Ben Ainslie eclipsed Paul Elvstrøm's (DEN) Olympic achievements at London 2012 by winning his fifth Olympic medal and fourth consecutive gold to become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.
His build up to London 2012 could not have gone better as he returned to his boyhood waters in Falmouth, Cornwall in May for the Finn Gold Cup. Ainslie sent out a message to the fleet by taking seven race wins to storm to his sixth world title in the Finn class, and tenth world title overall.
Just hours later Ainslie rushed to Land's End to begin the Olympic Torch's 8,000 mile journey across Great Britain as the final countdown to London 2012 began.
The script had been written for Ainslie to ease his way to a fourth gold on his home waters but it was fitting that a Danish sailor, Jonas Høgh-Christensen, stood in the way of Ainslie to protect his countryman's record. Throughout 10 mesmerising races a game of cat and mouse developed ensuring that the Medal Race was one of the most anticipated of not only the competition, but Olympic history.
Ainslie held off Høgh-Christensen finishing ninth to the Danes tenth to win gold in front of a partisan home crowd and secure his place in the history books.
For more on Ainslie and to view pictures of his success visit his ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year profile.
Joining Ainslie as male nominees for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 are Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS), Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS), Loick Peyron (FRA) and Tom Slingsby (AUS).
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world. The MNAs are now invited to vote for the male and female nominee they believe most deserves the Award.
The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, taking place on Tuesday 6 November 2012. The venue for the event is the Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland.
Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.
Full profiling of each nominee and their achievements will continues through to 10 October on the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards microsite at www.sailing.org/worldsailor