Ainslie - BBC South Yachtsperson of the Year

More accolades for the Laser Gold medallist

Monday December 2nd 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

John Derbyshire, Ben Ainslie - and yet another trophy

Lymington based sailor Ben Ainslie was last night recognised for his sailing achievements in 2002 when he was awarded the Tenon Yachtsperson of the Year at the BBC South Sports awards.

A delighted Ainslie commented, "It's a real honour to receive this award. It's great that British sailors have been getting such good results this year, helping to put sailing in the spotlight. I would like to thank my coach David Howlett and all the other people who have helped me."

Ainslie has had a remarkable year and made an outstanding transition from the Laser to the Finn class dinghy. Having won Olympic silver and gold in the Laser class he went on to America's Cup sailing, to return in March to RYA Team GBR and the Olympic circuit at the beginning of 2002 with his sights set on the Olympic men's single-handed event in the Finn class.

After only six months in the class, Ben had won the Finn Europeans, the Finn Gold Cup and then the 2002 Athens Test Event leaving the more experienced Finn sailors in his wake. In November, he was presented with the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award for the second time in four years.

"Ben is a very talented yachtsman and it is fitting for his achievements to be recognised at a local, as well as international, level. He started sailing as a youngster in the South and is a great role model for local kids to be inspired by to get on the water" said RYA Racing Manager John Derbyshire.

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