Sir Ben Ainslie is ‘fired up’ ahead of this weekend’s America’s Cup racing in Portsmouth

Sir Ben Ainslie and other America's Cup sailors at today's press conference in Portsmouth
Sir Ben Ainslie and other America's Cup sailors at today's press conference in Portsmouth
The replaced toll gate after the original was shattered by the mare.''The replaced toll gate in 1915 after the original was leapt over by the runaway mare with the carriage she was pulling smashing it to pieces. Picture: Ralph Cousins.

NOSTALGIA: Frightened mare smashes toll gate on escape bid to Havant

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ELITE sailors have spoken of their excitement and desire to win ahead of this weekend’s eagerly anticipated America’s Cup World Series racing in the Solent.

All of the skippers from the teams competing in the sailing regatta - including British Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie - addressed the world’s media at a press conference in The Pyramids Centre today as excitement builds ahead of the action.

And the gleaming America’s Cup trophy was showcased on the stage for everyone to admire.

Oracle Team USA skipper James ‘Jimmy’ Spithill stepped up the pressure on British challengers Land Rover BAR by declaring he would love to get a win over former sailing colleague Sir Ben.

Jimmy said: ‘It would be great to get the win over Sir Ben and his team. We would like to get a good result here. Ben will have the home town support, and there will be a lot of energy to draw from that, but that’s motivation for us as well.’

But Sir Ben said he was ‘fired up’ and ready to perform on the grand stage.

He said: ‘We absolutely want to replicate our success from last year. This is the last time we race in the UK before next year, so the guys are fired up to put on a great show.’

Earlier in the day, Sir Ben and team representatives held a presentation talking about BAR’s successes over the last 12 months.

Sir Ben also revealed wife Georgie and their newborn daughter were doing well. The Olympian said his baby is called Bellatrix - after a Goddess of War - and he hopes she will ‘inspire him to victory next year in Bermuda.’