Sailing for Gold (Again)

Imagine you’re an Aussie cameraman working at the 2011 Finn World Championships in Perth. 

You’re following the leading pack, zooming in on the sailors as they pump the living daylights out of their single-handed boats. 

Suddenly your skipper cuts across to get a better view and the wake pretty wipes out one boat behind you.

The man in that boat is Ben Ainslie.

He’s no ordinary sailor.

First afloat in Mylor creek, he manned his own boat at the age of eight and won the Laser Radial World Championship in New Zealand before leaving school.

With nine world titles, three European crowns, four British Yachtsman of the year trophies, three International Sailing Federation World Sailor of the Year gongs and 4 Olympic Gold medals, Ben is at one with the ocean and has been dubbed ‘Britain’s greatest sailor since Nelson’.

At London 2012 he could be Britain’s greatest solo Olympian of all time. 

But then you cut across his path in Perth and he comes second.

A natural born winner, he dives out of his boat, swims to yours, hauls himself in and goes ballistic at your skipper while you stand there shaking with guilt.

Ben is disqualified and faces a ban from the 2012 Olympics. 

The whole sailing world holds its breath, until February 2012 when the Royal Yachting Association steps in and agrees to let Ben compete at London 2012.

You’re off the hook and he’s back in the hunt for Gold.

You decide it’s best to watch this one from dry land.