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Ben Ainslie's gold winning boat comes back to the Maritime Museum

From 20 August 2012

Rita returns home fresh on the back of yet more gold-medal Olympic success with Britain's sailing superstar.

The Olympic games may be over but there is one golden star from London 2012 who still has her moment to shine....

Rita, Ben Ainslie’s loyal Finn from the games is returning to National Maritime Museum Cornwall after helping Ben win his incredible fourth gold medal, cementing him as the most successful Olympic sailor in history.

Together, Ben and ‘Rita’ have won three Olympic Gold medals, in Athens, Beijing and now London and their partnership has become legendary.

Rita’s home, when she’s away from Ben, has been the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, along with Ben’s gold medal winning Laser from the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Visitors will soon be able to see all of Ben’s gold medal winning boats in the main hall of the Museum forming an installation in honour of what Cornwall’s great man has achieved.

Incredible passion

Ben Lumby, Exhibitions Manager at the Maritime Museum says: 'We’re here to celebrate the sea, boats and Cornwall and what better story to tell than that of Ben and Rita.

'We are so proud, and still a little hoarse from screaming at the TV! We streamed all the Olympic action on the water in our lecture theatre and there were times when I thought the roof was going to lift off – the passion of support was incredible.

'Having Rita back home completes Ben’s Olympic Gold medal winning story and we know our visitors will be delighted to see and touch his medal winning boats.

'We’re also thinking of installing a golden post box for visitors to leave their messages for Ben – and we’ll ensure he gets them all.'

The boats will be on display together as soon as Rita makes it back from Weymouth – expected in the next couple of weeks.

They will feature in the heart of the Museum until the end of the year where they will then be ‘suspended’ in the Museum’s flotilla of flying boats.