The first name to spring to mind as an Olympic prospect, yet Ainslie cannot rest on his laurels; competition in the Finn has never been greater.

Olympic profile: Ben Ainslie part two

Early ambitions: “Apart from every young boy’s dream of being a Formula One driver, I’ve always loved the water, so I thought I’d probably join the Navy.”

Best/worst quality: “I think they are both the same thing: determination. It’s my worst quality because I’m so single-minded that I’m sometimes not sensitive enough to the needs of others.”

Hobbies and interests: “I’ve always been interested in cars, particularly sports cars. My favourite is an Aston Martin V12 Vantage. I’m also pretty keen on golf.”

Pet hate: Traffic vital statistics

Sporting hero: Steve Redgrave

Personal favourites
The Godfather Part II
The Killers
New York, Edward
Non sailing item:
Golf clubs
Current car: Volvo V70
iPod top 3 most played: Fix You – Coldplay Human – The Killers Encore – Jay Z & Linkin Park

How do you relax? “In a rather simple way I guess. I spend so much time travelling and sailing that I just like to put my feet up, read a book or watch films.”

What picks you up when you’re down? “Watching a comedy movie or, most recently, the
TV series Mad Men.”

Non sailing ambition: “At some point I’d like to have a family and perhaps learn to fly.”

What’s your plan ‘B’? “I’ve made some good contacts over the years, mainly through sponsorship, so I’d like to go into business.”

Class sailed: Finn

Routine: “Generally we work ten days on, three days off, although the down time is usually spent with sponsor commitments, meetings and general administration.”

Typical Olympic day: “Broadly the same as a training day (see box on right), although the day is more stretched out as getting to the venue takes longer and we leave the dock earlier at around 75 minutes before the first race. Then, after racing, there are other commitments such as anti- doping tests and media calls.”

Coach: David Howlettsailing scheduleTraining partner: Mark Andrews
Trainer and physio: Alex Hopson

First class sailed: Optimist
First major success: Laser Radial World Champion, aged 16

Olympic track record: Silver 1996, Laser, Atlanta, USA; Gold 2000 Laser, Sydney, Australia;
Gold 2004 Finn, Athens, Greece; Gold 2008 Finn, Qingdao, China

Favourite sailing venue: Sydney
Favourite regatta: Bermuda Gold Cup
Dream boat: André Hoek modern classic

Main competition for Olympic selection: Ed Wright, Giles Scott, Andrew Mills, Mark Andrews

Cost of a Finn: £15-20,000
Number of sails per season: 12

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Olympic profile: Ben Ainslie part two
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