Tech Speak with Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie
Britain’s four-time gold medal-winning sailor on the technology that floats his boat…
“It’s important to keep to the true spirit of sport, which is relying on talent and hard work rather than letting technology do it all for you”
Q: What piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
A: “I love the iPad 2. It gives me the freedom to access any information I need pretty much in any place at any time. Some of the apps, like iBooks and Videos, really help with all the travelling I do for training and regattas and I use it to keep up to date with current affairs and business. It’s a great tool to have in my bag wherever I am in the world.”
Q: As a keen sports fan do you have a killer home entertainment set-up to keep an eye on how Chelsea are doing?
A: “If only I was at home to watch it. This year I’ve mainly been at events in the UK and so the Sky Go App has come in really handy for watching games and other sports anywhere in the country. The only issue is when you’re aboard as it doesn’t allow access. They’re missing a trick there, it’d be great to be able to watch UK TV when I’m away from home.”
Q: Do you use any particular tech when you’re training?
A: “We use heart rate monitors when in the gym or out running. We try to get the heart rate to mirror its rate when we’re out competing.”
Q: Has technology changed sailing?
A: “GPS and weather reporting have made a big difference to the sport. We can map out courses and choose sails to work best in certain weather conditions.
Q: Do you think tech is a good thing in sport?
A: “It’s great as long as it doesn’t affect the end result. I think it’s important to keep to the true spirit of sport, which is relying on talent and hard work rather than bringing in a machine to complete all that work for you. Technology can bring so much to sailing. The on-board cameras and trackers they’ve been using in the America’s Cup racing recently have made the events so much more spectator friendly. We just need to make sure it doesn’t start affecting the sailors’ performance. That’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.”
Follow Ben and Rita
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the title sponsor of Ben Ainslie’s Olympic campaign. For the latest updates go to facebook.com/benainslie1977 or show your support for Ben and his boat Rita on twitter #benandrita
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