Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 5

Sir Ben Ainslie named British Yachtsman of the Year

by Barry Pickthall on 16 Jan 2013
Sir Ben Ainslie - 2012 YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year award winner, photographed at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club where the presentation was made on behalf of the Yachting Journalists’ Association by lady Pippa Blake and YJA Chairman Bob Fisher. Barry Pickthall/PPL © http://www.pplmedia.com
Sir Ben Ainslie has proved beyond doubt today that he is the ultimate yachtsman of our time when he capped a challenging sailing year by being named the British Yachtsman of the Year, for an unprecedented sixth time.

The title, awarded by the Yachting Journalists’ Association in association with yacht insurers Pantaenius UK, caps his 2012 honours. His successes peaked with winning his fourth Olympic gold medal at Weymouth and Portland in the London 2012 Olympics, becoming ISAF world sailing champion, and receiving a knighthood in recognition of his services to sailing in the New Year’s Honours.

Ben flew to San Francisco hours before the announcement to join the Oracle Team USA, the defender of the America’s Cup. He is also preparing for the next America’s Cup World Series regatta at Naples in April with his J P Morgan/Ben Ainslie Racing Team. YJA chairman Bob Fisher and Lady Pippa Blake, who was to present the award, caught up with him just before leaving, at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. However, he joined the awards luncheon and ceremony at Trinity House in London today via a live television link from the team’s base in California.

He told Mr Fisher that 2012 had been quite a year with many highlights, but said the Olympic regatta had been the toughest. 'I thought I might have left it too late,' he admitted, 'but it was all down to a match race with Jonas [Hogh-Christensen] in the medal race, and I seem to enjoy those!'

Ben has now been at the top of his sport for 20 years, enduring enormous self-sacrifice in his quest for perfection. This pursuit involves never giving an inch in the interminable training sessions and an utterly relentless year-round competition schedule. During his remarkable career, Ben has now claimed four Olympic gold medals and one silver medal, nine European titles and ten world championships going back to 1993. Few sportsmen in any discipline have stayed at the forefront of their careers for such a sustained period.

Ben also won the Finn Gold Cup for a record sixth year, and this time on his home waters of Falmouth. Ben concluded his year by being named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Ben has also been voted YJA Yachtsman of Year on five previous occasions, either as an individual or as part of an Olympic team. Ben grew up and learned to sail in Restronguet, and now lives in Lymington.

Members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association voted him as the yachtsman most deserving the title in the closest of ballots, narrowly ahead of finalists - Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas MBE, a member of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, and the four times match racing world champion Ian Williams, also from Lymington.

Ben said his aim was to lead a British team for the next America’s Cup series, wherever that would be held. 'It has been a long-held ambition to be part of the team that returns the Cup to Britain after more than a 160-year absence.

At Trinity House, the YJA also made a Special Award to David Howlett, MBE, the Olympic team coach, for his outstanding dedication to improving the performance of many of Britain’s top sailors for many years. It also posthumously presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Henry Strzelecki MBE, founder of Henri Lloyd, who died on Boxing Day. The award was received by his son Paul, the joint chief executive of Henri-Lloyd.

Guests were welcomed by John McCurdy, OBE, managing director, of Pantaenius UK.

The associated YJA/Pantaenius Young Sailor of the Year was announced on preview day of the Tullet Prebon London Boat Show. The winner is windsurfer Saskia Sills, aged 16, from Launceston, Cornwall. She was presented with the YJA/Pantaenius Young Sailor of the Year trophy by Bob Fisher, chairman of the Yachting Journalists’ Association.

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 sixth time
2012 – Won fourth 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







Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted today at 5:56 am
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
Barz Optics - Kids rangeNaiadBakewell-White Yacht Design