Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew aboard the Great Britain SailGP Team won at the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix. With this victory, they lead the score at the SailGP Season 2, and they still have seven more venues to prove their worth before earning the $1 Million prize. This is his latest success, but his story begins far back.
“When you’re out there on your own, all of a sudden you’re in complete control. You’re in control of your own destiny.”
1985. Ben is an eight-year-old eager to venture into the sea. He learnt to sail at a very early age when he got into a boat at the Restronguet sailing club, in the Cornish coast. His father was the skipper of the yacht Second Life in the first Whitbread Round of the World Race.
At 19 years, Ben Ainslie participated in his first Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996. He competed in the Laser Class and earned his first Silver Medal. He was getting ready for greatness and a lifetime of medals.
“Someone I respected a lot said to me after the silver in ’96 that it may be the best thing that ever happened to me. If I had won a gold medal at 19, maybe everything that goes with being a gold medallist at such a young age would have distracted me and I would have lost a bit of focus.”
However, success didn’t take long to arrive, and in the next Olympic Games of 2000 in Sydney Ben Ainslie won his first ever Gold medal in the Laser Class. Since, he became an excellent Olympic medallist.
He won his third Olympic medal in Athens 2004. Here he needed to finish within 14 places of Spanish Rafael Trujillo to win the Olympic gold. Ben Ainslie finished only one place back.
With this strike of success, Ben Ainslie continues competing in the sailing world and wins the Finn World Championships in 2005. He has made his own record by winning one of the hardest dinghy’s competitions for the fourth time in a row.
“I am honoured to be the first patron of the John Merricks Sailing Trust and delighted to have been asked to support a charity that helps young sailors in the UK. John was not only a great sailor but his attitude to the sport was a terrific example to all young sailors of the future.”
In 2005 Ben was announced the patron of the John Merricks Sailing Trust. Since, he became the patron of other charitable causes. In 2013, he became a Founding trustee of the Andrew Simpson Foundation helping in the BART's BASH competition and in 2014; Sir Ben Ainslie launched the 1851 Trust.
The 1851 Trust is a dynamic education charity that encourages young people from all backgrounds to imagine their futures. It harnesses the power of professional sport and challenges students to share opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
“This is an incredible honour. When I set out Olympic sailing twenty years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen. I couldn’t have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.”
In 2013, Ben Ainslie visited Buckingham Palace to receive his knighthood. He is awarded by Her Princess Royal. Later on that year, on the 23rd of September 2013 Ben fulfilled his lifetime dream of winning the 34th America’s Cup. He sailed with ORACLE TEAM USA against the challenger Emirates Team New Zealand.
Since, he competed in the latter editions of the America’s Cup Match. In 2016 he became the America’s Cup Challenger and Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series winner and in 2017 he led his team in the 35th America’s Cup. Also, he officially took the challenge in INEOS TEAM UK in the 36th America’s Cup Challenge.
We recommend: Are you interested in seeing how he performed during the America’s Cup? You’ll love our show on the PRADA CUP.
Sir Ben Ainslie has many more merits in the sailing community and in the nautical world, and talking about all of them would take us a very long time! His career is far from over, and from Nautical Channel we will be expecting more exciting competitions and news from his part.