A couple to watch that formed by Pippa Middleton and Britain’s most awarded yachtsman of all time: Sir Ben Ainslie. From the pages of the Telegraph, where the sister of England’s future queen keeps a personal column, we learn that the two spent a pleasant day aboard a Bordeaux 60 sailing from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club in Hampshire to the Isle of Wight talking about sailboats and the possible English future in America’s Cup. The baronet, partly for his instrumental role in the last America’s Cup aboard Oracle Team USA was named by the BBC as Sports Personality of the Year and celebrated this nomination in this way. Pippa Middleton for her part has always been an avid sailor, having started as a child on optimists and then gone on to cruises on Lake Windermere and the British Virgin Islands reaching the high point of her sailing career with an Atlantic crossing aboard an Oyster 80.
THE BRITS IN THE AMERICA CUP?
The day was perfect for being at sea, with a light wind that soon hijacked the conversation about Britain’s future in the America’s Cup. “The America’s Cup is the Formula One of racing,” says Sir Ben , “it was a very difficult challenge mentally and technically, we had to climb a huge mountain to win. It was one of the high points of my sailing career. But the point now is to figure out what my next step will be.” And the champion’s response seems to be just that: to go straight to a challenge, even bigger. Indeed, it appears that Ben Ainslie is putting together a British team to take on his former Oracle teammates in the next America’s Cup, and it looks like the news will be made official early next year. To complete this project, the British champion will have to assemble a competitive crew by trying to bring in the world’s best sailors and designers, securing them before they choose to work with potential rivals. The other major difficulty is finding sponsors to back an undertaking that requires an investment of at least 45 million. We will soon find out if Pippa Middleton’s almost regal words have removed the last doubts from the all-time greatest Finn class outfielder and perhaps the next America’s Cup challenger with a British-flagged boat.