Page last updated at 20:42 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 21:42 UK

Olympic sailors honoured at club

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Nick Rogers and Ben Ainslie are welcomed home at their yacht club

Three of Team GB's medal-winning Olympic sailors have been welcomed home at a special ceremony at their yacht club in Hampshire.

Gold medallists Ben Ainslie and Pippa Wilson and silver medallist Nick Rogers were guests of honour at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

Mr Ainslie said he was overwhelmed with the reception they had received.

They were greeted by Ado Jardine, who won a bronze medal for Great Britain in sailing at the 1968 Olympics.

The reception we've had here back in London, and now in Lymington, is much more than we ever expected
Pippa Wilson

Mr Ainslie, who won gold in the Finn class, is now Britain's most decorated Olympic sailor of all time, winning gold in Athens in 2004 and Sydney in 2000.

His gold medals are complemented by a silver won in the Laser class at Atlanta 1996.

"It's been fantastic, it's been great to be part of such a winning team, not just the sailing team but the whole of Team GB," he told the BBC.

"It's great to be back home now and I'm just really overwhelmed with the reception we've had here."

He said he would not rule out competing in the London 2012 Games.

Nick Rogers, Pippa Wilson and Ben Ainslie
The trip were greeted by fans at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club

"It would be great to race on your home waters, I'm hoping the Olympics in London in 2012 will be massive," he said.

"I think the success of the team this time round has hopefully inspired the nation to get behind the Games, and that's what we need to go out and win more medals."

Pippa Wilson, whose father Roger Wilson runs junior sailing sessions at the yacht club, won gold in the Yngling class along with Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb.

She said: "It's a dream come true, we've worked so hard to try and bring home a gold medal and the reception we've had here back in London, and now in Lymington, is much more than we ever expected.

"It's just fantastic and we're just loving every minute of it."

We've had some really good sailors, and yes we've got more coming through
Roger Wilson
Pippa Wilson's father

Nick Rogers, who won silver along with Joe Glanfield in the men's 470 race, said: "It's just fantastic to see all the people I know and love, and to be here with them all is great."

Club secretary Kevin Podger said the town and club were very proud.

"To have two gold medals and one silver from the same yacht club is, I think, unprecedented."

During the celebrations, younger members of the club were given the chance to chat to the stars, in a bid to encourage them to compete in the future.

"People here are now thinking they can go on and do it which is a really good thing," one of the juniors said.

Ms Wilson's father added: "We've had some really good sailors, and yes we've got more coming through.

"When someone comes through really enjoying it and really good, then we try and support them and help them as a club and bring them on."



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