Sir Keith Mills has backed Sir Ben Ainslie to lead a British America’s Cup team to victory at the prestigious sailing competition in 2017.
The team, which would be led by the four-time Olympic champion, is planning on hosting its first event next year.
Ainslie was victorious in last year’s competition in San Francisco, but was competing for Team Oracle – an American outfit, while a British team hasn’t entered since 1964.
Both Ainslie and Mills have long been keen on re-establishing a British entry to the event, but fears over safety and the viability of the 2013 competition prevented their most recent attempt.
But it now appears that plans are on track, as Mills revealed: “We are just about to start the process of planning the event, so we hope that we’ll host an event in the UK next year.”
Mills, who is chairman of the Invictus Games, the para-athletic event for wounded soldiers starting in London tomorrow, sounded confident that Ainslie can lead the team to success.
He added: “Ben Ainslie is an extraordinary sailor and if anyone can return the Americas Cup to this country, it’s him.”