Sailing - Ainslie dedicates sailing record to Simpson

Sir Ben Ainslie dedicated his latest record to fellow Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson, who died last month.

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Ben Ainslie

The four-time Olympic champion was a pall-bearer at Simpson's funeral on Friday and, less than 24 hours later, guided his team to victory in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Ainslie's crew completed the 50-mile circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight in just two hours and 52 minutes, shaving more than 16 minutes off the 12-year old record held by French sailor Francis Joyon.

And he claimed he was inspired by the memory of Simpson, who won Star class gold in Beijing, silver at last year's London Olympics and tragically died in a training accident when his catamaran flipped in San Francisco Bay.

"He'd have loved to have been out here today and it's nice to do it in his memory," said Ainslie, whose crew included Matt Cornwell, Andrew Mills, Andrew McLean and Mark Andrews.

"It was a great race and we've been very fortunate with the conditions."

Almost 1,500 boats and up to 16,000 sailors took part in this year's event, making the Round the Island Race the UK's fourth largest mass participation sporting event.

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