I think most can agree that Ben is a good sailor if not a great sailor. He’s the logical choice for steering the boat. However Ineos performance in the Christmas racing series was terrible. After such a shocking result it’s only natural that a discussion on how Ben is running the syndicate would happen. As the head of the syndicate the buck stops with him. He has to take responsibility for how things have turned out. He didn’t design the boat but he did hire the designers. He can’t just hire a designer and then wash his hand of all responsibilities. I’ve also given some stick to Nick Holroyd the designer. He may be culpable than anyone.If you consider Ben Ainslie's time with Oracle in 2013 a win, do you also consider his time with ETNZ in 2007 a loss? He was the B-boat helm in both cases. It seems that many here weigh Ben's influence heavily in the 2013 win, however, an argument could be made that another qualified tactician would have provided similar results- To be clear, I'm suggesting that it wasn't so much putting Ben in that role, as it was removing JK from it, which was a bigger influence. Ben being involved as a B-Boat driver likely had as much input during the development of the boats during the build-up as he would have as anyone on the A-Boat. I highly doubt he brought game-altering concepts to the table only after he was promoted to the A-Boat in the give it everything we've got assault to retain the cup. That's just not logical.
I don't understand why there is so much importance placed on Ben's trophy case. He can obviously drive the boat, and I doubt that his age and reflexes are the reason the INEOS AC75 has underperformed to date.
Does anyone here really think Ben is the last word in that organization- that Ben is sitting down and telling the designers how to shape the foils, sails, and hull? Those are all team management decisions. To paraphrase Ken Read- They need to close all the doors around them, hunker down, and assess the viability of every option they have available as a team. They aren't out yet, but relying on Ben's past results won't put them back into it either.
The thing I am most surprised by is that INEOS and AM have used their foil allocation- especially considering that they both had test platforms, and they should have been far enough down the development path when it came to committing the designs for their AC75 foils. And actually, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe several around here claimed that ETNZ specifically would be behind the other teams with early test boats who were able to test foil configurations. The other notable thing to mention in this regard, is that INEOS would have carried the software IP from the 2017 AC foils into this, so they weren't exactly starting from a blank sheet as AM did.
Maybe I’m a bit more hard nosed than some, but it’s just not acceptable to have such a large budget and perform so badly. It’s only natural and also proper that hard questions should to be asked.