Youngsters set for Ainslie masterclass
Some of Bermuda's high end Optimist sailors will get a rare opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business.
Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie will conduct a clinic for advanced Optimists sailors at Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) on October 5.
The occasion will mark the first time that Britain's most decorated sailor has engaged in such an endeavour, according to RBYC Academy Director Tom Herbert-Evans.
“Ben has never done this before and if the kids can learn and understand how much training it takes to get to that certain level that would be a fantastic outcome,” he said. “Ben is a four-time Olympic gold medallist and the kids really haven't met anyone of that calibre and to be taught by him is incredible for Bermuda.
“Ben is basically going to run the whole session with the kids and they are going to learn a bit of racing from him. He's going to give them a briefing and a debriefing so they can look at certain points they can improve on.”
Ainslie is making his first appearance in the Argo Group Gold Cup in three years next month.
He captured back-to-back wins in the Gold Cup in 2009 and 2010 before shifting his focus to the 2012 Summer Olympics in his native England where he became the first sailor to win medals at five different Olympics after claiming a third straight gold in the Finn class.
Earlier this year the multiple Finn and Laser world champion was knighted by the Queen for his services to British sailing.
Ainslie, who first competed in Bermuda in 1995 when he won the ISAF Youth Worlds, is competing in October's Gold Cup in memory of late advisor and teammate, Andrew (Bart) Simpson. Simpson died last May after the catamaran (Artemis) he was sailing capsized during a training run for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay.
Ainslie, 36, will warm up for this year's Gold Cup with a match race against local qualifier and newly crowned national match racing champ Joshua Greenslade.
Ainslie is among five past winners in this year's Gold Cup fleet that also includes reigning champion Taylor Canfield (US Virgin Islands), Ian Williams (England), Johnie Berntsson (Sweden) and Mathieu Richard (France).
The Gold Cup will be held October 7-13 in Hamilton Harbour with the regatta to be contested for in the classic International One Design (IOD) sloop.