Ben Ainslie: Close to The Wind: Autobiography of Britain's Greatest Olympic Sailor Hardcover – 3 Sep 2009
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'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 (Independent)
The world's greatest racing sailor - three-times Olympic champion Ben Ainslie tells his storySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the book he's borrowed Dame Ellen's self-conscious, self-deprecating style, though thankfully he's yet to adopt the pained martyr-smile that's the Weepy One's trademark. (Or is it just wind? Should her book have been called "I've Got Wind"?) Anyway, despite all that, it's a great read if you're interested in Olympic sailing, AC sailing or what makes the finest sailor on the planet tick - and, can, cope, with, random, unnecessary, commas - and dashes - everywhere - and sentences that are, frankly, just a bit too long and feature the word - `frankly' - too often.
It would have been great if he'd called it "The Queen's going to have to Knight me in 3 Years", and written the thing via dictaphone whilst out racing when, by his own admission, he's a very different character. I'd have loved to have heard more about incidents and his attitude on the water. The last thing I want to know is that he's a nice guy too. He's obviously not when he's racing!Read more ›
Ben Ainslie is Briton's top sailing Olympian, son of the skipper of the first Whitbread Round the World race of 1973, and godson of Robin Knox-Johnson's racing friend Les Williams. He takes us from his early days on a voyage of self-discovery and a passion for the sea. It is also a review of his chameleon manners: shy, pacific on land, and wild and risk-taking on the sea, as he declared furiously during the first week of London Olympics at Weymouth, when not performing as was expected, that his rivals Hogh-Christensen and Lobert from Denmark and France had made a grave mistake to make him angry. He admits now it was a ploy at mind-games, something untried by him until then, but like all sportsmen he wanted as much of the right publicity as possible.
From his early days he has always sailed first in the Optimist class, then in the Laser, winning the World youth ISAF championships in 1995, before becoming the youngest British sailor of any Olympic squad at 18 at the Atlanta Games, taking part around Savannah. He surprised everyone after a terrible first race by coming away with the silver medal, behind the Brazilian Robert Scheidt. He did not wish simply to participate, as there was no guarantee that there would be a second chance. He wished to prove as the then great Steve Redgrave used to say, "If you don't travel to win, you're just a tourist".Read more ›
However, upon saying that, I still found it an enjoyable read. I'm not into sailing so do not be put off reading this book if you're not a sailor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book needs to be updated to include the Americas Cup in San Francisco in 2013Published 18 months ago by Mnemonic
A great read. Ben does not pull any punches, he writes the same way as he sails ! Hopefully there will another book on the horizon.Published 21 months ago by Laura
Couldn't put it down - a must read for all young sailors and a real inspiration to everyone, sailor or notPublished on 24 Feb. 2014 by Mrs Fiona Fry
This item arrived within estimated time, well package & in excellent condition.
This book was bought as a present & the person has very much enjoyed reading it.