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Sailing legend Ben Ainslie is knighted after Portland heroics
Olympic sailing legend Ben Ainslie has been knighted at Buckingham Palace.
It was a case of ‘Arise Sir Ben’ when the quadruple gold winner was knighted by Princess Anne.
After collecting his knighthood, he said: “It is obviously a huge honour. It is something to be very proud of.”
Sir Ben claimed his fourth gold to add to his other three golds and a silver during the sailing races off Weymouth and Portland in the summer.
The hard-fought victory at London 2012 made him the world’s most successful Olympic sailor.
Now retired from Olympic sailing, Sir Ben, 36, who lives in Lymington, Hampshire, has switched his attention to the formidable task of trying to win the America’s Cup.
Members of Weymouth and Portland’s sailing community have given their congratulations to Sir Ben.
John Tweed, chief executive of the National Sailing Academy, said: “We are really delighted with Ben’s knighthood.
“Obviously he’s a director of the sailing academy and we were very, very pleased when he secured his fourth gold medal.
“It’s a great day for Ben and for British sailing.”
Former Weymouth harbourmaster and member of Royal Dorset Yacht Club Peter Tambling added: “I think Ben’s knighthood is justly deserved.
“He’s worked hard for it and it’s fantastic that he has got the recognition he deserves.
“I was there on the beach when he got his fourth gold, it was an amazing moment for British sailing.”
Sir Ben is a director of the sailing academy and has close links with the area.
He was recognised along with a host of Olympic heroes.
Lord Coe was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour and paralympian legend David Weir was made a CBE.
Olympic rowing champion Kath Grainger, who received an MBE in 2006, was recognised with a CBE.
Lord Coe said after the ceremony: “It’s a lovely honour and I’m deeply flattered but it is really signal recognition for the extraordinary work of so many people: our teams at Locog, the most talented, focused people I’ve ever worked with – passionate people – but also the people of Britain whose generosity of spirit helped get us across the line.”