British Olympic yachtsman Ben Ainslie won a string of medals in five consecutive Olympic Games (1996-2012) and gold in the last four.
His career began in 1989 when he entered the Optimist World Championships, held in Japan. This led to a string of firsts in numerous World Championships, together with gold medals in both in the Laser and the single handed Finn class.
Ainslie brought sailing to public’s attention with a barrage of media coverage. In July 2015 he hit the headlines again by putting together a British challenge for the coveted Americas Cup – sadly something the British have failed to achieve since the races inception 1851 !
In 2013 huge 75 foot catamarans rocketed about beneath the Golden Gate bridge in San Fransisco. These monsters evolved into a smaller, lighter 45 foot class which has taken the sport to a whole new level. Following media coverage in July 2015, Ainslie successfully won one race and came second in the other, taking him to top of the leaders board. The series of races were fought inshore off Southsea beach in Hampshire and an estimated 250,000 spectators were treated to some fast and furious racing.
The series continued with a nail biting series of races in Gothenburg, then in sunnier climes, in Bermuda, gear failure led to the boat coming last in one race and a third overal for 2015 ! The 2016 AC45 World Series will commence in July with another week of racing at home in Southsea.
For my part, I have long been interested in multi-hulls and used to own and race a Unicorn “A Class” 18 foot single handed trapezing catamaran. In addition, I have been interested in both the Amateur Yacht Research Society and the Americas Cup since I was a child. Naturally, I was excited to discover that Ainslie and his team were coming to my home town of Portsmouth to set up his base.
My recent work includes a series of linocuts of the British AC45 campaign. It’s a slow process with each new design taking 2-3 weeks to design and cut an A3 linocut. That’s before getting into the printmaking studio to mix the ink, apply it to the block with a roller and then introducing it to an Albion Press to transfer the ink from the lino to the paper ! Each print is hand finished and burnished to ensure a crisp even print.
I will be adding more images here as and when they reach completion !
The first of the series was a view of the Promenade with Southsea Castle, the Old Lighthouse – with Ben Ainslie.
“Promenaders Promenading” Limited edition hand pulled lino cut Copyright Chris N Wood All rights reserved 2015