Shirley Robertson OBE, Double gold medallist and TV Presenter

  Californian dreaming
16 November 2012

Californian dreaming

Three of the Gold medallists from London 2012 including the greatest sailing Olympian ever Ben Ainslie, head to San Francisco with big aspirations . Can they deliver straight away in the America’s Cup?

On August 5th 2012 Ben Ainslie’s fourth Gold medal win established him as the greatest Olympic sailor ever but whilst other Gold medallists were celebrating their achievements Ainslie went straight in at the deep end on a brand new venture – competing in the America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco.

This is still sailing but about as far away from the relatively slow Olympic Finn sailboat that Ben’s raced alone as possible. In the US he is racing a boat that has a wing instead of a sail, is crewed by a team and is one of the fastest sailboats ever built. He will be racing in San Francisco Bay, one of the windiest sailing locations in the world.

But there’s more.

Because Ainslie is not just the big name hired in to steer this weapon. This is his team. He is the boss, ultimately responsible for everything ashore and afloat, from the results on the race track to every detail ashore.

Mainsail are in San Francisco with ‘Ben Ainslie Racing’ to understand just why the Cup means so much to him, what the challenges are for him as the new boy with the big sailing reputation and what sort of impact he can make. The pressure is on for Ainslie because no-one is expecting him to take long to get to grips with this new challenge.

Shirley is inside the camp with the British sailor and with two Australian sailing Gold medallists from LONDON 2012, Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge, both of whom are competing in the America’s Cup World Series with new responsibilities and new pressures.

Can all three sailors roll out of a four year Olympic campaign and make an impact in a new world, straight away?

See program schedule below (all times in GMT)

  • Saturday November 17, 0830, 2200
  • Sunday November 18, 1730

Or watch here: CNN Mainsail – November 2012