Ainslie forced to abandon bid to break sailing record

On October 31, 2008 by

This week saw Ben Ainslie abandon his bid to break the transatlantic sailing record for a monhull following storm damage to the mainsail of his yacht.

The Team GB Olympic star, who was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire after excelling at the Olympic Games in Sydney, was not the only one left disappointed by the decision to stop the attempt.

He was part of a large crew which included Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin group, and 22 other people. Branson has been attempting to break speed records for decades now.

In 1986, he managed to break a record which had stood for over 30 years by manning a speedboat across the Atlantic. He has also been involved in several hot air ballooning record attempts.

The group left New York in a 99-foot racing yacht owned by Branson last Wednesday, desperately wanting to break the record which still stands at 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds.

Ben Ainslie, who is yet to cross the Atlantic, stated his belief that the attempt is