SIR CHARLES BENEDICT "BEN" AINSLIE CBE (1977 - present) - Olympic Sailor
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||Ben was born in Macclesfield on 5th February 1977 and moved to Cornwall as a young child, attending Truro School. |
At the age of eight he started sailing at Restronquet Sailing Club and entered his first competitive race at the age of ten. Ben captained one of the boats in the first ever Whitbread Round The World Race in 1973. His first international sailing competition was in Japan in 1989 at the Optimist world championships where he finished 37th.
He has won 11 World Championships in Laser and Fin classes, the latest being the 2012 World Championship at falmouth.
His Olympic achievements have been:
Silver in the Laser class at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996,
Gold in the Laser class at the Sydney Olympics in 2000,
Gold in the Finn class at the Athens Olympics in 2004,
Gold in the Finn class at the Beijing Olympics in 2008
Gold in the Finn class at the London Olympics in 2012.
To commemorate his 2012 Olympic Gold medal, the Royal Mail issued a special First Class Stamp with his picture on it as well as painting a postbox in Restronquet in Gold paint.
Ben was also the first Olympic Torch bearer for the start of 2012 Torch Relay at Lands End.
Ben was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2008, following his third Olympic title.
In the 2013 New Year's Honours, Ben was granted a Knighthood for services to sailing.
In October 2013 he was made an Honorary Freeman of his current home town of Lymington and Pennington at an event at the town's community centre. He is the first person to have been given the honour by the town council since it was formed in 1980.
In March 2014 Sir Ben Ainslie, was named as the new patron of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
On 20th December 2014 Sir Ben married his fiancee, sports presenter Georgie Thompson, in a romantic festive ceremony at Hampton Court.