GUESTS at special lunch held to coincide with the launch of the Southampton Boat Show heard about Britain’s challenge for the America’s Cup.

The speaker at last Friday’s event, organised by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Harbour Hotel, was Andy Hindley, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR).

BAR was conceived by four times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851.

Prior to joining BAR, Andy was part of the 34th America’s Cup Race Management Team (ACRT) and before that Special Projects and Operations Director for Powerboat P1 Management; Race Director for the Volvo Ocean Race; navigator for Pete Goss and Team Phillips; and a race skipper for the BT Global Challenge.

All this is far cry from Andy’s first ventures out onto the water. He began sailing on Clowbridge Reservoir, not far from Burnley and high on the East Lancashire moors. His first outing was in a 14 foot wooden dinghy, owned by a family friend.