Already a three-time Olympic champion, a six-time world champion, Commander of the Order of the British Empire and arguably the greatest British sailor since Sir Francis Drake, you would be forgiven for thinking, despite going into a home Olympic Games, that Ben Ainslie has little to prove.

Having already entered the Panthenon of British sporting greats, Ainslie has the opportunity to etch his name into the sailing history books with a record fourth Olympic gold medal this summer, a feat no sailor in Olympic history has bettered.

While Macclesfield-born seaman's body of work means his legacy in the sport is sturdy, that doesn't stop him focusing on gold on home waters.

Ben Ainslie
Ainslie is looking for a fourth Olympic title in Weymouth. Reuters

"That would be a nice problem to have," Ainslie told IBTimes UK. "But I just have to focus on the job in hand and try and get the preparation right and that's all you can do. At this stage dreaming about medals is not really the right psychology.

"There's no more pressure than I put on myself internally to make the most of the effort that I put into it.

"The external pressures will be higher than they've ever been but I still don't think they'll match the internal desires to try and be successful."

For an elite athlete who is striving to break yet more records, the build-up to the Olympics have been nothing short of hectic for the 35-year-old.

Last week saw him win seven out of nine races in claiming a sixth Finn gold cup in Falmouth, a victory which came just hours before watching the Olympic flame touch down on British soil for the first time before its 70-day journey to the Olympic Stadium.

Ainslie then had the honour of taking the flame on the first leg of its 8,000 mile trip from Land's End in Cornwall, a county where he first honed his sailing skills.

"It was special for me growing up and learning to sail in Cornwall, in Falmouth and so to have the World Championships there in an Olympic year in a home Olympics and then kicking off with the torch relay, yeah it was really, really special," he said.

"It was an amazing period with the Gold Cup finishing on Friday and then going off to see the Olympic flame touching UK soil for the first time at RAF Culdrose and then the next morning setting off the following morning for the first time so it's been a really amazing period.

"It's such a great honour really for the whole nation to have the Olympic flame on UK soil finally for the torch to go around the country and I was just blown away by the atmosphere down by Land's End and then later on in Falmouth and the rest of Cornwall and if the atmosphere there is anything to go by then we're going to have an incredible Olympics."

Alongside his trusty boat Rita, with the current vessel having taking him to two Olympic golds, Ainslie has this week been stationed in Canary Wharf, drumming up support for the pair ahead of the summer's festivities. Rush hour in London's financial district gives commuters a taste of the frenzy of activity the Games will undoubtedly produce, but for Ainslie, this is a sample of what he can look forward to avoiding come competition time.

Based in Weymouth for the eight-day competition period during the heart of the Games, Ainslie is protected from the distractions a home Olympics can create.

Ben Ainslie
Ainslie kick-started the 8,000 mile torch relay on Saturday Reuters

"I think it's the biggest problem all the home athletes face is the stress from being at home; family and friends of course it's fantastic support but at the same time it's a distraction so all of us have got to manage that properly so that we are focused 100% on the competition."

The old adage of peaking at the correct time haunts every athlete just weeks before a major event and with one regatta left prior to defending his Finn title, Ainslie is looking to continue his momentum from his unflappable Falmouth performance.

"There's another gold regatta in Weymouth which will be important but really the aim is to peak for the Olympics so it's just a warm up regatta.

"It gives you the chance to race again on the course. Not quite sure why we're giving all the foreigners another chance to race on the Olympic waters but anyway that's the situation so we much make the most of it and learn as much as we can about the conditions really."

It's an issue that British Cycling's sporting director David Brailsford raised after the Track Cycling World Cup gave competitors from overseas the opportunity to test out the London velodrome five months prior to the Games. However, Ainslee's expereince is likely to counteract any advantage gained from his competitors next month.

After sparking the Olympic torch relay into life last week, Ainslie is likely to kick-start another tradition come 27 July, with the honour of being Britain's flag bearer for the Games' opening ceremony a real possibility.

"Well of course it would be a huge honour," Ainslie added. "If I was asked and if it fitted in with the schedule that would be an amazing honour of course it would with a home Olympics.

"I don't know what the thought is there and as I said I need to give a look to the schedule closer to the time and do what's best for the preparation."

Torches, flags and gold medals are likely to be the tip of the iceberg come the climax of the Games for Ainslie. Don't be surprised to see his summer exploits work as a precursor to a New Year trip to Buckingham Palace. Drake would sincerely agree.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the title sponsor of Ben Ainslie's Olympic campaign.
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