2013 America's Cup: Ben Ainslie would 'love' to race with Team Oracle USA if needed
Last Updated: 12/09/13 8:03pm
Sir Ben Ainslie insists he is ready and willing to answer an 'SOS' from struggling America's Cup champions Oracle Team USA.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist is being tipped to be brought in to replace under-fire tactician John Kostecki after Oracle lost four of the opening five races.
Ainslie has no qualms with his current role in the team supporting captain Jimmy Spithill, however, he would jump at the chance to be out on the water in San Francisco Bay if called upon.
"If the decision is made that they want me to sail on the boat I'd love to do that. But at the same time I came into this team aware that my role was to support Jimmy Spithill and to helm the second boat."
"For sure we'll make some changes. That's clear that we have to improve our performance, our boat speed especially on the upwind legs," he told Sky Sports.
"We'll look at that on Thursday. With the team we've got a lot of resources so we can make changes if we need to, if we think that's the right thing to do. We've got to sit down and make those decisions.
"For me personally it's about being part of the team. I'll do whatever the team wants me to do.
"If the decision is made that they want me to sail on the boat I'd love to do that. But at the same time I came into this team aware that my role was to support Jimmy Spithill and to helm the second boat.
"I've been happy to fulfil that role and if that changes then of course I'll step up to it."
Oracle's points deduction means the team are currently losing the America's Cup 4 to -1, however, Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor, retains the believes Oracle can turn things around.
"I think the Kiwis have had a faultless campaign. They were the first guys out on the water and as we've seen with this new type of boat every hour you get out there you're getting faster and faster," he continued.
"We have been playing catch up ever since, ever since we capsized last October. That was probably the biggest setback as a team. To counter that we've got a lot of resources here.
"We've got a fantastic boat-building team and we're still improving - more than any other team. So if over the coming days make the most of the time on the water, develop these boats as quickly as possible then we're still in with a chance. I think the Cup is still winnable for Oracle."
You can watch races six and seven of the 2013 America's Cup live on Sky Sports 4HD on Thursday at 9pm