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Ben AINSLIE (GBR)Having jumped from the Laser to America's Cup sailing, Ben returned to the Olympic circuit at the beginning of the year with his sights set on the men's single-handed event in the Finn Class.

After only six months in the class Ben had won the Finn Europeans, to be followed by the Finn Gold Cup and then the 2002 Athens Test Event leaving the more experienced Finn sailors in his wake.

ISAF World Sailing Ranking at 1 October 2002 - 14

1st - Athens Test Event, August 2002 - Grade 2
1st - Finn Gold Cup, July 2002 - Grade W
1st - Finn Europeans, July 2002 - Grade 1
3rd - Laureus World Sports Awards Regatta, May 2002 - Grade 3
4th - SPA Regatta, May 2002 - Grade 1
5th - Semaine Olympique Francaise, April 2002 - Grade 1
4th - XXXIII Princess Sofia Trophy, March 2002 - Grade 2

Name Ben Ainslie
Date of Birth 28161
Place of Birth Macclesfield, Great Britain
Profession Yachtsman
ISAF World Sailing Ranking 14 - Men's Single-Handed Dinghy Ranking - Finn
ISAF World Sailing Ranking Click here to view Ben's Skippers Report
Age started sailing 8
First boat sailed Optimist
Age started racing 9
First boat raced Optimist
What inspired you to take up sailing? Sailing with my father in his 43' McGruer Yawl
How did you buy your first boat? It was a Christmas present from my parents
Which was your first sailing club? Restronguet Sailing Club, Great Britain
First Event competed in and Year Falmouth Week 1987
First Event won and Year Optimist Junior National Championships (under 12s) 1988
Principle achievements 1992 1st Laser Radial National Championships
Principle achievements 1993 1st Laser Radial Youth Europeans, Europeans and World Championships
Principle achievements 1994, 1995 1st Laser Youth Championships
Principle achievements 1994 2nd ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships (boys single-handed event in the Laser)
Principle achievements 1995 1st ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships (boys single-handed event in the Laser)
Principle achievements 1995 Winner UK Olympic Selection Trials (Laser)
Principle achievements 1996 1st Laser Europeans
Principle achievements 1996 2nd Atlanta Olympics (open single-handed dinghy event - Laser)
Principle achievements 1997 1st Brazilian Laser Nationals, UK Open Laser Nationals and Hyeres Olympic Classes Regatta
Principle achievements 1998 1st Laser Class at Sail Melbourne, Kiele Woche and ISAF World Sailing Games (men's single-handed dinghy event - Laser)
Principle achievements 1999 1st Laser Class Danish Spring Cup, SPA, Finnish Laser Nationals, Asia Pacific Laser Championships, UK Open Laser Nationals, Sydney Test Event and Laser World Championships
Principle achievements 2000 1st Sydney 2000 Olympics (open single-handed dinghy event - Laser), Uk Open Nationals, Laser Europeans
Principle achievements 2002 1st Finn UK Nationals, Finn Europeans, Finn Gold Cup and Athens Test Event (men's single-handed dinghy event - Finn)
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Winning the gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games is without doubt the highlight of my sailing career to date.
What are your future sailing aspirations? To win a gold medal in the Finn Class at the 2004 Olympic Regatta in Athens and at sometime in the future to steer a yacht to win the America's Cup.
Briefly state what sailing means to you Sailing has been my life since I was 12 years old. Not only do I enjoy competing but also sailing for pleasure and learning more of the many aspects which sailing has to offer.
Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? My parents. They have travelled with me all over the World and given their unerring support for many years.
Who do you consider to be your sailing hero? Russell Coutts
What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing? I play football fairly regularly and also enjoy tennis, badminton and golf though I am not very good at it. I also like skiing in the winter.
Who do you consider to be the greatest sailor in the World and why? Again probably Russell Coutts as he has won the America's Cup and then successfully defended it.
Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2002 means to you It is good to know that the hard work and my achievements this year have been recognised.
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2002, briefly say what will this mean to you? I think that this is the most prestigious accolade any yachtsman can ever receive.

RWS - 2002 - Ben AINSLIE

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