Ainslie glad to be back in the boat

14 April 2012 / 12:35

Three-time Olympic champion Ben Ainslie is happy to be focusing on sailing rather than his fitness as he steps up preparations for London 2012.

Ainslie, again one of Britain's top medal hopes, has endured a difficult winter after being disqualified at last December's World Championships and then undergoing back surgery.

The 35-year-old put those problems behind him by winning Finn class gold at the Palma World Cup regatta last week and is now excited about the months ahead.

Ainslie, who is one of UPS' London 2012 ambassadors, said: "It was a big relief to just get sailing to be honest. The training went well to get back into competition mode. It was nice to be back at the right end of the fleet.

"There's a lot of hard work to go yet in the coming months to get the preparation absolutely right for the Games.

"I think for everybody involved it's going to be a fantastic experience. I'm very, very excited about it and I hope London does us proud."

Ainslie has won gold medals at the last three Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, as well as a silver at Atlanta in 1996.

His career has taken him all over the world but the prospect of preparing for a Games in Britain is one he is relishing.

Ainslie, who was raised in Cornwall, said: "We're based in the UK now. We have our World Championships down in Falmouth in May and that will be fantastic for me to sail in home waters, where I grew up and learned to sail. Then we're training down in Weymouth and Portland, the sailing venue for London, and we're there the whole way through.

"It'll be nice to spend probably more time in the UK that I have in the last 15 or 20 years."