Archive | Ben Ainslie

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Ben Ainslie’s blog

Posted on 19 July 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Ben Ainslie, 3-time Olympic gold medalist and skipper of the British America’s Cup challenger Team Origin, publishes, quite frequently, a blog on his website, talking about the issues that affect him on a more personal level. In his latest entry, called “Racing any Olympic class boat is a unique physical challenge”, Ainslie talks about the challenges he faces in preparing for the 2012 Olympics and his aim for a fourth consecutive gold medal, but also spares some thoughts in the current developments regarding the 34th America’s Cup.

According to Ainslie, there are some points in the Protocol proposed by BMW Oracle that need “clarification” in order to ensure that the Defender doesn’t have an advantage that would make the Cup “unwinnable”. Here’s what Ainslie says about Grant Simmer, the proposed Protocol, his recent victory in the World Match Racing Tour and the upcoming 1851 Cup in Cowes:

“There have been a few changes in the TEAMORIGIN camp over the past couple of months with Grant Simmer coming in as our new CEO while we’ve also received the proposed protocol document for the next America’s Cup. Grant has so much America’s Cup experience, this will be his eighth, and he held the roles of Design Co-ordinator, and lat er MD, of Alinghi winners of the Cup in 2003 and 2007. Team meetings with Grant feel a bit like you’re at the University of the America’s Cup! He’s had an immediate impact in terms of our decision making processes and he makes sure as many people as possible are involved in decision making so that even if you don’t agree with a decision you’ve had an input and can understand better why a decision has been made.

Grant’s experience comes into its own when deciding on our responses to the AC34 Proposed Protocol Document. I’m pleased the process is moving along but after three years of investing so much time, effort, energy and finance into TEAMORIGIN we have to make sure we’ll get a fair crack at the Cup. There would be no point doing the event if it was unwinnable and there are a few clauses in the document, which at the moment, need some further clarification to make sure we’re all competing on a level playing field.

So far the lines of communication between th e Defenders, BMW Oracle, and the rest of the teams have been good and hopefully these will stay open so we can all have an input into the final format. The document also proposes some wide-ranging changes about how future events are run, the boats, race management etc , which is positive, but we have make sure it remains about the sailing and doesn’t become unbalanced and end up only about the media, commercial opportunities and sponsorship.

We had more positive news a couple of weeks ago when Myself, Iain Percy, Christian Kamp, Magnus Augustson and Matt Cornwell had a great result for the team by winning the Stena Match Cup in Sweden which is part of the World Match Racing Tour. This was really positive progress as it was highly competitive, hopefully we can compete in at least two more WMRT events this year.

Finally TEAMORIGIN will be going head-to-head with BMW Oracle in the new 1851 Cup at Cowes Week, a really exciting one-off regatta which is a great oppo rtunity for our team to take on one of, if not the, top team in the World, on home waters but also raise the profile of the TEAMORIGIN brand on the Cowes Week stage.”

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Stena Match Cup Sweden hosts the world’s 10 top match racers

Posted on 05 July 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Stena Match Cup Sweden, Stage 5 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour, has attracted an abundance of the World’s leading men’s and women’s match racers. They are all magnetized year after year to the racing hot spot of Marstrand for guaranteed packed out days of pure match racing perfection.

Since 2000 when the ISAF World Match Racing Tour founded, the Swedish leg of the series has had a distinguished role of honour including esteemed America’s Cup names; Dean Barker, Russell Coutts, Chris Law, Peter Gilmour, Mattias Rahm and Björn Hansen.

Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing won Stena Match Cup Sweden last year and has now notched up and incredible 7 overall victories at this event since its inaugural year in 1994. Gilmour is poised for the podium again after having also won Stage 4 of this year’s Tour only 8 days ago and looks committed to continue his fierce fighting style into this week’s semis and finals.

Ben Ainslie and Team Origin practicing before their first participation this year in the World Match Racing Tour. Masrtrand, 5 July 2010. Photo copyright Loris von Siebenthal – myimage

The Swedish national contingent as expected is also massive this year. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Sigma Racing Team who is the very essence of Stena Match Cup Sweden having instilled the sense of excitement and profile building over the years will definitely be a skipper to watch with his competitive flair. Holmberg ironically has yet to actually win this Swedish leg of the Tour and 2010 may well be the year for this match racing hero to reap his reward.

Other international names racing on home waters this week will be Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team a former Olympian who won the 2008 edition of Sweden, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team who was the first Swedish winner of this event and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team who has shown his sporting expertise winning the Argo Group Gold Cup on the warmer waters of Bermuda.

A fresh and rested Tour card holder, Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, is back in the media’s gaze after completing his first WMRT event of the season in April. With 16 helms to consider running in 2 groups tomorrow morning there may be some surprise results. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing is now the youngest skipper to take the helm at 23 and Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing who started developing his skills through team racing is considered a hot ticket.

Stena Match Cup Sweden is also running a women’s event in tandem with the men’s Tour racing and has invited 10 of the most motivated female team’s from across the globe. The women’s event started today and Silke Hahlbrock (GER) leads the pack against Katie Pellew neé Spithill (AUS), Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Linda Rahm (SWE). Women’s match racing continues to climb in mass sporting appeal as it is now a ladies Olympic discipline inspiring full time campaigns.

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Stena Match Cup Sweden hosts the world’s 10 top match racers

Posted on 05 July 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Stena Match Cup Sweden, Stage 5 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour, has attracted an abundance of the World’s leading men’s and women’s match racers. They are all magnetized year after year to the racing hot spot of Marstrand for guaranteed packed out days of pure match racing perfection.

Since 2000 when the ISAF World Match Racing Tour founded, the Swedish leg of the series has had a distinguished role of honour including esteemed America’s Cup names; Dean Barker, Russell Coutts, Chris Law, Peter Gilmour, Mattias Rahm and Björn Hansen.

Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing won Stena Match Cup Sweden last year and has now notched up and incredible 7 overall victories at this event since its inaugural year in 1994. Gilmour is poised for the podium again after having also won Stage 4 of this year’s Tour only 8 days ago and looks committed to continue his fierce fighting style into this week’s semis and finals.

Ben Ainslie and Team Origin practicing before their first participation this year in the World Match Racing Tour. Masrtrand, 5 July 2010. Photo copyright Loris von Siebenthal – myimage

The Swedish national contingent as expected is also massive this year. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Sigma Racing Team who is the very essence of Stena Match Cup Sweden having instilled the sense of excitement and profile building over the years will definitely be a skipper to watch with his competitive flair. Holmberg ironically has yet to actually win this Swedish leg of the Tour and 2010 may well be the year for this match racing hero to reap his reward.

Other international names racing on home waters this week will be Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team a former Olympian who won the 2008 edition of Sweden, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team who was the first Swedish winner of this event and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team who has shown his sporting expertise winning the Argo Group Gold Cup on the warmer waters of Bermuda.

A fresh and rested Tour card holder, Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, is back in the media’s gaze after completing his first WMRT event of the season in April. With 16 helms to consider running in 2 groups tomorrow morning there may be some surprise results. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing is now the youngest skipper to take the helm at 23 and Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing who started developing his skills through team racing is considered a hot ticket.

Stena Match Cup Sweden is also running a women’s event in tandem with the men’s Tour racing and has invited 10 of the most motivated female team’s from across the globe. The women’s event started today and Silke Hahlbrock (GER) leads the pack against Katie Pellew neé Spithill (AUS), Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Linda Rahm (SWE). Women’s match racing continues to climb in mass sporting appeal as it is now a ladies Olympic discipline inspiring full time campaigns.

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Chaos on the start line compromises Team Origin

Posted on 23 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Origin] A tough break for TEAMORIGIN today when an over-enthusiastic spectator fleet crowded the start area and blocked the view of a tiny lobster pot buoy which caught around their keel. Sailing team member Craig Satterthwaite swam to clear the foul-up but the incident allowed Artemis to get away and take the race win.

TEAMORIGIN were up against the Swedish Artemis team today. The start warning signal was fired at 1500, the breeze was 5-7 knots, north easterly direction. Pre-start Artemis was aggressive and pursued the British boat away from the start line but TEAMORIGIN held their ground and both boats turned back to the start line. With one and a half minutes to go, the over-enthusiastic spectator fleet crowded the start box area and blocked the view of a small lobster pot buoy which TEAMORIGIN promptly caught around their keel. By the time Craig Satterthwaite went over the side to clear the tangle with a sharp knife the unfortunate incident had given Artemis the opportunity to clear out and lead off the start line.

TEAMORIGIN pushed hard up the beat to get back into this race and trailed the first windward mark by 17 seconds. The Brits did an immediate gybe set and were hot on the heels of their competitors to try and close the gap. Artemis managed to keep their air clear and rounded the left hand bottom gate still with a lead and in control of the race.

At the second top mark Artemis lead by 47 seconds, TEAMORIGIN did a really nice rounding and gave it a final push but it was not to be. A really frustrating race for Ben Ainslie and his crew as the pre-start issue really decided the fate of this race. Artemis took the race win by 45 seconds.

Quotes of the day:

Ben Ainslie, Skipper & Helmsman, “A real anti-climax today, it was a really busy start area with lots of spectator boats around, large and small and it was pretty hard to manoeuvre around them. We managed to avoid one of them and moving away from another we unfortunately caught a lobster pot. Craig Satterthwaite had to jump over the side with a knife to cut it clear and by the time we got it sorted, Artemis had a good lead.”

“The guys did a great job in keeping the race close and did a very nice manoeuvre around the second windward mark but the race result was decided by the unfortunate incident before the start.”

Craig Satterthwaite, Pit, who jumped over the side with a knife to clear the tangle: “The water is pretty cold! We had to wait until the boat slowed down so I could jump over the side, it was very clear so pretty easy to spot and cut free and the guys put a rope by the side so I could pull myself back in, not what we needed but at least we got it sorted quickly and calmly.”

David Carr, Runners/ Pit Assist, added: “What a nightmare, there were so many spectator boats and sirens going to try to get them to clear the area, we could cope with that as its part of the game but made it impossible to see a tiny white lobster pot marker buoy. The positive thing to take out of it was how quickly we got it sorted and how calm everyone remained afterwards and got straight back down to business – but for sure it was a tough break for us.”

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Video: Ben Ainslie talks about Team Origin’s entry in the AUDI Medup

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Ben Ainslie talks about Team Origin’s entry in the AUDI Medup. Cascais, 11 May 2010. Video copyright AUDI Medcup

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Mathieu Richards wins Match Race France

Posted on 12 April 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Match Race France, Stage 1 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has put a new twist on an ancient maritime tale. The scenario of English sailors battling French sailors is reminiscent of the famed 1805 Battle of Trafalgar when UK’s Lord Nelson defeated Emperor Napoleon of France. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN took on Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, the French local, Richard, took a convincing victory winning both of the final two matches raced under a testing 6-7 knot westerly. Richard celebrated with local Marseille supporters, who were quick to take to the water in boats of all sizes.

Mathieu Richard, who is also tactician for the French America’s Cup syndicate, Aleph, was in jubilant form with the back drop of Queen’s notorious lyrics playing ‘We are the Champions’, “It is really great to win Stage 1 of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour, we are very happy to have won here in Marseille. We had a slow start to the regatta, but a slow start motivates you to really improve when it counts. My team worked fantastically with great communication and tactics”.

Highlights from the final day of Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour

Ainslie sees his time invested in attending WMRT events as a profitable way to keep his match race training fresh, “My ultimate goal for the ISAF World Match Racing Tour events is to improve my match racing skills and rules knowledge”. The Tour forms an important ingredient in Ainslie’s long term America’s Cup ambition with TEAMORIGIN.

For Richard, instead of winning back trade routes through lifting sea blockades as in the 1800s, today’s victor heads home from Match Race France with a prize packet of 10,000 Euros. This is a very lucrative reward for five days of racing against some of the world’s most esteemed match racers and also provides French Match Racing Team with 25 points in pursuit of the ultimate ISAF Match Racing World Championship title.

Despite a slow start, Mathieu Richard went on to take Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Photo copyright Brendon O’Hagan/Subzero images

This French event has seen a significant elevation of the Tour’s profile across social media networks, the communication channel now essential in satisfying the public’s thirst for ‘real time’ sports results. The live blog, newly introduced to the WMRT media machine this year, has been a certain success. It has formed the engine to accelerate the Tour into virtual on line conversations through tweets and Facebook Wall posts. A one hour television show on Match Race France is also being broadcast internationally later this month.

The beach based prize giving closes Stage 1 of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour and leads us into the 9 remaining Stages around the globe. Stage 2 of the WMRT will be run in Langenargen, Germany 19 – 24 May where Mathieu Richard will again be racing.

Overall Standings After Stage 1

1 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 25 Points
2 Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 20 Points
3 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 15 Points
4 Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 12 Points
5 Sébastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE 10 Points
6 Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 8 Points
7 Philippe Presti (FRA) 6 Points
8 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4 Points
9 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
10 Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
11 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
12 Gian Luca Perris (MON)

No luck for Ben Ainslie and Team Origin. Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Photo copyright Brendon O’Hagan/Subzero images

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Mathieu Richards wins Match Race France

Posted on 11 April 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Match Race France, Stage 1 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has put a new twist on an ancient maritime tale. The scenario of English sailors battling French sailors is reminiscent of the famed 1805 Battle of Trafalgar when UK’s Lord Nelson defeated Emperor Napoleon of France. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN took on Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, the French local, Richard, took a convincing victory winning both of the final two matches raced under a testing 6-7 knot westerly. Richard celebrated with local Marseille supporters, who were quick to take to the water in boats of all sizes.

Mathieu Richard, who is also tactician for the French America’s Cup syndicate, Aleph, was in jubilant form with the back drop of Queen’s notorious lyrics playing ‘We are the Champions’, “It is really great to win Stage 1 of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour, we are very happy to have won here in Marseille. We had a slow start to the regatta, but a slow start motivates you to really improve when it counts. My team worked fantastically with great communication and tactics”.

Highlights from the final day of Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour

Ainslie sees his time invested in attending WMRT events as a profitable way to keep his match race training fresh, “My ultimate goal for the ISAF World Match Racing Tour events is to improve my match racing skills and rules knowledge”. The Tour forms an important ingredient in Ainslie’s long term America’s Cup ambition with TEAMORIGIN.

For Richard, instead of winning back trade routes through lifting sea blockades as in the 1800s, today’s victor heads home from Match Race France with a prize packet of 10,000 Euros. This is a very lucrative reward for five days of racing against some of the world’s most esteemed match racers and also provides French Match Racing Team with 25 points in pursuit of the ultimate ISAF Match Racing World Championship title.

Despite a slow start, Mathieu Richard went on to take Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Photo copyright Brendon O’Hagan/Subzero images

This French event has seen a significant elevation of the Tour’s profile across social media networks, the communication channel now essential in satisfying the public’s thirst for ‘real time’ sports results. The live blog, newly introduced to the WMRT media machine this year, has been a certain success. It has formed the engine to accelerate the Tour into virtual on line conversations through tweets and Facebook Wall posts. A one hour television show on Match Race France is also being broadcast internationally later this month.

The beach based prize giving closes Stage 1 of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour and leads us into the 9 remaining Stages around the globe. Stage 2 of the WMRT will be run in Langenargen, Germany 19 – 24 May where Mathieu Richard will again be racing.

Overall Standings After Stage 1

1 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 25 Points
2 Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 20 Points
3 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 15 Points
4 Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 12 Points
5 Sébastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE 10 Points
6 Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 8 Points
7 Philippe Presti (FRA) 6 Points
8 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4 Points
9 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
10 Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
11 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
12 Gian Luca Perris (MON)

No luck for Ben Ainslie and Team Origin. Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Photo copyright Brendon O’Hagan/Subzero images

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Team Origin test their new TP52

Posted on 19 March 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Origin] TEAMORIGIN’s new TP52 hit the water for the first time today and the team’s shore crew, sailors and designers were there in force to enjoy this exciting moment for the team.

Despite losing a key race yesterday in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland regatta, the TEAMORIGIN sailors were back in the gym and out for a fitness run first thing this morning and then headed out on the water with a new and exciting project on their hands. The team sailed the impressive new boat close to the semi-final action of the regatta and turned a few heads.

Team Origin test their new TP52. Auckland, 19 March 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

David Duff, Shore Operations Manager for TEAMORIGIN, commented on the first day’s testing: “It went really well today, we’ve had a very tight schedule and have managed hit all the deadlines spot on so it was very pleasing to see the boat on the water today. It’s pretty impressive to take her out of the shed only two days ago and be sailing in 20 knots today. I’d like to thank everyone who has played a key part in this challenging project – Juan Kouyoumdjian and his team at Juan Yacht Design, Greg Salthouse and the boat build team at Salthouse boatbuilders, North Sails, Southern Spars and our own TEAMORIGIN build and shore team of Nick Bice, Sam Bourne, Dylan Fletcher and Marty Oliver.”

The team will carry out another few days of testing and the boat then gets loaded onto a ship and heads to Europe for its racing season. TEAMORIGIN will compete in the YP52 Audi Med Cup series which consists of 5 regattas around the Mediterranean, with the first event taking place in Cascais starting on 10th May 2010.

Juan Kouyoumdjian (Juan K), Principal Designer of the boat, witnessed the maiden sail today and gave his views “I was really happy to see the boat on the water today, it went extremely well and we passed the structural test phase very quickly and were able to move on to pushing the boat. It performed exactly like we expected it to perform on the first day.”

Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Helmsman of TEAMORIGIN, ommented on the forthcoming TP racing, “We are looking forward to our first crack at the TP52 Audi Med Cup Series, it’s been a really useful project so far from both a design and sailing team perspective and will great to race against some top teams this coming season.”

Team Origin test their new TP52. Auckland, 19 March 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

Team Origin test their new TP52. Auckland, 19 March 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

Team Origin test their new TP52. Auckland, 19 March 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

Team Origin test their new TP52. Auckland, 19 March 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

Team Origin test their new TP52. Auckland, 19 March 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

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