Sir Ben Ainslie rescued by Sir Richard Branson on honeymoon

Marco Bava, George Lambert, Adam Chubbock, Georgie Thompson and Sir Ben Ainslie
Marco Bava, George Lambert, Adam Chubbock, Georgie Thompson and Sir Ben Ainslie
Picture: Isle of Wight Radio/PA Wire

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RACING star Sir Ben Ainslie had to be helped by Sir Richard Branson after getting into trouble on his honeymoon.

Olympic medallist Sir Ben, whose America’s Cup headquarters are based in Old Portsmouth, ran into problems with his yacht.

Sir Richard Branson claims staff from his private island retreat had to go to the aid of Sir Ben Ainslie and new wife, television sports presenter Georgie Thompson.

As the newlyweds holidayed close to Sir Richard’s Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands, their boat ran into difficulties when the furling system - which controls the sail being rolled out - broke.

Members of the island’s watersports team helped to cut the sail and avoid the vessel being wrecked on a reef.

Writing about the incident in a blog, Sir Richard said: ‘His [Sir Ben] boat had a serious mechanical problem, in no way Ben’s fault, and he put a message out asking for help.

‘With no harm done, Ben was able to see the funny side - after all, stranger things have happened at sea.’