But Thursday 08 June 2017, has been a particular day from hell for the United Kingdom. Theresa May’s snap election has backfired with the Tories losing their overall majority. At no stage did Mrs May ever consider the “what if’s” and gallantly led her country to a hung parliament situation just 2 weeks out from Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile a duller than dull Jeremy Corbin cleaned up around 30 extra seats. Commentators on the ground in Britain say she built an election campaign around herself and lost!
On the sporting front, Sir Ben Ainslie had his comeuppance in Bermuda on the same day. Despite being super-talented, he overreached and painted himself into a corner. Two collisions earlier in the campiagn leave lingering doubts in the minds of many. Clearly, there was an intent to intimidate, but on both occasions he overcooked it and made physical contact. Put simply, a sailor of his class doesn’t make fundamental handling errors in quick succession. On the other hand, his tactical manoeuvring in the start box was at times brilliant.
But the ego was just too big. Plastering his initials all over the boat plus, “Bring the cup home painted on the stern,” proved a tad previous. In his valedictory address to the media having been beaten 5-2 by the Kiwis, he thanked everyone involved in Land Rover BAR for doing a fantastic job and he couldn’t be prouder of them. The fact they were the second team out of six participants to be dumped out of the tournament did little to temper this self-aggrandising knight of the realm. He even managed to squeeze in a plug for his Land Rover BAR Sailing Academy. To his credit though, Sir Ben did acknowledge Kiwi Ingenuity, making special mention of the cyclors.
The saddest part of all this is that The America’s Cup needs a Ben Ainslie syndicate to maintain challenger numbers. He’s always competitive on and off the water and without a British entry this time around, the event would not have achieved critical mass in Bermuda. But Ben, next time please leave the hubris at home!