Ben Ainslie is called up for America's Cup action
Cornwall’s Olympic sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie has been summoned to gain a taste of America’s Cup action.
Britain’s multiple Olympic medal-winner has been brought in to replace under-fire tactician John Kostecki, after struggling America’s Cup champions Oracle Team USA lost four of the opening five races of this year’s contest in San Francisco.
Kostecki was one of only two Americans in the 11-man crew but he has taken the flak for losing race five, in which Oracle had seized the lead but then adopted tactics which allowed Emirates Team New Zealand to overtake the hosts and claim victory.
That costly setback for the American team meant the challengers from New Zealand were leading by four wins to one in the best-of-17 series.
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Because of a two-point penalty, Oracle’s scoreboard tally remained at minus one when competition resumed on Thursday with races six and seven.
Ainslie, whose haul of five Olympic medals includes four consecutive golds, has been helmsman and skipper of Oracle’s tune-up boat. Jimmy Spithill has retained his place as skipper of Oracle’s main boat.