Sir Ben Ainslie CBE

Sir Ben Ainslie CBE

British Sailing Legend

Synopsis

Ben is the first sailor to win medals at five Olympics. After seeing off the Danish boat in Weymouth Bay he masterminded tactics for the victorious US team in the America’s Cup - with his sights now firmly set on leading a British challenge. Ben demonstrates the physicality, techniques and strategic nous needed to compete at the highest level. He might also confess that his blocking tactics, now universally used, once led him to require police protection.

Biography

Ben Ainslie is a four-time Olympic gold medal-winning sailor. He rose to prominence in the Atlanta Games after being beaten into silver by Brazilian Robert Scheidt. He went on to win gold in each subsequent Olympic Games - Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and London making him the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

A year after Ben’s historic Olympic win in the London games, Ben was parachuted in as lead tactician for the Oracle America’s Cup team. With the team losing the race to the Emirates/New Zealand team by a six-nil margin, Ben led an unprecedented fight back to 8-8 and then to a nail-biting 9-8 victory.

Ben started sailing at the age of eight and by 12 he was competing in the World Championships. At 18 he won gold at the World Youth Championships and became British Yachtsman of the Year, a title he held on four more occasions. He went on to with the World Championship in Laser and Finn classes 11 times and has also been crowned ISAF World Sailor of the Year three times.

In presentations, Ben talks about the comparisons made between his and Sir Steve Redgrave’s Olympic records, and his long-standing rivalry with Scheidt. He recalls their head to head in the final of the Laser class in Sydney - a day that changed the way medal races would be contested in the future.

Ben also weighs up the importance of physicality, skill, strategy and technique - and explains the benefits of competing in the America’s Cup. It allowed him to diversify from his usual style of racing and kept him feeling fresh.

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