• Sailing

America's Cup bid facing 'critical' time - Ainslie

ESPN staff
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Sir Ben Ainslie has made it clear he wants to lead a British team in the America's Cup © PA Photos
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Sir Ben Ainslie has admitted he is facing a "crucial" period in his attempt to secure investment and launch a British team to challenge for the America's Cup.

Ainslie inspired Team Oracle to a remarkable comeback against Team New Zealand in September, having helped his side come from 8-1 down to win 9-8 and secure the 34th America's Cup.

The four-time Olympic champion recently confirmed his desire to lead British team to success in the competition and deliver a maiden victory for his nation, but warned he is entering a difficult period for negotiation.

"It is a tough challenge to raise that sort of money in a short period of time," Ainslie told BBC Sport. "We really need to know we can move forward as a strong campaign to attract the right sailors, the right designers.

"That is probably in some way the most critical time of the whole campaign, certainly the biggest decisions you'll make in terms of hiring the key personnel."

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