PICTURES: Sailing to glory from Falmouth to 'Frisco
Westcountry sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie made a childhood dream a reality by inspiring Oracle Team USA to one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history by winning the America's Cup.
The four-time Olympic gold champion helped his team recover from an 8-1 deficit to record a 9-8 success over Emirates Team New Zealand in the 34th America's Cup with a thrilling victory in the deciding race in San Francisco Bay on Wednesday night.
The 36-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We never stopped believing we could improve and get back into the competition.
"It got harder and harder for us, but ultimately we hung on in there and won that deciding race, so the team did an incredible job. We just grew and grew and in the end we were too strong for the Kiwis.
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"I grew up down in Falmouth in Cornwall, we had an America's Cup team down there in 1987 and I remember as a kid watching them training and preparing and thinking about maybe one day being involved with the America's Cup. To be part of a winning America's Cup team is for me personally part of a lifelong dream."
The hosts faced an uphill task from the start after being docked two penalty points, meaning they were 8-1 down last week despite having won three races.
Sir Ben was drafted in as tactician, in place of John Kostecki, as his team looked to get back in the contest, and was one of the catalysts of the turnaround which stunned the Kiwis.
Sir Ben dedicated the victory to his late friend Andrew Simpson. The Olympic gold medal winner, who lived in Sherborne, Dorset, was killed in a training accident in May, an event which so shocked the sport that there were questions over whether the 34th America's Cup would be held.
"I finished the race today, one of the most amazing races I've ever been a part of, but myself and I think a couple of other guys on the boat, our thoughts are with Andrew and his family," Sir Ben added. "That race today was for him and he would have loved it."