Sir Ben Ainslie

Week 3 (21 - 27 September 2013)

It's a fair call to say Sir Ben Ainslie doesn't mince his words when talking strategy on the water but this week he also showed himself as an expert communicator when there's a microphone in his face and a cause to champion.

Ainslie's actions as tactician aboard Oracle Team USA completely tipped the America's Cup on its head in San Francisco, helping his crew turn an 8-1 deficit into a 9-8 victory – hailed as the competition's most extraordinary comeback in its 162-year history.

But thoughts of pure celebration of an incredible feat were far from Ainslie's mind. After deflecting praise onto his fellow team-mates, Ainslie paid tribute to his late friend and fellow British Olympian, Andrew Simpson, who died in an America's Cup training accident in May.

Ainslie then used his winners' vantage point to push the idea of a British boat competing in the America's Cup, sooner rather than later.

Armed with statistics, the four-time Olympic champion said: "The America's Cup started in 1851 in the UK and we haven't had it back since so it's about time we changed that.

"In the past, the America's Cup has perhaps been a billionaire's game, but in the future it will become a commercial reality to go out there and put the sponsors together to have a commercially driven team.

"We need the [financial] support and I hope this event has opened people's eyes to what's possible."

Ainslie's perfect timing and presence of mind has lodged the idea within the media of a British boat competing in and winning the America's Cup. The story is a sticker, with all the ingredients to regularly make the national news in Britain over the next few years.

Photo: Oracle PR