Sir Ben Ainslie


'They've made me angry and you don't want to make me angry.' Nope, not the words of The Incredible Hulk, but of the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie.

Ainslie was incensed by two competitors' allegedly underhand attempts to undermine his quest for a fourth Olympic gold at London 2012. And lo and behold, Ainslie channelled that anger and victory was secured.

By turns a fierce competitor, master tactician and driven perfectionist, Ainslie won silver in Atlanta in 1996 and then reeled off consecutive golds in the next four Olympics, first in the Laser series and then the more physically demanding Finn class.

It seemed impossible for Ainslie to top his Olympic achievements, but the now-knighted yachtsman did just that at the 2013 Americas Cup.

Oracle Team USA were trailing their New Zealand rivals 8-1 when Ainslie was given the role of Tactician. It looked for all the world like a 'too little, too late' measure as the New Zealand boat needed just one more victory to secure the cup.

Eight races later, the Ainslie-inspired Team Oracle had completed one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history to win the cup 9-8.

There can only be one achievement that would beat even that for Ainslie – skippering a British boat to Americas Cup glory. Plans are already afoot and one thing's for sure – his rivals better not make him angry.

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Sir Ben Ainslie

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