Ben Ainslie, the skipper of JP Morgan Ben Ainslie Racing and a member of the ORACLE TEAM USA sailing team that will race to defend the America's Cup in September 2013 has been named the British Yachtsman of the Year for 2012.
This past summer Ainslie became the most decorated Olympic sailor in history when he won his fourth gold medal on home waters at the London Olympic Games to go along with a silver medal won at his first Games in 1996. In recognition of his services to the sport, he also received a knighthood in the New Year's Honours.
"It's a real honor, so thank you," Ben Ainslie said upon learning the news from San Francisco where he has returned to work with ORACLE TEAM USA.
"2012 was an amazing year for British sport and for sailing. There's a great history of sailing in the UK so to be a part of that is a real honor. The Olympics at home was a once in a lifetime experience to be involved with… And it was great to be a part of what was a great year for British sport."
*Sir Ben Ainslie - The story so far...
1977 – Born, Macclesfield, UK, son of Whitbread Race veteran, Roddy Ainslie
1985 – Competed in Optimist World Championship, Japan. Finished 37th
1993 – Won the Laser Radial (junior) world championship
1996 – Won Silver medal in Laser Class at Atlanta Games
1998 – Won Laser World Championships
1999 – Won Laser World Championships
2000 – Won Gold medal in Laser Class at Sydney Games
2001 – Competed in America's Cup
2002 – Won the Finn Gold Cup (world championship)
2003 – Won the Finn Gold Cup
2004 – Won the Finn Gold Cup
2004 – Won Gold medal in Finn Class at Athens Games
2005 – Won the Finn Gold Cup
2005 – Won the World Match Racing Championship
2008 – Won the Finn Gold Cup
2008 – Won Gold medal in Finn Class at Beijing Games
2009 – Won the King Edward VI Gold Cup Match racing champ.
2010 – Won the King Edward VI Gold Cup Match racing champ.
2010 – Won the World Match Racing Championship
2012 – Won the Finn Gold Cup for record 6th time
2012 – Won 4th successive Gold medal at London Games
2012 – Rolex World Sailor of the Year
2013 – Awarded Knighthood in New Year's Honours
2013 – YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year for 2012
* Courtesy the Yachting Journalists' Association