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35th America’s Cup - Sir Ben Ainslie secures funding

by Kate Laven on 10 May 2014
34th America’s Cup - Sir Ben Ainslie, Oracle Team USA ACEA / Photo Abner Kingman © http://photo.americascup.com
Kate Laven in the Britain's Telegraph reports that British Olympian Ben AinsliBritish Olympian has secured the private seed funding for a British assault on the race. While potential America’s Cup challengers wait for details of the 35th America’s Cup to be announced, Sir Ben Ainslie has secured the private seed funding for a British campaign, to be unveiled next month.

She says It will be difficult for him to go ahead with the next phase of the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) campaign - raising the £100m commercial sponsorship - until he has seen the protocol governing the Cup, which is currently being agreed by Cup holders Oracle Team USA and official challengers Team Australia.

The protocol, which was due to be announced in March but has been promised for disclosure next week, will contain the rules for the next event, including plans for a 62-foot foiling wing-sailed catamaran, a similar but smaller version of the high speed AC72 used so dramatically in San Francisco last year.

San Francisco, where Ellison’s home and HQ are based, is the likely contender after showing itself to be a near perfect America’s Cup venue last time round though local tax payers were left with a hefty staging bill of $11 million which has made negotiations for the 35th Cup tricky.

Next month, Ainslie will announce who he has engaged so far to be in his sailing team, with all members expected to be British. His AC62 designers will also be unveiled though his friend Iain Percy, who is heading up the Swedish Artemis campaign, snapped up four highly regarded designers back in January reducing Ainslie’s options.

His AC team and new office premises near Southampton plus his Extreme Sailing Series campaign to bring him up to speed helming multihulls, has been funded mainly by two of Britain’s most passionate amateur sailors Sir Charles Dunstone, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, and Sir Keith Mills of Airmiles, Tottenham Hotspur and London Olympics fame.

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