Finn Gold Cup - Ainslie dominates in harsh conditions

Ben Ainslie (GBR3)
During the 2012 Finn Gold Cup, if any proof was needed that Ben Ainslie (GBR) is at the top of his game, then day three was proof indeed. After dominating and winning both races in the brutal environment of the cold and windy Falmouth Bay, he now takes a 10 point lead over Ed Wright (GBR) and Andrew Mills (GBR) at the half way stage.

Tuesday was always going to be the big wind day in Falmouth and it didn't disappoint though it wasn't the epic day many were forecasting. However, with temperatures plummeting in the northerly winds, the 16-20 knot wind felt like a lot more. The sea remained relatively flat for the wind speed, with the wind coming off the land and making the racing tricky and very tactical with large shifts as the fleet approached the windward mark.


Most of the fleet favoured the left side on the first beat of race five, with the leaders crossing tacks several times before they rounded. Rafael Trujillo (ESP) rounded first from Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) and Ed Wright (GBR). Ben Ainslie (GBR) rounded in fifth but had moved up to second behind Høgh-Christensen at the downwind gate. The two traded tacks on the second beat, before Ainslie sailed further to the right and found a way through. Ainslie rounded the top mark clear ahead ahead while Piotr Kula (POL) had sailed a great second beat to move up to third.

The race ended with two fast and thrilling reaches down to the finish. Ainslie and Høgh-Christensen extended on the fleet by several hundred metres, while Kula capsized and lost ground. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) took advantage of that and crossed in third.

The race committee was keen to get things moving fast as by now everyone was extremely cold. Høgh-Christensen was again in good form, rounding the top mark ahead of Mark Andrews (GBR) and Ainslie. Ainslie was impressively fast down the run sailing past his rivals to round the gate with a 50 metre advantage. From there he played the shifts on the left on the second upwind to lead down the reaches for a substantial win.

Høgh-Christensen had dropped back on the second upwind as it became a battle of perseverance in the tough conditions. Finally Tapio Nirkko (FIN) emerged into second with Andrew Mills (GBR) in third. Nothing much changed down the reaches and they finished in that order.


At the half way stage Ainslie has yet to put a foot wrong with nothing below third place in winds from eight to 22 knots. He is already looking hard to beat. Ed Wright continues to be consistent enough to maintain second while Andrew Mills is able to discard his 21st from race five today to remain in third overall. However with the discard kicking in the points are getting closer. Høgh-Christensen is just one point behind Mills while the next four boats are all within six points of each other.

The race for Olympic selection is increasing its pace now for the six nations that will qualify here. Top performer so far is Piotr Kula who picked up a 12th and a fifth today to end up in seventh overall, ten places ahead of his main rival Rafal Szukiel (POL) who didn't have such a good day.

Other nations currently in qualifying positions are Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, China and Turkey. While Germany and Austria have lone sailors here, China, Czech Republic and Turkey have several here and those trials also need to be decided.

Despite his capsize in race five Kula still sailed a counting race. 'I was in third place at the time, actually it was my mistake because I didn’t see the gust coming and my boom just touched the water and I capsized. I lost quite a few positions but I gained them back in the next race because I finished fifth in the last one, I’m really really tired, but happy.'

'It’s been going really well so far, there’s been three days of sailing and I’ve had four races in the top ten so this is really good. We’ve already had two trial regattas for the Olympics, in Majorca and Hyeres, and after Hyeres I was leading with one point over my colleague, Rafal, so far I’m keeping this so hopefully it will stay like this.'

Second overall Ed Wright summed up his week so far, 'I got a first on the first day, then slipped to second over the last couple of days. Ben’s been sailing pretty well, and I’ve been struggling with the tactics on the last couple of days. I’ve been rounding the top mark always pretty good but then the second beat is not so great. But I’m pretty happy with the way I’m sailing. They are great conditions out there and I’m really enjoying being in Falmouth and racing against these guys; it’s tough competition.'


'Today it was pretty windy and upwind I was going pretty fast but I’ve only done a small amount of sailing this year and I just pretty much went into survival mode on the run. I slipped a little bit on the run actually but I did come out today with a fourth and a fifth and I’m really happy.'

Hoegh-Christensen said, 'The first race was quite tricky. I didn’t get a good start but I managed to fight my way back and sail a very good first beat and got back up to second, rounded in second and passed Rafa down the run and I was first at the bottom, and then I was duking it out with Ben all the way up the beat and I did a small mistake and he passed me.'

'In the second race I led around the windward mark by quite a bit and it was looking pretty good all the way round, then I got into a bit of a hole down the first run and Ben and Mark Andrews passed me and then on the second beat I couldn’t hit a shift to save my life and I ended up rounding in tenth so it was a total catastrophe. I got back up to eighth. I think there’s a good chance I could climb back up the leader board. I got a little closer to Ed and Mills so there’s a good chance I can hopefully pass them tomorrow.'

Another sailor having a great regatta is Tapio Nirkko, currently in seventh overall. 'Today was a really brutal day, conditions were extremely tough, the temperature is quite low and it’s quite gusty and windy today so it was challenging for everyone. In the first race I had some troubles in the first upwind, my tactics were quite bad and I was completely in the wrong corner but it was a good recovery and decent result. In the second race I started better and I got perfect lines right from the beginning. I was pretty much picking up places the whole race until the end so I’m quite happy with that. It’s challenging and it’s the same for everybody, but that’s why we are here.'

Mark Andrews has improved his position every race, ending up with a seventh and sixth today to sit in 11th overnight. 'The regatta started off pretty bad for me but it seems to be getting better and better as each race goes on so that’s good and hopefully I’ll be somewhere near the top of the pile at the end of the week. Obviously Ben’s got a good lead at the moment but I hope to be somewhere near the top five, and a chance of a medal would be good.'

The final word today comes from regatta leader Ben Ainslie, 'It was a great day and really awesome sailing but hard work. Tactically it was hard and physically it was harder but I had a good day. It was mainly about getting the shifts right but the left played well at the top of the beat. There were quite a lot of shifts out there so I was just trying to be on the right side of the big ones.'

There will hopefully be some respite for the sailors tomorrow with very light winds forecast. There are just four more races before the split for the medal race on Friday. Wednesday's two races are scheduled to start at 11.00.





Results as of 3.40pm on May 15 2012 Overall Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 94, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank
BowNumber
SailNo
Helmname
Junior
R1 final
 
R2 final
 
R3 final
 
R4 final
 
R5 prov
 
R6 prov
 
Total
Nett
1st
29
GBR 3
AINSLIE Ben
1.0
(3.0)
1.0
3.0
1.0
1.0
10.0
7.0
2nd
01
GBR 11
WRIGHT Edward
2.0
1.0
5.0
(7.0)
5.0
4.0
24.0
17.0
3rd
14
GBR 85
MILLS Andrew
4.0
8.0
2.0
11.0
(21.0)
3.0
49.0
28.0
4th
17
DEN 2
HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN Jonas
(14.0)
9.0
4.0
6.0
2.0
8.0
43.0
29.0
5th
07
EST 2
KARPAK Deniss
5.0
5.0
20.0
(26.0)
4.0
7.0
67.0
41.0
6th
24
FIN 218
NIRKKO Tapio
6.0
(22.0)
9.0
8.0
17.0
2.0
64.0
42.0
7th
106
POL 17
KULA Piotr
9.0
10.0
8.0
(15.0)
12.0
5.0
59.0
44.0
8th
87
CAN 41
COOK Christopher
8.0
12.0
(16.0)
1.0
14.0
12.0
63.0
47.0
9th
10
FRA 112
LOBERT Jonathan
25.0
2.0
6.0
2.0
16.0
(27.0)
78.0
51.0
10th
02
CRO 524
KLJAKOVIC GASPIC Ivan
(26.0)
16.0
3.0
12.0
3.0
20.0
80.0
54.0
11th
27
GBR 88
ANDREWS Mark
(33.0)
23.0
12.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
91.0
58.0
12th
09
USA 4
RAILEY Zach
15.0
15.0
10.0
(32.0)
8.0
13.0
93.0
61.0
13th
03
NED 842
POSTMA PieterJan
(22.0)
14.0
11.0
4.0
20.0
14.0
85.0
63.0
14th
53
AUS 1
CASEY Brendan
13.0
(25.0)
7.0
9.0
18.0
18.0
90.0
65.0
15th
05
ESP 100
TRUJILLO Rafael
31.0
(39.0)
14.0
5.0
6.0
15.0
110.0
71.0
16th
12
SWE 11
BIRGMARK Daniel
(24.0)
17.0
17.0
14.0
10.0
19.0
101.0
77.0
17th
33
POL 7
SZUKIEL Rafal
3.0
20.0
22.0
16.0
(30.0)
22.0
113.0
83.0
18th
21
RUS 9
SKORNYAKOV Eduard
20.0
(42.0)
24.0
19.0
11.0
10.0
126.0
84.0
19th
81
NZL 1
SLATER Dan
12.0
24.0
13.0
27.0
9.0
(32.0)
117.0
85.0
20th
32
CAN 5
DOUGLAS Greg
(34.0)
7.0
15.0
13.0
25.0
26.0
120.0
86.0
21st
30
UKR 1
BORYSOV Oleksiy
(30.0)
4.0
26.0
18.0
19.0
29.0
126.0
96.0
22nd
101
GER 151
MILLER Matthias
23.0
13.0
30.0
(54.0)
23.0
11.0
154.0
100.0
23rd
23
USA 619
PAINE Caleb
(37.0)
27.0
27.0
20.0
22.0
16.0
149.0
112.0
24th
20
CZE 1
MAIER Michael
10.0
(37.0)
31.0
30.0
24.0
24.0
156.0
119.0
25th
26
AUT 3
RAUDASCHL Florian
29.0
11.0
21.0
35.0
(36.0)
28.0
160.0
124.0
26th
90
CHN 1226
GONG Lei
21.0
31.0
33.0
(38.0)
29.0
17.0
169.0
131.0
27th
39
RUS 1
SELIVANOV Alexey
7.0
34.0
(52.0)
48.0
13.0
30.0
184.0
132.0
28th
41
BRA109
ZARIF Jorge
J
(50.0)
6.0
35.0
31.0
38.0
23.0
183.0
133.0
29th
37
CZE 85
VIKA Tomas
17.0
19.0
39.0
(44.0)
28.0
35.0
182.0
138.0
30th
40
TUR 21
KAYNAR Alican
32.0
30.0
25.0
(64.0)
43.0
9.0
203.0
139.0
31st
47
NED 841
VAN EGMOND Hein
11.0
41.0
(42.0)
17.0
37.0
33.0
181.0
139.0
32nd
34
NED 83
HAGOORT Timo
35.0
21.0
28.0
25.0
34.0
(40.0)
183.0
143.0
33rd
42
UKR 5
GUSENKO Andrii
(43.0)
18.0
40.0
21.0
33.0
36.0
191.0
148.0
34th
18
SWE 6
ALLANSSON Bjorn
(64.0)
26.0
19.0
42.0
31.0
31.0
213.0
149.0
35th
86
CAN 110
ROBITAILLE Martin
J
18.0
33.0
29.0
(45.0)
27.0
43.0
195.0
150.0
36th
45
NZL 8
COUTTS Matt
(45.0)
35.0
36.0
22.0
35.0
25.0
198.0
153.0
37th
57
CRO 11
OLUJIC Josip
36.0
(55.0)
34.0
23.0
42.0
21.0
211.0
156.0
38th
46
AUS 261
TWEDDELL Oliver
16.0
43.0
23.0
24.0
(64.0)
62.0
232.0
168.0
39th
58
CRO 671
BILIC Tudor
(48.0)
47.0
38.0
36.0
15.0
37.0
221.0
173.0
40th
103
NOR 1
PEDERSEN Anders
J
44.0
46.0
18.0
55.0
26.0
(95.0 DNF)
284.0
189.0
41st
48
HUN 6
PAL Gaszton
39.0
29.0
43.0
46.0
(50.0)
34.0
241.0
191.0
42nd
59
CYP 19
PAPADOPOULOS Haris
47.0
44.0
48.0
33.0
(53.0)
38.0
263.0
210.0
43rd
78
IND 11
JOHAL Nachhatar
38.0
38.0
(62.0)
52.0
46.0
39.0
275.0
213.0
44th
38
RUS 57
TERPIGOREV Egor
(95.0 BFD)
60.0
32.0
28.0
51.0
45.0
311.0
216.0
45th
67
GBR 29
MCCOY Peter
J
42.0
(59.0)
37.0
47.0
45.0
48.0
278.0
219.0
46th
119
CAN 902
WILTON Brendan
46.0
32.0
55.0
39.0
(95.0 BFD)
49.0
316.0
221.0
47th
113
SWE 89
AXELSSON Andreas
41.0
(63.0)
60.0
37.0
44.0
41.0
286.0
223.0
48th
117
POL 8
LESINSKI Lukasz
61.0
52.0
(70.0)
40.0
32.0
46.0
301.0
231.0
49th
79
IRL 4
HAMILTON Ross
(73.0)
40.0
45.0
58.0
41.0
47.0
304.0
231.0
50th
62
GBR 18
HADDEN James
J
(70.0)
36.0
47.0
41.0
52.0
61.0
307.0
237.0
51st
77
HUN 8
BELICZAY Marton
54.0
51.0
(64.0)
29.0
60.0
44.0
302.0
238.0
52nd
110
TUR 35
KUYUMCU Efe
53.0
(78.0)
50.0
59.0
40.0
42.0
322.0
244.0
53rd
56
CHN 43
ZHEN Li
40.0
45.0
44.0
(71.0)
65.0
54.0
319.0
248.0
54th
65
GBR 23
BRIDDON Harry
J
49.0
53.0
57.0
56.0
39.0
(95.0 DNC)
349.0
254.0
55th
63
GBR 2
BURRELL Allen
51.0
50.0
49.0
(80.0)
66.0
50.0
346.0
266.0
56th
120
NED 58
MOHREN Thomas
(84.0)
67.0
63.0
34.0
48.0
57.0
353.0
269.0
57th
55
CAN 7
NICHOLSON Adam
(60.0)
48.0
58.0
50.0
57.0
58.0
331.0
271.0
58th
92
DEN 46
ANDRESEN Kaspar
(66.0)
66.0
41.0
62.0
54.0
52.0
341.0
275.0
59th
82
NZL 9
COUTTS Rob
57.0
58.0
(72.0)
60.0
55.0
51.0
353.0
281.0
60th
50
TUR 7
MUSLUBAS Akif
27.0
28.0
51.0
83.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
379.0
284.0
61st
109
SUI 84
HOFER Silvan
55.0
74.0
56.0
(75.0)
47.0
53.0
360.0
285.0
62nd
100
FRA 89
MONTAGUT Benjamin
59.0
54.0
61.0
51.0
62.0
(63.0)
350.0
287.0
63rd
85
BUL 855
VANGELOV Dimitar
J
19.0
64.0
65.0
73.0
69.0
(95.0 DNC)
385.0
290.0
64th
105
POL 13
JODLOWSKI Michal
J
67.0
65.0
54.0
(84.0)
58.0
55.0
383.0
299.0
65th
80
LTU 7
RYMONIS Tauras
(85.0)
77.0
71.0
43.0
49.0
60.0
385.0
300.0
66th
111
USA 21
LAMPHERE Gordon
(69.0)
56.0
67.0
68.0
56.0
59.0
375.0
306.0
67th
88
CAN 9
HEMMING Rob
58.0
62.0
53.0
67.0
67.0
(95.0 DNC)
402.0
307.0
68th
51
AUS 2
MCMILLAN Rob
28.0
49.0
46.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
408.0
313.0
69th
75
GBR 7
COOPER George
(86.0)
82.0
66.0
49.0
59.0
65.0
407.0
321.0
70th
61
FRA 99
ALLAIN DES BEAUVAIS Marc
75.0
69.0
69.0
(82.0)
61.0
56.0
412.0
330.0
71st
68
GBR 567
HUGHES Martin
52.0
70.0
59.0
57.0
(95.0 DNC)
95.0 DNC
428.0
333.0
72nd
108
SUI 63
GAUTSCHI Thomas
62.0
71.0
68.0
70.0
(76.0)
64.0
411.0
335.0
73rd
73
GBR 665
SMITH Julian
79.0
(85.0)
73.0
61.0
63.0
66.0
427.0
342.0
74th
60
CZE 11
DEUTSCHER Patrik
J
63.0
57.0
85.0
(95.0 DNF)
71.0
69.0
440.0
345.0
75th
93
FRA 61
MINOS Mikael
65.0
68.0
(83.0)
77.0
68.0
67.0
428.0
345.0
76th
54
BUL 77
NEDYALKOV Valentin
56.0
75.0
74.0
(79.0)
75.0
72.0
431.0
352.0
77th
104
GBR 635
PERCIVAL Simon
71.0
(79.0)
78.0
63.0
74.0
68.0
433.0
354.0
78th
112
USA 53
LEIBOWITZ Ben
72.0
72.0
80.0
(87.0)
70.0
71.0
452.0
365.0
79th
52
AUS 8
SERET Dirk
76.0
61.0
(86.0)
85.0
78.0
70.0
456.0
370.0
80th
64
GBR 20
DENISON Andy
81.0
83.0
75.0
65.0
73.0
(95.0 DNC)
472.0
377.0
81st
94
FRA 57
BOULAN Damien
68.0
76.0
(95.0 DNF)
53.0
95.0 DNF
95.0 DNC
482.0
387.0
82nd
76
GBR 711
PETTIT Simon
78.0
90.0
77.0
72.0
72.0
(95.0 DNF)
484.0
389.0
83rd
91
DEN 210
NIELSEN Henrik Elmer
77.0
92.0
79.0
69.0
77.0
(95.0 DNC)
489.0
394.0
84th
95
FRA 66
LOBERT Philippe
74.0
81.0
82.0
66.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
493.0
398.0
85th
74
GBR 68
MACKIE John
80.0
73.0
76.0
78.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
497.0
402.0
86th
98
FRA 869
BAUMGARTEN Regis
89.0
84.0
89.0
81.0
80.0
(95.0 DNC)
518.0
423.0
87th
97
FRA 86
JEAN Christophe
87.0
91.0
81.0
86.0
79.0
(95.0 DNF)
519.0
424.0
88th
71
GBR 631
HART Richard
93.0
86.0
87.0
74.0
(95.0 DNC)
95.0 DNC
530.0
435.0
89th
96
FRA 72
LE FRAPPER Philippe
92.0
88.0
84.0
76.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
530.0
435.0
90th
72
GBR 644
ARNELL Jack
J
83.0
80.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
543.0
448.0
91st
69
GBR 611
LOCK Tony
82.0
87.0
(95.0 DNC)
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
549.0
454.0
92nd
99
FRA 880
HOLLIER Cedric
88.0
89.0
(95.0 DNS)
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
557.0
462.0
93rd
66
GBR 24
BARNES Rory
91.0
94.0
88.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
558.0
463.0
94th
70
GBR 617
HARPER Mark
90.0
93.0
(95.0 DNF)
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
95.0 DNC
563.0
468.0

Finn Class website
Falmouth Finn Festival website
http://www.sail-world.com/97246