Ben Ainslie CBE
His career in sailing began at the age of eight with his family in Restronguet, Cornwall. Ben’s father Roddy was a proficient sailor who had skippered ‘Second Life’ in the first 'Whitbread Round the World' race of 1973-74. What started as a hobby quickly turned into a way of life, and by the age of 16 Ben was already Laser Radial World Champion. With the help and continuous support of both his parents, at just 19 years old Ben won his first Olympic medal - silver in the Laser class at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Four years later, again sailing the Laser, he achieved every athlete’s dream of Olympic gold at the Sydney Olympic Games.
After Sydney, Ben changed focus and spent fourteen months with the ‘One World Challenge’ America’s Cup campaign, but soon felt that Olympic sailing, and in particular switching classes from the Laser to the Finn class, was what he wanted to pursue at that point in his life. The move to the Finn meant Ben had to increase his bodyweight by 15 kilos to achieve the optimum weight for the larger Finn class. This gruelling training programme paid off when in 2002, a little over a year after changing classes, Ben won the Finn World Championships. He successfully defended this world title for the following two years, equalling the record of three wins set by Brazilian Jorg Bruder in the early 1970’s. In 2005 he then made history to become the most successful Finn sailor ever by winning his fourth successive Finn Gold Cup. It was gold again at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, in the larger Finn class.
The sailing at the Beijing Olympics 2008 was held in Qingdao – a notoriously tricky venue with light winds and strong tides. Ben fell ill with mumps just days before the start of his Olympic defence, however he showed his champion spirit to win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal. This cemented his position as Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor of all time, surpassing Rodney Pattison’s record of two gold and one silver Olympic medals. Since Beijing Ben has received many awards and accolades most recently he was honoured Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
At London2012 thousands of spectators lined the Weymouth docks to watch Ben win his forth consecutive gold medal in the Finn class to become the most decorated sailor in history.
"It's the best one yet - it's the forth and it means a lot!"
Ben Ainslie CBE
Items listed by Ben Ainslie CBE
WOW! A super smart, light blue tie, owned, donated and signed by FOUR-times Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie CBE!
Ben is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor ever! He donated this personal tie to be sold to raise funds for The...
19:30 2nd Sep 2012