Ben Ainslie, the three-time Olympic gold medalist and Team Origin helmsman, was in Auckland during the last weekend, racing in the NZ Match Racing Championships, where he finished second, after being beaten in the finals by his form teammate Dean Barker.
The differences between match and fleet racing were the first issue touched in the interview but then moved to the Louis Vuitton Pacific series, the match race event that will take place in Auckland next February. According to Ainslie, Team Origin has assembled a 'great sailing team' that looks forward to racing. For him and the rest of the team it's great to 'get back on the water where we should be racing rather than sitting around in law courts'.
Team Origin has a 'good mixture' of nationalities -including New Zealanders, Australians and French- but it is still a predominantly British crew with Iain Percy, twice gold Olympic medalist, and Andrew Simpson among others.
As it was expected, Peter Montgomery asked Ainslie to give his take on the current situation in the America's Cup. For Ainslie it is a 'massively frustrating' situation, especially for sailors of his generation that are deprived from the possibility to do any America's Cup racing.
According to Ainslie, up to recently one 'could understand BMW Oracle's arguments the Protocol wasn't fair'. Still he questions the motives the American team now has, since in his view 'the current offer for a resolution is in some ways better than the 32nd Protocol'.
For the rest of this interview and an audio file click here?nid=51475
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5:59 PM Wed 3 Dec 2008 GMT
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