Ainslie reaches for the skies

He has conquered the seas - winning four Olympic golds in the process - and now Sir Ben Ainslie wants to take to the skies and learn how to fly.

The sailor, who was knighted last year, appeared on today's Desert Island Discs and said he wanted a "proper commercial flight simulator" as his luxury item.

He told host Kirsty Young: "T hat would be perfect because I've been trying to learn to fly and I really haven't been able to find the time".

The sailor, whose choice of tracks included Emeli Sande's Read All About It which the singer performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 games, admitted he sometimes "scared" himself because he was so competitive .

He said: "I morph into almost a different character and I suppose in the past I have scared myself on the odd occasion".

Asked for an example, he said: "A couple of years ago I got taken out of this race by a media boat and I ended up jumping onto the media boat and in no uncertain terms mentioned to this driver of this boat that he certainly shouldn't have been where he was and he'd ruined my race and it got me into a lot of trouble".

Sir Ben, who also said he could be a "little bit dark" when he lost a race, said his "one burning desire" was to win the America's Cup with a British team.

Last year, he helped the US team to an amazing comeback to win the trophy against the odds.

His other tracks included Coldplay's Fix You which was played at the funeral of fellow sailor - and Olympic champion - Andrew Simpson who died when his catamaran flipped over during training for the cup in San Francisco Bay.

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