September 18, 2020

Ben Ainslie rescued on honeymoon sail by Richard Branson’s team


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1421091234200By Duncan Johnstone From

Britain’s America’s Cup boss Sir Ben Ainslie had to be rescued on his honeymoon sail in the Caribbean after his yacht developed mechanical problems.

Staff from Sir Richard Branson’s nearby island resort had to come to the aid of Ainslie and his new wife Georgie Thompson as the boat threatened to be washed on to a nearby reef.

The yacht developed problems with its self-furling mainsail, forcing Ainslie to radio for help.

Ainslie, who helped Oracle beat Team New Zealand in the 2013 America’s Cup final, now heads Britain’s return to cup action in 2017 with his self-named team.

He is also Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor. But that was no safeguard against the perils of the sea on a depowered yacht.

Branson revealed the drama on his blog page as staff from his Necker Island’s watersports team raced over to help the newly weds free up a stuck mainsail.

“It was great to see Ben Ainslie sailing past Necker Island as he enjoyed his honeymoon with his delightful new wife Georgie Thompson,” Branson wrote in a blog entry that was widely reported by British media today.

“Seeing as Ben is one of the greatest sailors of all time, what we didn’t except to see was his boat getting into trouble!

“Ben is the most successful sailor in Olympic history, winning medals at five consecutive Olympics and gold at the last four, not to mention his America’s Cup exploits, so obviously he knows exactly what he is doing.

“However, his boat had a serious mechanical problem, in no way Ben’s fault, and he put a message out asking for help.

“Three of our wonderful watersports team heard the call and raced over to their aid.

“The furling system broke on the main sail and the sail became so twisted that it couldn’t go up, down, in or out.

“Unsurprisingly, Ben kept an amazingly cool head whilst directing operations – he just needed more hands to sort out the mess.

“Together, the team helped to stop the boat from wrecking on the Moskito reef.

“With no harm done, Ben was able to see the funny side – after all, stranger things have happened at sea.”
IMAGE: SOS: British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie was rescued during a honeymoon sail in the Caribbean after his yacht developed mechanical problems. Reuters

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