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Thursday, 9 October 2014
SIR BEN AINSLIE JOINS THE RUN - LBHVR Update
SIR BEN AINSLIE JOINS THE RUN
Bonhams London to Brighton Run will be plain sailing for Olympic hero
Ainslie will be swapping wind power for horsepower when he makes his
debut in the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in November.
Ainslie – the most successful Olympic sailor of all time and now leading
his own team to challenge for the legendary America’s Cup – will be a
passenger in the 1904 Panhard-Levassor (pictured below) owned by Lord
Irvine Laidlaw, a Veteran Car Run regular, a keen sailor and an investor
in Ben Ainslie Racing.
Ainslie, who was knighted in 2013, won his first Olympic medal – a
silver – in the 1996 Atlanta Games at the age of just 19. It was the
last time he was to come second at this level as he won golds at the
next four games – Sydney, 2000; Athens, 2004; Beijing, 2008 and, of
course, London in 2012.
He announced his retirement from Olympic competition following the
London Games, but continued his winning ways as a crucial part of the
extraordinary comeback that saw Oracle Team USA win the 35th America’s
Cup in 2013. It was the first time in over a century that a Briton has
sailed with a winning America’s Cup team. Now he leads Ben Ainslie
Racing as Team Principal and Skipper, with Lord Laidlaw a founding
“I am really looking forward to making the trip from Hyde Park to
Madeira Drive in Brighton,” said Ainslie. “If it’s raining I shall feel
quite at home with all that spray in my face… the Panhard has no weather
protection at all!”
Lord Laidlaw’s Panhard is a four cylinder, 15hp model with an open
Tonneau body style. It is one of 443 veterans taking part in the world’s
longest running motoring event.
In line with tradition, the 2014 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car
Run takes place on the first Sunday of the month (2 November), with the
first cars leaving Hyde Park just before 7am regardless of the weather
It celebrates the original Emancipation Run, held on 14 November 1896,
and marked the Locomotives on the Highway Act. This landmark Act raised
the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14mph and abolished
the need for a man walking ahead of the cars waving a red flag.
The first re-enactment of the Emancipation Run took place in 1927 and it
has been held every year since, barring the war years and 1947 when
petrol was rationed.
The Run is the highlight of a long weekend of motoring nostalgia in the
capital, much it of it free to view. Other events include the popular
free Regent Street Motor Show (Saturday, 1 November) and the annual
Bonhams Veteran Car auction (Friday 31 October).