America's Cup: British Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie brought into Oracle Team USA's line-up
Last Updated: September 12, 2013 8:35pm
Ben Ainslie: Olympic hero to represent Oracle Team USA on Thursday
Four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie has been drafted in to revive Oracle Team USA's flagging bid to retain the America's Cup.
Britain's Ainslie has been brought in to replace tactician John Kostecki ahead of Race Six and Seven against Emirates Team New Zealand on Thursday.
Team USA decided to make a change after they had won just one of the opening five races in the deciding series.
"We've decided to make a change in the back and bring Ben Ainslie onboard," skipper Jimmy Spithill said in a statement on the team's official website.
"While making crew changes has always been an option, we understand there's a risk that comes with it. JK is a great team-mate and a tremendous asset to our program, and he is supportive of the decision."
Team USA are effectively six races in arrears after they were docked two points prior to the regatta for illegally modifying their 45-foot catamaran in the event's warm-up series. The move was regarded as one of the biggest controversies in the 162-year history of the race.
New Zealand are therefore in the box seat to reclaim the Auld Mug - the first team to nine wins the series.
Tactical errors were at fault for Team USA failing to win in Race Five on Tuesday, following which they used their postponement card to delay Race Six until Thursday. Ainslie spent the rest day working with the team.
"It's a tough decision to make, but I'm happy to step up and do what's best for the team," Ainslie said.
"I have a huge amount of respect for JK and really appreciate his support in making the transition."
You can watch Race Six and Seven of the America's Cup from 9pm on Sky Sports 4HD.