THOUSANDS of people got to their feet on Weymouth live site to cheer as Ben Ainslie took gold.

Hordes descended on the free site on Weymouth beach to watch as the drama unfolded and hundreds more watched from outside the gates, which closed after the site reached its 15,000 capacity.

Frank Denham, 40, from Weymouth, who was watching the sailing with his family, said: “It was just amazing. People got to their feet in a sort of standing ovation when we realised Ben had won.

“We all feel proud that this is happening in our town.”

Watching the race, the crowd cheered and clapped in encouragement, waving Union flags as it became clear that Ben had won his fourth Gold medal.

Fans refused to be discouraged when Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson took Silver in the Star class.

Jennifer Neal, 44, from Kent, said: “Of course it would have been better if they had won but they still did really well.

David Roe, 60, from Poole, said: “It is still a great achievement. We wanted to come down for one day to support Team GB and we picked a great day.”

After the races, people stayed to enjoy the sunshine and continue to watch interviews with the victors.

Olympic Ambassador Dominique Sprake-Harris, 22, said: “It was incredible to watch the response of everyone. I will remember this for a long time.”

People travelled from all over to watch the sailing at the live site.

Damian Whittard brought his family from Bristol. The 40-year-old said: “We just wanted to be here to see Ben win the gold. Weymouth is buzzing.”

And Lily and Mike Ludlow, 61, from Sherborne, added: “It’s just lovely here – it was well worth coming down. It was fantastic watching it.”

• THE campaign to get people to come to Weymouth is paying off in style. As temperatures soared people flocked to Weymouth’s beach to watch the sailing on the live site and to Nothe ticketed sites.

And following Ben Ainslie’s gold and Andrew Simpson and Iain Percy’s silver the town witnessed the biggest party it has seen in years.

After a slow start he message has got out that Weymouth is the place to be for a great Olympics experience.

Those without tickets packed along Stone Pier or at Newton’s Cove to cheer on Team GB’s sailors.

Jacqui Gisborne from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council ’s 2012 operations team said: “Who wouldn’t want to come here and be part of it? The free live site has been amazingly successful.”