Ainslie helps Oracle team win America's Cup
SIR Ben Ainslie helped to seal one of the greatest comebacks in sailing history last night as the Oracle crew won the America’s Cup despite an 8-1 deficit.
The four-time Olympic Champion, who learned to sail in Restronguet Creek near Falmouth, was drafted in as tactician by the USA team mid-way through the competition in San Francisco.
Team USA won eight straight races to triumph 9-8 after being docked two points for cheating in the build-up.
Oracle surged to victory by 44 seconds to retain the cup it won in 2010.
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Sir Ainslie is the first British sailor to be onboard the winning boat in an America's Cup since Charlie Barr, skipper of defenders Columbia for three consecutive regattas in 1899, 1901 and 1903.
"It's been one of the most amazing comebacks ever, I think, almost in any sport but certainly in sailing and to be a part of that is a huge privilege," Sir Ainslie told the media.
"To be perfectly honest, we had a mountain to climb.
"We knew we had to sort ourselves out. We had to get the boat going faster. We did that.
"The designers did a great job and we had to start sailing better. We got the momentum going and we started believing in ourselves. When you do that, you can become quite strong. "
Sir Ben, speaking on radio this morning, said he had been inspired to take part in the America’s Cup when he was living in Cornwall as a child.
He said: “I grew up down in Falmouth in Cornwall, we had an America's Cup team down there in 1987 and I remember as a kid watching them training and preparing and thinking about maybe one day being involved with the America's Cup.
"To be part of a winning America's Cup team is for me personally part of a lifelong dream."