National Maritime Museum Cornwall has brought a slice of Olympic and Paralympic sailing history to Falmouth ahead of the London 2012 Games, with the RYA’s Olympic and Paralympic exhibition ‘Our Sporting Life – Sail for Gold’ running from 2 May to 24 June.
In a first for the South West, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in 112 years of triumph and glory at an extraordinary installation celebrating Britain’s unique Olympic and Paralympic Sailing heritage.
Discover how Britain cemented its place as the world’s most successful Olympic and Paralympic sailing nation through the captivating anecdotes, photographs and keepsakes of those heroes who made sailing history, in the only exhibition in Cornwall approved by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
From ‘yachtings’ debut as an Olympic sport at Paris 1900 to Britain’s record-breaking medal haul at Beijing 2008, the exhibition lets you into the secrets behind the success including how the boats, the racing and the sailors have changed dramatically over time.
Ben Ainslie’s Olympic gold medal winning Laser from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games will also form part of the exhibition. Regrettably, his gold medal winning Finn from the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games is no longer at the Museum as Ben is using it for the 2012 London Games.
Stories are brought to life through a creative mix of fascinating historical artefacts and film footage, linking our wonderful sailing past with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing regattas taking place on the waters of Weymouth and Portland this summer.
Celia Edgington, Sail for Gold exhibition coordinator from the RYA says: “We are delighted that the Maritime Museum has agreed to host this fantastic exhibition for us so that even more people get the chance to come along and really get a feel of how wonderful and exciting our Olympic and Paralympic sailing history really is.
“The exhibition will give visitors an insight in to just how times have changed and hopefully will get them excited about the upcoming Games and get them right behind our competing sailors.”
In an exclusive, the Maritime Museum, is also hosting a new interactive display, on behalf of Ben Ainslie. Triple Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie is the only Olympian at London 2012 to be competing for a fourth gold medal in consecutive games and this newly engaging interactive, developed by Ben Ainslie’s management team, complete with a Finn as being sailed by Ben in the 2012 games, asks you to show your support for Ben and his boat Rita. Ben has named all his boats Rita. He has competed in the current Rita since the 2004 Olympics and having won two consecutive Olympics they have a special partnership. Can they complete the triple in 2012?
Get behind Great Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor by tweeting your tweet @ainslieben your support message, followed by #benandrita
Ben Lumby, Exhibitions Manager at National Maritime Museum Cornwall says: “It is so exciting to be hosting an official Olympic exhibition, accompanied by Olympic boats from our collections, in an Olympic year when Falmouth is seeing current and future Olympians on its own waters racing in the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Festival.”
‘Our Sporting Life – Sail for Gold’ opens on 2 May and closes on 24 June, spanning the Finn Festival in Falmouth from the 4-18 May.