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About the book
  • Published: 25 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448162307
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Ben Ainslie: Close to the Wind

Britain's Greatest Olympic Sailor

Four-time Olympic Champion, ten-time World Champion, nine-time European Champion - the world's greatest ever Olympic sailor tells his story - revised and updated for paperback.

Knife-edge decisions, adrenalin rushes, extreme weather, bitter rivalries, heart-stopping races – they are all in a day’s work for Ben Ainslie.

Against all odds, in the London 2012 Olympics Ben Ainslie thrillingly won a fourth successive gold medal, making him the greatest ever Olympic sailor and a British hero, chosen from many to be the flag bearer for the closing ceremony.

From his proudest moment representing Team GB, to one tough decision that almost risked destroying his career, this is a unique insight into the man who cannot let himself be second best. It shows what really takes place in the white heat of competition and lifts the lid on this toughest of sports.


  • Pub date: 25 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448162307
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the Author

Ben Ainslie

Ben Ainslie, CBE, was born on Febraury 5, 1977 in Macclesfield. The son of Roderick Ainslie, who captained the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973, he started sailing at age four and first competed at the age of ten. He has won three Olympic gold medals and was awarded the title of British Yachtsman of the Year in 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2002. He was elected ISAF World Sailor of the Year in 1998, 2002 and 2008.

Praise for Ben Ainslie: Close to the Wind

“Take it from a neutral observer: the most accomplished competitor at work in British sport today is Ben Ainslie. Chris Hoy, Lewis Hamilton and Rebecca Adlington deserve praise but the real fanfare should be reserved for Ainslie ... [He has] a combination of dedication, stamina, tactical nous and, the clincher here, a sustained level of ruthlessness rarely witnessed before in British sport”

Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph

“Sailing's superman”

The Times

“An interesting self-portrait ... it encapsulates his personality: pleasant and unassuming off the water, ruthless on it”


“A must-read for any sailing fan... Ben’s inside account makes for fascinating reading”

All at Sea magazine

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