Home, sweet home for Ben Ainslie

Daily Echo: BEN AINSLIE BEN AINSLIE

Ben Ainslie is hoping home advantage pays off as he begins his assault on a record-breaking fifth Olympic sailing medal at London 2012 tomorrow.

British sailing’s leading man, already the country’s most successful sailing Olympian ever, will become the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time should he win Finn class gold at these Games.

Lymington -based Ainslie already has three golds and one silver medal to his credit from the past four Olympics in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing.

But gold at Weymouth and Portland would see the 35-year-old eclipse the four golds won by the great Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom from 1948-1960.

Ainslie, who first learned to sail as a youngster in Cornwall, gets the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta underway from noon tomorrow.

But, if everything goes to plan, it is the following Sunday when all eyes will be trained on Weymouth Bay, to see if Ainslie can claim his fourth successive Olympic crown.

He is hoping home advantage pays off.

“History says the host nation performs better,” Ainslie, right, said.

“That’s on paper, ultimately it’s down to the teams and the athletes to go out there and prove it.

“You can’t go off past reputation or luck or anything, you have to go out and prove that you’re the best.

“People often ask ‘Why is the team successful? What’s it doing?’ “And it’s nothing amazing, nothing ground breaking, it’s just doing the simple things right, supporting the sailors the best way possible and ultimately allowing them to get on with their campaign and trusting them to do the right thing.

“Hopefully we can make that count on the water.

“It’s one of the strengths of the team that we’ve got so many gold medallists.

“You also draw a lot of inspiration from the excitement of the younger members of the team coming through.

“It reminds you how fortunate you are to be racing at the Olympics.

“It can be easy to take these things for granted but the Olympics can never be your job.

“It’s a huge honour.”

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