Ainslie learned to sail at Restronguet Creek near Falmouth, a famous sea-going town in Cornwall. He started sailing at the age of eight and took part in his first international competition at 12 in 1989 in Japan.
Ainslie won silver at the 1996 Olympic Games and gold in 2000, both in the Laser class. He gained some 18 kgms and moved to the larger Finn class for the 2004 Summer Olympics, where he won gold, a feat he repeated in the 2008 and 2012 competitions. He was selected to carry the flag for the Great Britain team at the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony.
Ainslie played a major role in the victory of Oracle in the America’s Cup in 2013, one of the most amazing comebacks in sport. The US yacht was 8-1 down in the series in San Francisco Bay, just one point from defeat, but driven on by skipper Jimmy Spithill and Ainslie as tactician, the team rallied to produce a run of eight straight wins for a remarkable 9-8 victory over Emirates Team New Zealand.
He then led a British challenge for the 2017 America’s Cup but lost in the semi-final in Bermuda to the eventual winners New Zealand.
Ainslie has launched his own charitable trust which is aligned to Ben Ainslie Racing and is centred around a new team headquarters in Portsmouth, which is accessible to the public through a visitors’ centre. One of the key focuses of the Foundation is to make sailing more accessible to young people from a variety of backgrounds.