Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

London Olympics - Solid day 1 for Team GBR

by Lindsey Bell on 30 Jul 2012
Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen Finns Day One Sail-World.com © http://www.sail-world.com
At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Ben Ainslie said Jonas Hoegh-Christensen must have had 'a hotline to Paul Elvstrom' after the Danish sailor did his utmost to protect his fellow countryman’s Olympic medal record on day one.

Three-time Olympic champion Ainslie got the defence of his Beijing 2008 Finn title off to a solid start with two second places in today’s racing leaving him second overall.

But the day belonged to 2006 and 2009 World Champion Hoegh-Christensen who dominated proceedings with two bullets placing him at the top of the leaderboard.

If Ainslie, who also won Laser class silver at Atlanta 1996, wins gold at these Games he will become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, eclipsing the feats of the Great Dane Elvstrom who won four gold medals between 1948 and 1960.

Ainslie said: 'Jonas did really well; I think he was on a hotline to Paul Elvstrom today. He had a really good start in both races, played the [wind] shifts really well and he sailed close to perfect so good for him.

'But it was a good start (for me). It was a tough day physically with the free pumping. I am reasonably happy for with two second place finishes.

'There are a lot of great sailors competing and Jonas and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (Croatia) had two third places so there is a long way to go before we can start picking out individuals who are going to be at the top so I’ve just got to keep pushing hard. There is a long way to go so we will see how we go tomorrow.'

In race one six-time World Champion Ainslie recovered from 10th place at the first mark to move up through the fleet to finish second, demonstrating his fearsome prowess downwind to make up the places.

Race two was simply about trying to claw back Hoegh-Christensen, who finished sixth at Beijing 2008. Again Ainslie’s downwind pace told but although he managed to take some 40m out of the Dane’s advantage, with Hoegh-Christensen building a lead of over 100m at one point during the race, the Dane made it two wins out of two.

Reigning Star class champions, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, pledged to 'keep plugging away' after staging an impressive recovery to overcome the disappointment of an opening race 11th to sit fifth overall after their first two races.

Despite a half-an-hour postponement to race one – shifting winds making it difficult to set a course – the Brits got off to a promising start sitting comfortably in fourth place at the halfway stage. But they got caught out by a big wind shift, almost seeming to go backwards at one point and eventually crossing the line in 11th.

However, if that result had been a surprise, race two saw the duo come out fighting. After a nail-biting neck-and-neck tussle with Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, both boats crossed the line with an identical time. But victory was handed to the Brazilians in the photo, giving them the overall lead heading into day two.

Percy said: 'We were pretty disappointed with the first race, we were in quite a good position halfway up the second upwind leg and there was a big wind shift that we missed, that was our fault, and the fleet turned inside out. We came back okay in the second but there is a long way to go. You know us we just keep plugging away.


'It was important not to have a bad second race so we were still in the hunt. There is nothing you do about what’s happened in the previous race or the previous leg you’ve just got to keep fighting from wherever you are. We will do that every race, whether it’s been a good race or a bad one.'

The Match Race Girls also got their first ever Olympics underway today, picking up one win over the Danish team of Lotte Pedersen, Susanne Boidin and Tina Gramkov before narrowly slipping to a second race defeat by the Spanish team of Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez, Sofia Toro Prieto Puga and Angela Pumariega Menendez.

Annie Lush said overall she and teammates Lucy and Kate Macgregor were pleased with their start.

'It was good to get the first day over and done with,' Annie admitted. 'It was great to get out there and we won a race and had another really close other good race. It was a good solid first day for us.

'I don’t think you can underestimate anyone here as it is top 12 teams in the world and anyone of them could go the whole way. I don’t think you can go into any race complacent and we battled hard. It’s going to be a long battle!

'It was a big day for starting, so we will look at that, but overall it was solid. We came back against the Spanish and closed it right back up and unfortunately didn’t get a final shift to overtake them but that’s all you can hope for in that kind of condition.'

Tomorrow sees the start of action for Beijing 2008 gold medallist Paul Goodison (Laser), Alison Young (Radial) and the 49er pair Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 12pm tomorrow (Monday 30 July), with the Lasers and 49ers kicking off proceedings. The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August.

British Sailing Team website

Southern Spars - 100T Clewring One DesignBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr