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Last Updated: Friday, 14 September 2007, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Ainslie to lead America's Cup bid
Ben Ainslie
Ainslie won Olympic gold in 2000 and 2004
Triple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie will skipper Britain's challenge for the 2009 America's Cup after being named as skipper of Team Origin.

The sailing squad, as well as the design and management team, was unveiled by team principal Sir Keith Mills and director Mike Sanderson.

"This is a British challenge, at least 50% of our team is British," said Mills after the announcement in Southampton.

The 33rd America's Cup will take place in Valencia, Spain in 2009.

This is a fantastic challenge and I am really honoured

Ben Ainslie

And Mills added: "The funding is British, the flag is British, the race boats will be built in Britain, GBR will appear on the mainsail of every one of our racing yachts."

Sydney Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy will be the team tactitian.

The other British members of the sailing squad are, Rob Greenhalgh as strategist, Ian Moore as navigator, Andrew Simpson as aft grinder and Neal MacDonald as mainsheet trimmer.

Other Britons include grinders Chris Brittle, David Carr and Ian Weighell, bowman Matt Cornwell and mastman George Skuodas.

MIHIR BOSE BLOG
Mihir Bose, BBC sport editor
Although a new squad, 70% of the Team Origin line-up has previous America's Cup experience, with four members of the team being past winners and five round-the-world race champions.

Ainslie was a back-up helmsman for Team New Zealand in the 2007 America's Cup.

And he said of his appointment as skipper: "This is a fantastic challenge and I am really honoured to be in the position of leading a sailing team which I believe has the ability to go out and win the America's Cup.

"We now all need to get on with the huge amount of work that lies ahead of us."



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