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SailGP: Sir Ben Ainslie pays his respects to Queen Elizabeth II in technical base ceremony

by SailGP 9 Sep 2022 03:45 PDT 9 September 2022
The Great Britain SailGP Team, Australia SailGP Team, New Zealand SailGP Team and Canada SailGP Team gather as the Union flag is lowered to half-mast at the Great Britain SailGP Team hangar following the announcement of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II © Jon Buckle/SailGP

Sir Ben Ainslie paid his respects to Queen Elizabeth II following the death of the UK's longest-serving monarch on Thursday, aged 96.

The Queen, who came to the throne in 1952 and reigned for 70 years, passed away at her Scottish estate, Balmoral, with the United Kingdom and the 15 British Realm Commonwealth nations entering a period of international mourning.

On Friday morning, the Great Britain SailGP Team - along with three teams - from New Zealand, Australia, and Canada representing Commonwealth nations - held a three minutes' silence for Her Majesty at the tech base in Saint-Tropez.

Following this show of respect, Sir Ben - knighted in 2013 for services to sailing - paid tribute to the Queen and her 'incredible life' at today's media conference in Saint-Tropez.

"I just wanted to say a few words on behalf of the British, and other, teams," he began. "Obviously it's a very sad day that everyone hoped would never happen, but inevitably had to at some point. The Queen inspired so many people around the world.

"It was a wonderful moment earlier today that we had three minutes of silence with the Commonwealth teams, and I want to thank those teams for joining us in that moment of remembrance.

"Looking back at all the response to everything that has happened over the last 24 hours, there were some attributes made of the Queen and what she stood for - devotion, service, humility, respect, humour, enjoyment, and perseverance.

"I think that is how many people around the world will remember her. And certainly in this world we are currently living in, that perspective is one of the things the Queen certainly stood for and I am sure the rest of us could certainly gain some from following that.

"In the days and weeks to come we hope the sorrow turns to celebration of an incredible life - perhaps the most incredible life that's ever been lived.

"So our respects to the Royal Family at this moment - our thoughts are with them, and we wish them and everyone around the world the very best moving forward from this sad news."

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