America's Cup: Oracle could gamble on bringing in Sir Ben Ainslie

Last Updated: 12/09/13 10:13am

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Ben Ainslie: Trained with Oracle Team USA on Wednesday

Ben Ainslie: Trained with Oracle Team USA on Wednesday

Sky Bet

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie could be set to answer an 'SOS' from struggling America's Cup champions Oracle Team USA.

Oracle currently trail Team New Zealand by five points, having been handed a two-point penalty and then lost four of the first five races.

The manner of the defeat in Race 5 saw Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill play his "provisional card" - allowing them to postpone Race 6 in order to regroup and make changes.

Ainslie discusses crew changes

The big change could see Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor, brought in to replace under-fire tactician John Kostecki.


Ainslie replaced Kostecki during Oracle's training session on Wednesday in San Francisco Bay - and now Spithill must decide whether or not to bring in the Briton for Thursday's races.

Syndicate CEO Russell Coutts said: "You've got to remember, changing personnel at a time like this has never worked in the past so we have to be cautious about making a change like that.

"We wouldn't be thinking about it unless it had a really good chance at working.

"He's obviously an extremely accomplished sailor, but Jimmy and Ben and Tommy Slingsby haven't worked together yet," Coutts said. "That's a pretty big ask at this point in the regatta."

You can watch races six and seven of the 2013 America's Cup live on Sky Sports 4HD on Thursday at 9pm

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