Ainslie slams America's Cup course as 'last place on earth to race'

Yachting legend Sir Ben Ainslie has dissed New York as an America's Cup venue, saying it is the "last place on earth" suitable for a race course.

Following the America's Cup world series over the weekend, Ainslie - head and skipper of the British Land Rover team - said he was "bemused" by the location.

"Sadly, the race organisers and harbour authority were forced to put the course between the imposing Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan and the Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City," he wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

"In terms of topography for disturbing wind flow this is probably the most disruptive it could be and in my opinion the last place on earth you would want to put a race course."

Ainslie loves New York and its America's Cup history dating back 165 years, but said the course was no good for modern cup racing.

Ainslie said: "...wearing my sailor's cap, I have to say that Sunday's racing was about as frustrating as it gets. It is one thing if you are exhibition racing but these World Series races matter, the points go towards the America's Cup proper in Bermuda next summer and, as we saw from Oracle's 9-8 win last time out, every single point counts."


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Ainslie, whose mid-series recruitment by Oracle turned the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco, said he was excited by the emergence of young sailors like Team New Zealand skipper Peter Burling.

Ainslie said: "We have a new generation of sailors coming through...great athletes and a real credit to the sport. We are so close to giving these talented and skilful sailors a format which is rewarding from a competitive view point but also commercially viable.

"What we still need to do is focus on finding the courses that can also better guarantee the conditions which we need to race."

- NZ Herald

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