America's Cup - Ben Ainslie Racing strengthens British Challenge
by Sarah Alexander on 1 Aug 2014
Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) have today revealed six additions to their British America’s Cup Challenge. The new team members will significantly strengthen BAR’s bid to bring the Cup back home to British waters.
Sir Ben Ainslie with the America's Cup © Lloyd Images
Britain’s Paul Campbell-James has joined the sailing team and brings a great deal of technical knowledge, combined with a solid record as both a mono and multi-hull racer. He represented Italian entry, Luna Rossa Challenge, filling the role of helmsman onboard ‘Swordfish’ during the 2012/13 America’s Cup World Series, moving into a reserve Helmsman and Performance Analyst role for the team’s 34th America’s Cup campaign.
Previously, Campbell-James had dominated the Extreme Sailing Series, claiming two championship titles in 2010 and 2011. Before that he raced the 49er skiff with the British Sailing Team, and had an active and successful match-racing career winning the British National title four times, the British Universities Team Racing Championship and the University Match Race World Championship, whilst studying for his degree in Ship Science at the University of Southampton. He commented;
'It’s been my dream to race in the America’s Cup since I was age 12 and to do it with the Union Jack on the wing and to compete for my country, with my mates next to me, would be pretty special. I’m proud to be joining BAR and looking forward to working towards bringing the Cup home.'
The design team, headed up by Technical Director and two-time America’s Cup winner, Andy Claughton, has recruited New Zealand’s Mark Bishop, who will bring additional composite engineering skills to the design team line up. Mark was responsible for the composite structures on a wide range of racing yachts including the VO70’s Telefonica Azul and Abu Dhabi’s Azzam. He has also worked on high-speed offshore powercraft that can reach speeds well in excess of 200 mph, with multiple world championship wins in both monohulls and catamarans.
Yves Mignard (FRA) also joins to focus on 3D design and modeling. Yves was part of the hugely successful Groupama Sailing Team during their winning Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 campaign, and joined Oracle Team USA for the end of their successful 2013 defence.
BAR shore team signings include Michel Marie (FRA) who takes on the position of Composites Manager. Michel’s wealth of America’s Cup experience includes a succession of senior management positions, with Alinghi (2000 – 2007) and BMW Oracle Racing (2007 – 2010), and has been part of three winning America’s Cup teams. Mark Cartwright (GBR), a specialist in designing and installing electronic systems, has been brought into the shore team to set up the electronics department.
Portsmouth’s Ben Williams completes the new line up, joining as team Strength and Conditioning Coach.
BAR Team Principal, Ben Ainslie, commented on the new team developments. 'Across the board we are bringing together the right blend of skill, knowledge and experience that we need to take us to our goal. These are all great additions to the team.'
Since BAR’s launch in June – at the Royal Museums Greenwich, and in the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge – the team have also secured £7.5 million in government funding towards a new Team HQ on Portsmouth’s Camber Quay. Building work started on the 1st July and is expected to be complete by 1st May 2015.
Ainslie concluded, 'We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have had since the launch, which gives us a lot of confidence. There are new developments happening every week, and these are setting solid foundations for our development and growth over the coming years.' Ben Ainslie Racing