Sailing Legend Ben Ainslie Leads Great Britain Team To Success In SailGP Season 2
During the opening event of Bermuda SailGP Season 2 this April, Ben Ainslie demonstrated his talent, leadership and wealth of experience to lead Great Britain to pull off an upset victory over Australia, which was the reigning champion and hot favourite to clinch the race.
The day's event was as dramatic as it could get with lots of overtaking among teams, some crashes and even a capsize. But in a pulsating winner-takes-all final podium race, Ainslie and his teammates outmanoeuvred their supercharged F50 catamaran and triumphed against all odds to win after the team made a considerable improvement from coming in seventh in the first two races to edging the Australian team by a mere four seconds.
“It was a cracking race,” said the Rolex Testimonee, who is arguably the most successful sailor in Olympic history. He won gold at four consecutive Games held between 2000 and 2012. "It's what we want to do it for, go against the top sailors in the world in conditions like this—it was perfect."
The Briton has had an expansive career in sailing, having competed in not only the Olympics but internationally in renowned races such as the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Rolex Sydney Hobart and most recently SailGP.
Besides his wins during the races, other notable highlights in Ainslie's career include the London Olympics in 2012, where he represented Great Britain and carried the Union Jack flag during the closing ceremony, and his knighthood in 2013 for his outstanding displays in sailing.
In an interview with Rolex, the 44-year-old shared his determination to overcome challenges: “I respond to these moments and whenever I have needed a kick or inspiration to turn things around they bring out the best in me ... these victories are the most rewarding.”
Rolex's unique bond with the world of yachting began more than 60 years ago with a seminal partnership with the New York Yacht Club. This relationship with the sport has since evolved, with deep-rooted ties with prestigious yacht clubs, institutions and regattas globally. Partnerships include the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, SailGP, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Rolex also appreciates the endeavours that combine advancements of technology as well as towering individual talent. It is thus no surprise that Ainslie is not only a Rolex Testimonee but had also been named Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards four times in 1996, 2002, 2008 and most recently, 2012.
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After taking the chequered flag at Bermuda SailGP Season 2, Ainslie and his Great Britain teammates will go on to the next leg of the season in Taranto, Italy on June 5 and 6 with the grand finals held in San Francisco next year.