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Ben Ainslie to take part in Isle of Wight event

Wed 25 Apr 2012

Ben Ainslie to take part in Isle of Wight event

Organisers of the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race have confirmed Olympian Ben Ainslie is to take part in the event this summer.

Thousands of people are likely to be flocking to the Isle of Wight to watch or take part in the race and three-time gold medallist Ainslie is among the top sailors competing.

June 30th is the day of the race and Ainslie will be on board the Big Class yacht Eleonora, which is an exact replica of the schooner Westward, one of the best known racing boats of all time.

Ainslie was originally asked if he wanted to run the race on a Beneteau First 40, but said the chance to be aboard Eleonara was too good to turn down.

"This will be my seventh Round the Island Race and I've competed in everything from an Open 60, Extreme 40, Kerr 40 to an SB3 - but nothing is going to match sailing the 50 mile course on this beautiful classic," he said, adding he wants to thank the boat's owner Zbynek Zak and race sponsor JP Morgan Asset Management for making it possible.

Hannah Mills, who is one of the UK's top hopes for Olympic medals this summer, is also going to compete in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race this year.

She will join fellow Team Volvo sailor Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison and her 470 sailing partner Saskia Clark on a Volvo Car UK Farr 45 entry.

Mills stated it is a "privilege" to be asked to take part in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, adding: "I'm really looking forward to taking part again. The aim this year is to ... be the first Team Volvo boat back to Cowes."

Some 879 entries have already been confirmed for this year's race, with June 2nd the last date sailors can reveal their attendance.

Posted by Steph WhiteADNFCR-3083-ID-801348733-ADNFCR

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