A British sporting challenge involving the country’s greatest sailors, including Olympic gold medallists Sir Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott, is being backed by a south west accountancy firm.

PKF Francis Clark has been named as the official supplier of accountancy services to INEOS TEAM UK, the British team for the 36th America’s Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy in the world.

Team principal and skipper, Sir Ben, who learned to sail with Restronguet Sailing Club, near Falmouth, said: “I am delighted to have Martin and the team at PKF Francis Clark on board again for our forthcoming America’s Cup challenge.

“They have supported me throughout my career and their professional services and expertise have been invaluable to our finance team throughout our America’s Cup programme.”

The firm, which has eight offices across the region, including Truro, and celebrates its centenary this year, provides a range of services to the Portsmouth-based team including payroll, research & development (R&D) claims, corporate tax filing and VAT assistance.

The PKF Francis Clark team is led by Martin Aldridge, partner and head of marine.

The America’s Cup started in 1851 with a race around the Isle of Wight.

It has been won by four nations in its history: USA, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, but never Great Britain. Emirates Team New Zealand are the current holders of the America’s Cup for the third time, after beating Oracle Team USA in Bermuda in 2017. The next one will take place in New Zealand in 2021.

Martin Aldridge said PKF Francis Clark was "proud and honoured’ to be appointed as an official supplier to INEOS TEAM UK.

He added: “Sir Ben is a long-standing client and we were also pleased to support Ben’s last campaign for America’s Cup title in 2017.

“This is an incredibly exciting project and with Sir Ben at the helm, we have high hopes for INEOS TEAM UK’s success in the 36th America’s Cup.”