Ben Ainslie wins fourth gold medal and becomes most successful Olympic sailor

Wednesday 1st August 2012

Gold at London 2012 saw Ainslie become the most successful Olympic sailor of all-time, eclipsing Great Dane Paul Elvstrom’s current record of four golds, won between 1948 and 1960.
Ben’s first international competition was the 1989 Optimist World Championships in Japan where he placed 37th, but by the age of 16 Ben was Laser Radial World Champion.

He made his Olympic debut aged 19 taking silver in the Laser class at Atlanta 1996 before turning the tables on Brazilian great Robert Scheidt in Sydney four years later to claim his first gold. A move up to the heavyweight dinghy Finn class for Athens 2004 resulted in the same outcome, before victory at Beijing 2008 saw Ainslie surpass Rodney Pattisson’s previous best British Olympic sailing haul of two golds, one silver.

Ainslie was rewarded with a CBE in the 2009 New Year Honours, following the Beijing Games.
The three-time ISAF World Sailor of the Year has won the Finn World Championship a record six times, and in 2011 Ainslie claimed victory at both Skandia Sail for Gold and the Olympic Test Event in Weymouth and Portland.
At the London 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, Ben became the most successful Olympic sailor ever when he won his fourth consecutive gold medal!