On This Day in 2013 – Sir Ben Ainslie steers Team USA to remarkable comeback win

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Sir Ben Ainslie helped steer Oracle Team USA to their 34th America’s Cup to complete one of the most remarkable sporting comebacks at San Francisco Bay on this day in 2013.

Team New Zealand led 8-1 and needed one more win to clinch the America’s Cup before four-time Olympic gold medalist Ainslie came on board for the USA to help the team win eight consecutive races and pick up one of the most memorable victories in the cup’s history.

The then 36-year-old took his side over the finishing line 44 seconds ahead of the opposition in a race which featured both teams in a match-point situation for the first time since the format changed to best-of-17 in 1995.

Sailing – Americas Cup – Day Three – Portsmouth
Sir Ben Ainslie was knighted for his services to sailing before the memorable comeback (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He was the first British sailor to be on the winning boat in the America’s Cup since Charlie Barr in 1903.

Ainslie said: “It is huge for the team and for me personally. As a kid I dreamt of one day being involved in the America’s Cup.

“I grew up down in Falmouth in Cornwall and used to watch Peter De Savary’s America’s Cup boats training, so to win it is unbelievable and perhaps one day we can see a British team winning it.”

Ainslie received a knighthood for his services to sailing in what was described the ‘proudest moment of his life’, just a matter of months before the historic comeback in California.

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