Ainslie busting a gut in America’s Cup quest

  |   Sports

Numbingly-cold salt water showers Ben Ainslie and his crew as they enter "flight" mode in a practice sail before defending their America's Cup World Series lead in Japan this weekend.

Their catamaran's rigging and hulls groan and creak with the strain of the vast wing sail, which is about as big as a 737 aircraft's, as their coach puts the crew of five through a "gut buster", a series of short maneuvers requiring frequent adjustments, total concentration and intense exertion.

Named "Rita", as all the four-times Olympic gold medalist's boats have been, Ainslie's state-of-the-art craft is one of four foiling prototypes he and his 130-member Land Rover BAR team have developed in a more than 80 million-pound ($99.5 million) quest to win the "Auld Mug" back for Britain.

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