Sir Ben Ainslie profile

Sky Sports looks back at the the amazing career of Britain's top sailor

Last Updated: 25/09/13 10:36am

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Sir Ben Ainslie has played a starring role for Oracle Team USA

Sir Ben Ainslie has played a starring role for Oracle Team USA

Sky Bet

With four Olympics golds to his name, Sir Ben Ainslie is Britain's greatest sailor.

The 36-year-old, who was born in Macclesfield, began sailing when he was just four and by the age of 16 was already the Laser Radial World Champion.

He clinched silver in the Laser class at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 aged 19 before winning his first gold at the 2000 Millennium Games in Sydney - also in a Laser.

For the 2004 Olympics in Athens Ainslie put on 40lbs in weight and moved up to the larger Fin class boats, in which he claimed his second gold medal.

And then four years later he completed his Olympic hat-trick, winning the Finn class again at the Beijing Olympics.

Ainslie topped his glittering career on the water with his fourth gold medal in the Finn class at his home Games in London in 2012.

However, shortly after the Olympic summer, Ainslie announced in November that he will not be competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Instead, the sailor wanted to focus on his America's Cup campaign - with Ainslie launching his own team with a view to competing in the 35th event.

And he has gained the perfect experience for the next edition by playing a starring role in Oracle Team USA's stunning recovery this year.

Ainslie was drafted in for tactician John Kostecki ahead of Race Six, with Team New Zealand leading by four races to minus one (with Oracle having started with a two-race penalty).

Throughout his Olympic career, Ainslie has accumulated many awards; appointed an MBE in 2001 following his success in Sydney, an OBE after his Athens triumph and was promoted to a CBE with his gold in China in 2008.

His position within British sport was also highlighted in the build-up to London as he was nominated to be the first person to run with the Olympic torch as well as later being Team GB's flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

The final race of the 2013 America's Cup is live on Sky Sports 2 HD tonight or you can watch all the action unfold with a 24-hour Sky Sports Day Pass from NOW TV. For more information visit click here

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