Team behind Sir Ben

Daily Echo: Pictured left to right are Dr Phil Slater, Cathy Foster, Sir Ben Ainslie, Jim Saltonstall MBE, John Derbyshire and David Howlett. Pictured left to right are Dr Phil Slater, Cathy Foster, Sir Ben Ainslie, Jim Saltonstall MBE, John Derbyshire and David Howlett.

SIR Ben Ainslie’s expert coaching team has been recognised for its work in helping the Olympic hero to an historic four gold medals.

Dr Phil Slater, Cathy Foster, Jim Saltonstall MBE, John Derbyshire OBE and David Howlett were named winners of the Coaching Chain award at the 2013 UK Coaching Awards.

Dr Slater encouraged Ainslie into racing his Optimist as a child, while Cathy Foster coached him when he moved into the Laser class.

Saltonstall was Olympic sailing team manager when Ainslie won his first silver and gold medals, and is the man he credits for ‘getting him on the road’.

Derbyshire, the current RYA performance director, was Ben’s coach from 1994 to 2000 during which time he won silver in Atlanta and gold in Sydney in the Laser Class.

Howlett, known as ‘Sid’, coached Ainslie to his fourth straight Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games.

David Mellor, RYA coaching development manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Sport Coach UK have given recognition to the coaches who have made invaluable contributions to Ben’s sailing career over the years.

“Ben is the most successful sailor in Olympic history and it is great to see the hard work, dedication and commitment from his coaches being recognised through the Coaching Chain Award.”

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