venue and great hosts and all the rest of it. It's no secret that we would like to have a British team involved with the Cup. Having said that, as we all know it's a big boy's game. You can't go into it without the right level of funds. You know this. You've won the America's Cup. You've got to have the team with the where with all to win it otherwise there's no point, you're wasting everyone's time. Within the next couple of weeks we've got to decide if we can get that together. So things are moving quickly and hopefully that can be the case.'

Jobson

'I know how important you are to your country, England, and what that means and England really has unbelievable sailors and Olympians and Shirley Robertson. The list goes on and on. Ben I think you should sail for Great Britain and come challenge here. I think you should.'

Ainslie

'We'll try.'

Jobson

'Of course we're the enemies but anyway I think it would be exciting. The British have had such a long unsuccessful history in the America's Cup that you could be the guy to turn this around.'

Ainslie

'That's right. We started the event in 1851. Back then it was called the 100 Guinea Cup and you Americans came over in your little tin pot boat called America, won the Cup, sailed off, called the Cup America's Cup and we haven't seen it since so it's probably about time we changed that.'

Jobson

'You know Ben I'm kind of wondering how people of the past would consider catamarans being used in the America's Cup, which, let's face it, was a little bit controversial although, boy was it exciting. Thank you for providing such wonderful TV. But here's a little story. So there's a 20 year old guy in 1820 named John Cox Stephens. And John Cox Stevens built himself a catamaran. The name of the boat was Double Trouble, two hulls, double trouble. He was a catamaran aficionado, 1820, and 24 years later at the age 44, he founded the New York Yacht Club and he was the head of the syndicate that built that boat, America, to go to England. So I have a gut feeling that he is up there looking down endorsing the use of multihulls in the America's Cup. I also did an interview with a guy name Thomas David Blackaller Jr., one of the greatest San Francisco sailors of all time, and Tom told me, I asked him in this interview on ESPN, 'Tom if you were the czar of the America's Cup what it would look like?' And he said, 'if I was czar of the America's Cup it would be in San Francisco Bay in catamarans.' And what an unbelievable show we had in San Francisco Bay in catamarans.'

Ainslie

'He's got a bit of foresight there.'


Jobson

'Is it scary coming into the leeward mark at 45 knots?'

Ainslie

'It is a little bit dodgy at times, yes. Funny thing was, obviously We had a lot of help, we had a lot of software and I had a tablet in the lifejacket which I had to help with the Navigation. As you all know, everyone round the world got into the sailing. I was getting messages from friends at home going, 'Finally I can understand what sailing is about.' It's amazing. Also I was getting messages from friends and family at home saying, 'This is ridiculous because we're trying to get our kids to sleep and the racing is on at 10:00 or 11:00 at night and the kids won't go to bed.' I had a message from my nephew who's eight years old and he said, 'Uncle Ben this is great. The racing is really amazing, it's fantastic but I don't understand why you keep opening your lifejacket and you're looking for sweets and I can tell you there aren't any sweets there.' I said they're not sweets. He said, okay, good, good, good.'

Jobson

'I happen to have learned that both Jimmy Spithill and John Kostecki early on during practice both fell overboard. Did you ever fall overboard?'

Ainslie

'I very nearly fell overboard, yes, in training, when I was steering the boat. The forces on the boat are amazing. If you are jibing and turning up downwind around the leeward mark, the forces are just unbelievable. We had designers who went out on the boat and they hadn't been out on the boat much before. And if they're in the wrong spot when you turn up and they're not holding onto anything, they literally just go flying off the boat. So we lost quite a lot of people off the boat. And we obviously, we lost Joey Newton in between races he went for a bit of a tumble. It's easily done. Coming out of a jibe Darren Bundock was steering our boat out of the jibes I ended up with my arm around his neck. That was basically the only thing holding me on the boat. Poor old Darren he was trying to steer the boat out of the jibe and he had me basically trying to throttle him, staying on the boat. So we had some pretty scary moments but I can say they were scary because we obviously know what happened to the Artemis team and Andrew Simpson who was one of my best mates in the world. It was tempered. It was a lot of fun. The boats are amazing. They're really aggressive, full on boats but at the same time you have to respect what we're doing out there and trying to be safe. I think I would say everyone was devastated with what happened to Andrew but I think the sailing community, being a sailor, I was just blown away by the level of support from everyone in the sailing world and the community. Everyone that came together. The fundraiser that we had in San Francisco and all the people here tonight who made such huge efforts to help with that. It's been one of the most touching moments of my life. Racing in the America's Cup was great but I think the way the America's Cup community and the sailing world dealt with the incident was really fantastic.'

Jobson

'Very nice. Well said. Your leader, Mr. Ellison, was kind of a recluse throughout the America's Cup summer. We didn't see much of him although he did come alongside our Regardless where I was and I talked with him for 10 minutes. I had really good material at the end of that 10 minutes. And within 30 second his long-time assistant, Judy Sim sends me a text message, 'you may not use any of the content or discussion of Larry Ellison in your TV broadcast.' However, when Larry Ellison showed up the press conference after winning, he was gracious, he was funny, he was respectful, and I was thinking where was he all this time? We should have gotten to know him. So tell us a little bit about Larry Ellison from your perspective now that you've gotten to know him.'

Ainslie

'I think that's right. The times I've met Larry Ellison he's been exactly how you described him. He's very charming, very approachable, very knowledgeable about sailing. I just think he's clearly a very busy man. We saw him as a team maybe three or four times during the whole 12 months that I was with the team. He was very rarely around. I know he kept in regular contact with Russell Coutts. He was clearly up to date with what was going on with the team and certainly during the event he was out there every day watching the team, supporting the team. He was on the phone to Russell a lot during the races giving advice. Poor Russell, yes Larry. Yes, Larry. He knows what is going on. Certainly as we got to the end of the event and it went on much further than any of us thought it would go, he gave us his whole business week, they had the Oracle Open World which must be one of the biggest weeks in Larry's year workwise and he gave it all up to support the team. So it was fantastic. Certainly this whole vision of what we've seen with the America's Cup, yes there's been a lot of criticism, yes none of us really knew where this would end up and we were fortunate the event ended up being the success that it was. But we shouldn't forget that it was really Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts' vision to make it happen. I'm almost out of contact with Oracle so I don't need to brown nose anymore. That's honestly my opinion.'


Jobson

'When you're a commentator on TV, you can't imagine the number of e-mails that come. Some people tell you you're great and other people tell you you're terrible and it just becomes a blur and you try and do the best you can when you are out there. It was great fun. Do you know what you have in common with John Kostecki, Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, my partner Kenny Read who did a nice job in his first television exposure, do you know what you all have in common?'

Ainslie

'I don't.'

Jobson

'You've all been gracious speakers at Leukemia Cups. Russell spoke here a few years ago. Did a great job. He did one for us in St. Louis a few years back and he's done one in Newport, Rhode Island. So very appreciative, Ben, to have you on our stage and supporting the Leukemia Cup and you can see how passionate people are. You might not know this but I got involved 21 years ago. Volunteer. Didn't know much about blood cancer. Didn't know the difference between Lymphoma and Leukemia. And quite ironic that I ended up with one of these diseases. And unlike Carl Van Duyne who passed away from non-hodgkins lymphoma, all the treatments and all this research I became the recipient. So you never know how things are going to go in life but sometimes when you help other people out, in the end you're the one that is helped out the most. That's one of the things that I learned.'

http://www.sailing.org/!ISAF_Website!nwe

Hella Marine - July 2016Barz Optics - FloatersThe Water Shed - 4

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Rich Wilson closing the finish line, due after midday
Rich Wilson is at just over 50 miles to the finish line of his second Vendée Globe and was making just over eight knots Rich Wilson is at just over 50 miles to the finish line of his second Vendée Globe and was making just over eight knots in a direct course for Les Sables d'Olonne. He should cross the line in 13th place in the early afternoon and has until 1530hrs local time to get into the channel.
Posted today at 7:40 am
Harken Young 88 Nationals step forward to early March
Young 88 National Championships will take place on 4-5 March 2017 with the continued support of Harken. The ever evergreen Young 88 National Championships will take place at the earlier date of fourth and 5th March 2017 with the continued support of Harken. After several years of light conditions in April, the aim is to have a better chance of moderate sea breezes for this battle of New Zealand’s largest keelboat class.
Posted today at 2:32 am
Light Winds forecast for Leg 1 of SSANZ Round North Island Race
Sailors in the Shorthanded Sailing Association of NZs Round North Island are keeping an eye on the long range forecast Amid the last days of boat preparation, competitors in the Shorthanded Sailing Association of New Zealand’s Round North Island are keeping an eye on the long range forecast for the first leg to Mangonui. 25 boats will cross the start line at 1400 hours Saturday 25 February, when the MetService is forecasting light winds for at least the first 24 hours of the race.
Posted today at 12:25 am
Collinson FX Market Commentary - Feb 21 - Pence steadies Europe
The AUD remained below 0.7700, while the NZD drifted below 0.7200, looking for support from the Dairy Auction. US equities settled in a quiet open to a holiday weekend. The Dollar was also steady, with the EUR trading 1.0600, while the Yen held above 113.00. The AUD remained below 0.7700, while the NZD drifted below 0.7200, looking for support from the Dairy Auction.
Posted on 20 Feb
An awe inspiring start to the RORC Caribbean 600
The ninth edition started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean The ninth edition started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. A southeasterly breeze, occasionally gusting up to 15 knots and a relatively calm sea state provided conditions for the perfect start with some close battles on the water.
Posted on 20 Feb
Maserati Multi70 trimaran starts RORC Caribbean 600 Race in Antigua
High-tech ocean racing trimaran Maserati Multi70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini crossed the start line off Fort Charlotte The high-tech Italian ocean racing trimaran, Maserati Multi70, skippered by Giovanni Soldini crossed the start line off Fort Charlotte on the south side of the island in 10-knot westerly breeze at 11.40 local time (15.40 in Europe).
Posted on 20 Feb
Vendée Globe – Alan Roura in his own words
Alan Roura, the youngest skipper ever to compete, finished in Les Sables d'Olonne this morning in twelfth place. Alan Roura, the youngest skipper ever to compete, finished in Les Sables d'Olonne this morning in twelfth place. In spite of not sleeping for four days because of the shipping in the Bay of Biscay and the light winds, he was ready to answer questions from the many journalists present on the pontoon an at a press conference.
Posted on 20 Feb
Phaedo^3 starts RORC Caribbean 600 – images by Rachel Fallon-Langdon
Phaedo^3 stars the RORC Caribbean 600 with close competition Maserati by their side Phaedo^3 stars the RORC Caribbean 600 with close competition Maserati by their side
Posted on 20 Feb
Phaedo^3 starts RORC C600 with Maserati by their side
In what is to be predicted and lighter wind race that the norm, Phaedo^3 stated at 11.40am local Antigua time. In what is to be predicted and lighter wind race that the norm, Phaedo^3 stated at 11.40am local Antigua time. With a strong competitor Giovanni Soldini’s MOD70 Maserati close by their side, it will be a chase to the end.
Posted on 20 Feb
Vendée Globe – Conrad Colman speaks about his dismasting and battle
New Zealand skipper Conrad Colman is fighting an incredible battle to finish the race after the mast crashed down Tenacious New Zealand skipper Conrad Colman is fighting an incredible battle to finish the race after the mast of his Foresight Natural Energy crashed down on the night of Friday 10th February.
Posted on 20 Feb