Sir Ben to helm J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 in Round the Island Race

The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race around the Isle of Wight will mark the first occasion Ben Ainslie will compete on home waters since winning his historic fourth Olympic gold in Weymouth last year. Ainslie will be racing the J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 catamaran on British waters for the first time in the iconic race on the 1 June 2013.

Ainslie summarises the reason behind entering: “It’s been a fantastic experience to race the AC45’s in the America’s Cup World Series, this was an opportunity to bring the boat to the UK to show the British public how dynamic and exciting these boat are. The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race provides the perfect opportunity to race the AC45 on an iconic course in Britain’s largest yacht Race”.

The current multihull record of 3 hours 8 minutes and 29 seconds has stood since 2001, held by offshore legend Francis Joyon. It was very nearly beaten last year by the Multi 50 trimaran Actual, missing out by just 1min, 28secs.

Ben continued: “I’ve had a few people comment about going for the Race record, in order for the team to have any chance of getting close the record we would need to have the perfect conditions. We’re aiming to get round as quickly as possible but the most important is to race safely and have great fun, whatever happens after that is an added bonus”.

The team will change to an all British crew for this one off Race and Ben is bringing in a group of experienced sailors.

Mark Bulkeley (Head sail trimmer) and Matt Cornwall (Bowman) have a wealth of AC45 sailing experience competing for Team Korea and Artemis in the 2012 -13 America Cup World Series. The other two crew roles on board will be taken by Andrew Mills (Runner) and Mark Andrews (wing trimmer). Both sail as part of the British Sailing Team in the Finn Class and were training partners for Ben in the lead up to London 2012.

Ben summarises: “The Round the Island is slightly different to the original Cup course as its counter clockwise and I will be racing against close to 1,900 other boats but never the less it will still be a fantastic opportunity to Race the new generation of Cup boats on the same waters over 160 years later”.

The 2013 Event will be J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s 9th year as Title Sponsor.