Thanks to Valencia Sailing for highlighting a recent interview with Ben Ainslie. The three-time Olympic gold medalist and Team Origin helmsman, talked to Peter Mongomery on Scoreboard, while in Auckland for the NZ Match Racing Championships.
The 2008 ISAF Sailor of the year, discussed the Louis Vuitton Pacific series in which Team Origin will compete. According to Ainslie, Team Origin has assembled a “great sailing team” that looks forward to racing. He described the team’s wish to “get back on the water where we should be racing rather than sitting around in law courts”.
When asked about the current situtation, Ainslie characterised it is a “massively frustrating” situation, especially for sailors of his generation that are deprived of the possibility to do any America’s Cup racing.
Ainslie continued that until recently he “could understand BMW Oracle’s arguments that the Protocol wasn’t fair”. However he has questions about the motives the American team now, since in his view, “the current offer for a resolution is in some ways better than the 32nd Protocol”.
Now that there are “12 independent teams” coming together, talking and developing a new boat class. “There is one team that doesn’t want to be part of that, stalling the whole thing. That’s BMW Oracle. You do have to start questioning what the agenda is, if there is another agenda hidden,” said the Olympic champion.
For Ainslie, both Alinghi and BMW Oracle “have a responsibility to the sport”, and both teams “look bad” while legal actions goes on for so long.
Listen to the full interview at Valencia Sailing