British sailor Ben Ainslie was created a Knight in the New Year Honours List announced
Ainslie said: “This is an incredible honour. When I set out Olympic sailing 20 years ago,
I never would have dreamt this would happen. I couldn't have achieved this honour
without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so
I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.”
Foremost amongst sharing Sir Ben’s pride was David Howlett, coach to the British
Olympic Finn singlehander class for two decades in which time Iain Percy (2000) and
Ainslie (2004, 2008, 2012) won successive Olympic titles. Howlett has been made an
MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the same New Year’s Honours list, dominated by success at London 2012.
By winning in Weymouth, Ainslie became the most successful competitor since sailing
became part of the Olympic Games in 1896. His three Golds in the Finn followed a Gold
in the Laser class (2000) and the Silver he won in his first Games as a 19 year old (1996).
Sailing’s Olympic Pantheon
Ben Ainslie GBR
Paul Elvstrom DEN
Jochen Schumann GER
Valentijn Mankin RUS
Robert Scheidt BRA
Torben Grael BRA
Each of the four current America’s Cup sailors who competed at London 2012 returned
with medals. Artemis Racing’s Nathan Outteridge AUS won Gold in the 49er whilst Iain
Percy GBR took Silver in the Star class; ORACLE TEAM USA’S Tom Slingsby AUS won Gold in the Laser class.