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Ainslie set for Bermuda arrival

Top man: Ainslie and his team will be training on the Island

Sir Ben Ainslie and his racing team arrive in Bermuda on Sunday for a weeklong training exercise in preparation for the 2017 America’s Cup.

The most decorated sailor in Olympic history is hardly a stranger to local shores, where he won the 1995 ISAF Youth World Championships and captured successive King Edward VII Gold Cups in 2009 and 2010.

Ainslie is also a multiple world champion in the Laser, Laser Radial and Finn classes.

However, it was as tactician for Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup in 2013 that the 37-year-old Englishman sailor most enhanced his reputation.

Ainslie joined the match with Oracle trailing badly, a deficit that increased to 8-1 in the best-of-17 series, before one of the most famous comebacks in sport was accomplished.

During a whirlwind visit to Bermuda, Ainslie and his team-mates will get a handle on local conditions sailing in the double-handed foiling NACRA F20 catamaran, which comes equipped with a flight-controlled system.

Ainslie, who will skipper Ben Ainslie Racing, is on a mission to return the America’s Cup to Britain for the first time since it was first competed for in British waters in 1851.

“It is such a historic event,” Ainslie said. “It is the one thing we’ve never won in Britain. It is the oldest international sporting trophy in the world, so for us it is the equivalent of going out and winning the Tour de France for the first time.

“It is a huge deal. It would be very, very special.”

Ainslie, a four-times Olympic champion, made headlines this week when it was revealed that he and new bride, Georgie Thompson, the former Sky Sports News presenter, were rescued by staff from Sir Richard Branson’s nearby island resort in the British Virgin Islands after their yacht developed mechanical problems on their honeymoon over the Christmas holidays.