British Olympic sailing, Ben Ainslie Laser sailing – Extra Info

British Olympic sailing, Ben Ainslie Laser sailing

The portrait

The painting “Going for Gold” is based on this sketch. “Going for Gold” shows Ben Ainslie racing in the Laser Class in Sydney Harbour during the 2000 Olympic Games, close astern is his great rival Robert Scheidt and others. Paintings of dinghy racing are rare, of our Olympic sailors rarer still. “Going for Gold” is absolutely unique.

This picture was in Ben’s words conceived, “to give the public something back”, to celebrate & commemorate Ben Ainslie’s very remarkable achievement for Great Britain, to inspire those who would follow.

The picture was produced in 2000 with the full cooperation of Ben Ainslie, and the British Olympic Association.

The painting was developed from meetings with Ben Ainslie, a couple of hours afloat on Carrick Roads Falmouth and various other images including video.

A special thanks goes to Eddie Shelton, to Restronguet Sailing Club, Falmouth, Cornwall and the artist’s then 12 year old son Graham Frickers who provided counter balance in the LASER when Ben was hiked out in light airs, for their invaluable assistance afloat with Ben Ainslie and Gordon Frickers.

The original intention was to offer a limited collector’s edition (similar to “Roaring Forties“) and auction the original for the British Olympic Association from whom after 6 months of negotiations a licence was obtained. This was to have been an Official Licensed Product, of the British Olympic Association. Each print would have proudly carries the B.O.A. logo, which must not be copied without their consent. The painting may not be marketed or sold outside British territory. We intended a contribution from the sale of each copy to go to assist future sailors and other members of the Olympic Team.

Unfortunately the chosen printer omitted to mention they were moving premises. The prints and the schedule predictably suffered, BOA cancelled the licence. Oh for today’s technology!

Ben Ainslie

Ben Ainslie is the best known part of an extraordinary team effort, which cumulated in British sailors bringing home a record number of medals at 2 successive Olympic Games. Our painting “Going for Gold” shows him in action, wearing the yellow leader’s vest, ahead of Robert Scheidt, gold medallist in 1996.

At the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, Scheidt took the gold, Ainslie the silver. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Ben Ainslie gained supremacy over his rival the great sailor Robert Scheidt, winning most of the races and sailing Scheidt down the fleet in spectacular style during the last race, to take a well-deserved gold. His successes include a further Olympic Gold in the Finn Class at the Athens 2004 games.

Ben Ainslie has become one of Britain’s best known young sailors and a TV personality. Ben is proven to be one of the finest sailors in the world. With such achievement so soon, he will clearly continue to be an inspiration to us all. We wish him the very best of luck.


The oil painting “Going for Gold” 30″x42″ remains with the artist. Respecting the restrictions placed by the British Olympic Association, the painting does not appear on this web site and has never been exhibited. The painting’s future is uncertain.