We are introducing you to the 30 legends of sailing. Now it is your turn to choose the greatest sailor of all time.
Gold won by a heartbeat in the last 100 meters of racing at the 2012 London Olympics consigned Sir Charles Benedict Ainslie (born Macclesfield, 1977) to history. Fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal (three in the Finn, one in the Laser) to which is added the silver medal won in Atlanta in 1996 among the Lasers: he is the most titled dinghy sailor in the history of world sailing. Paul Elvstrom won “only” four golds.
The baronet demonstrated a mad eclecticism when he came aboard Oracle Team USA for the final round of the 34th America’s Cup, replacing John Kostecki as tactician. The Yankees were given up for dead but under Ainslie’s leadership they managed to overturn the result from 1-8 to 9-8.
Because: Five consecutive medals at the Olympics. No one has done better than him. Plus he was the key man in Oracle’s incredible “rematch” against New Zealand in the 34th America’s Cup.