Tri-Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie is an oxymoron, or is it a paradox? There are two shades of Ben Ainslie – there is off the water Ben, who is shy and wouldn’t say boo to a goose and there is aggressive, competitive, don’t fuck with me on the water Ben, who has no problem calling a competitor a ‘fucking cunt’.
Having worked in sailing since I was 18, I first met Ben Ainslie, before he had won any gold medals, when he had secured a sponsorship with fashion and marine specialist clothing manufacturer, Henri Lloyd. I was working as an account exec for the agency that represented their marine PR. We co-ordinated a fashion shoot with his gorgeousness onboard a Farr 65, moored along the river Hamble. He was shy and didn’t say much and I was fairly indifferent. I have met him a couple of times at boat shows and went to a screening of a film about him at Harbour Lights cinema in Southampton where on cross examination by the enigmatic sports TV presenter, Richard Simmonds, about how he felt; he declared himself ‘totally embarrassed.’
Then, one Cowes week, I happened upon him on the water in full sailing mode and I encountered the angry, competitive Ben, with a furrowed brow and a shaking fist, with utterances of gutters, falling from his mouth. He was hot as hell.
Oh, Mr Ainslie, indeed.
It appears that there has been a fracas with some Danish bloke in the Finn class that has wound, our Olympic champion, Mr Ainslie, right up, and lead to an altercation in the boat park – sailing doyenne, Kate Laven tells all here
Ben Ainslie is a hottie and over the years I have seen him turn PR girls to jelly. I have heard rumours that he’s spiced up his onshore life – the little tinker – and that he’s about to embark on a self-funded America’s Cup campaign. In this Olympic fortnight I think I would like to nominate him as my new Mr Grey, I am pretty sure that he’s hot with knots, so tie me up Mr Ainslie, you can practise your bowline on me anyday.
C’mon Ben ‘ave him – go for GOLD!!