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Ben Ainslie: Britain's most successful sailor on why he hasn't settled down

26 JULY 2012

He is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor ever, with three Olympic golds and one silver already to his name, and 35-year-old Ben Ainslie is determined to add more to his clutch.

"The desire to win is still the same as ever," he says. "If it wasn't there, that would be a worry. Motivation's never really been a problem for me."

 

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Ben was able to get into the Olympic spirit earlier than most, having been chosen to start the Olympic torch relay across Britain in May.

"It was an amazing moment. I was very proud to help kickstart the run-up to the Olympics," he says, adding that he took his time with his part of the relay in Land's End. "I did not really want to rush it. I wanted to give everyone the chance to touch the torch."

 

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The ten-time Finn class world champion started sailing at the age of ten, encouraged by his mum Sue and dad Roddy Ainslie, who captained a boat in the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973.

He's pleased to have the Olympics at home - the sailing takes place at Weymouth - but  says there are disadvantages, too: "It's going to be harder to get into my own mental bubble, which is crucial when I'm competing."

 

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His dedication to his sport means Ben hasn't followed his friends in settling down and stating a family yet.

"I'm sure some of my friends wish they could go off sailing all the time," he says. "But sometimes, on a Sunday evening, I wish I had what they have. Hopefully, one day I will settle down and have a family, but right now sailing is my commitment."

In fact, Ben already has his sights set on the next Olympics: "I enjoy sailing and training, so I don't rule out going on to the 2016 Rio Olympics."

Men's Finn class sailing starts on 29 July

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