sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : London Olympics 2012 - Ainslie narrows the gap
London Olympics 2012 - Ainslie narrows the gap

'Ainalie (Finn) - London Olympics 2012'    Francois Richard ©    Click Here to view large photo

Ben Ainslie (GBR) returned to winning ways on day 4 of competition for the Finns at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth with a first and a third. He has now narrowed the gap on regatta leader Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) to just three points.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) moved up to third. The second race of the day was won by Rafa Trujillo (ESP).


It was a big day out on Weymouth Bay South course with big winds, big waves and bigger stakes. For Ainslie it was crucial that he started to narrow the points gap and he did just that. Today was the day that he had to make his move on Høgh-Christensen before it was too late. The Brit was fast running out of races to reverse the points score and he came out looking more confident and dominant that at any time this week.

He owned the start of race seven, locking into the dangerous pin end position early and controlling it with perfection until the gun. The Dane was just to windward and just a bit back from the line, but his problem was the Polish boat that was ahead and on his wind. Piotr Kula (POL) was OCS, but he damaged Høgh-Christensen's start enough so that he had to tack to get clear air.

Ainslie controlled the left along with Rafa Trujillo (ESP) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and they rounded the first mark in this order with Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) in fourth and then Høgh-Christensen.

With big wind and big waves the reach to the wing was a spray filled sleigh ride. The Dane slid into fourth, and then after rounding the mark dived low to get some separation from the leading bunch. Then disaster struck as he capsized on a big wave. He was up and sailing again in 30 seconds but looked clearly rattled as he rejoined the race in 15th.

At the front Ainslie and Postma were battling for supremacy downwind in the big conditions, rounding opposite gates. Postma briefly got in front of Ainslie at the next top mark but Ainslie soon passed him downwind to extend and win his first race of the week by some 20 seconds from Postma. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) crossed in third with Tapio Nirkko (FIN) in fourth. Third overall Jonathan Lobert (FRA) was fifth.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (Finn) - London Olympics 2012 -  Francois Richard ©  

Høgh-Christensen was back up to sixth at the top mark but dropped two on the downwind to cross in eighth. Early performer Trujillo had gear problems downwind and dropped to 15th at the finish.

The British breathed a collective sign of relief. Ainslie had turned the corner and put a bullet on the scoreboard. More importantly for Ainslie, Høgh-Christensen now had to count his seventh from Monday so the points gap was down to just four.

Onto race eight and Høgh-Christensen was back on the offensive, winning the favoured pin end of the line, though he had Trujillo just to windward off him. Ainslie started slightly further up the line but was soon forced to tack off to find a lane. The fleet again favoured the left side with Ainslie heading furthest left when the leaders crossed back.
Round the top mark Trujillo led from Høgh-Christensen, Postma, Nirkko and Ainslie. The Brit went low on the reach and moved up to fourth and then also overtook Postma on the run. At the gate the top four boats rounded the same mark within 10 seconds of each other with a nice gap on the fleet.

Jonas Høgh-Christensen (Finn) - London Olympics 2012 -  Francois Richard ©  

Soon after the rounding Ainslie did a penalty turn and lost ground. Høgh-Christensen took a hitch to the right and tacked on Ainslie's wind. Again the fleet went all the way to the port layline. Trujillo held onto his lead to round ahead with Høgh-Christensen and Postma holding a small lead over Ainslie.

The final downwind to the finish was a thrilling battle. Høgh-Christensen immediately made inroads into Trujillo's lead while Ainslie tried to find a route past Postma so he could attack the Dane. But it was Postma who made the first move going wide and then crossing on front of Høgh-Christensen and Ainslie.

Round the last mark it was Trujillo and Postma with Ainslie just sliding round the mark ahead of Høgh-Christensen. Nothing else changed by the finish with the 2004 Silver medalist Trujillo winning the race from Postma. Ainslie had taken around 70 metres about off regatta leader Høgh-Christensen on the run to inflict his second victory over him in one day and further close the points gap.

After a third and seventh today Kljakovic Gaspic has moved up to thr bronze medal position. 'It was hard day, windy but a simple race, keeping left was important. For me wasn't easy but I pulled hard for such a result, and in the end I am happy. Tomorrow it will be all about keeping the game simple, sailing fast and pushing hard.'

Lobert, now down one place in fourth, said, 'It was a rough day. There was a lot of tension this morning. I was quite nervous. I was trying to manage it and in the first race I succeeded a little bit because I had some good downwinds and managed to finish fifth. In the second I had a terrible start and then it was just too hard to come back. So not so good a day for me. The wind was really up and down today, but the left side was still generally favoured. There is still everything to do. With two more races a lot can happen so we'll keep on pushing and we'll see tomorrow and I hope to be a bit more relaxed.'

Postma had his best day yet with two second places. 'The wind was quite up and down. Sometimes 10-12 knots sometimes up to 18 knots. Especially on the downwinds you had to really look. Sometimes some people would catch a gust and 50 metres ahead the boats wouldn't have it. It was really tricky.'

'In the first race I had a good start, sailed to the left side and it was a steady race. I had a fight with Ben. I passed him on the second upwind and he passed me on the last run on a gust. In the second race I had a bad start but on the upwind I caught a nice gust when I was more to the left and I caught up a lot. Then I caught up to second on the reach and had a good downwind.'

'The last downwind was good. In the last part I didn't make the right plan to pass Rafa. At first I went down and then I went up but missed one wave. But I passed Jonas very nicely.'

'Tomorrow I want to do better than today. I haven't showed everything I have yet. I have the feeling so I really want to push tomorrow.' Nervous? 'I don't feel nervous now, but tomorrow I might feel a bit nervous and I think that's fine.'

Dan Slater is still in with a chance at a medal, sitting in eighth place. 'It was not a very good day for me today. I had an all right first one but not a very good second one. It was just frustrating. We are sailing in three knots of current and a washing machine of waves so it's tough. It's a one way track. But I'm still alive.'

'They've done a fantastic job here. The facilities on shore and everything is just great. And the starts and race management have been fantastic. It's just a shame we are sailing so far away, several miles out on a one way track. Whatever order you start off from the pin is pretty well the order we have rounded the top mark in. PJ had a great day today and I just need a day like that tomorrow to get myself back into contention. I can definitely do it. My pace is pretty good. If it's a one way track you just have to fight for the pin and you actually have take a few risks in my position.'

A fourth and a fifth leaves Nirkko in seventh place just 14 points off the medals. 'In the first race I didn't get a very good start so I had to tack away behind the whole fleet, so I was on the wrong side and struggled on the first upwind. After that I eased the clutch and just let it go. The reach and the first downwind were good. Nothing much happened on the second upwind but the second downwind was excellent. I think I got better pressure and was a bit more on the inside inside.' Nirkko went from 11th to fourth on the run, after rounding the top mark 21st.

'In the second race I stared second boat from the pin. Jonas has trouble getting past the pin and I got slowed by it and then Rafa came rolling over both of us. But then I just eased the travelled and footed under them and banged the left corner and came back with good speed and rounded fifth and managed to keep that.'

'Tomorrow it's quite tight. I will try to close the gap to third. It looks like Jonas and Ben are gone but I believe there are still a couple of guys that could have a difficult day tomorrow, but I need to sail a good day. After tomorrow I want to be within reach of the bronze medal and I think it's possible.'

Høgh-Christensen's lead has dropped from 10 points to just three points but he remains optimistic. 'I got a good start but unfortunately the Polish guy started on top of me and he was over the line and that ruined my start. I wanted to go left and I had a good lane but I had to tack off because of the Polish and that ruined the first beat for me. I got up to fifth at the top mark and caught up with the front guys on the reach and then in one moment of not being on top of the boat, I flipped to windward. It was one of the expensive ones. Then there was a lot of catching up. I really pushed hard and caught up a lot so happy to get back to eighth.'

'In the second race I did what I wanted, and got the start I wanted at the right end and had a good lane. I didn't sail a good second run and lost PJ and Ben, which wasn't very good. It was down to speed and lack of pressure. Ben sat on me quite a lot so there were times when I didn't have much pressure. Then I had two bad waves.'

'Tomorrow I need to get two good races in, and do what we've done for the past four days. I think I’ve sailed well and done what I've wanted to do. I was a bit unlucky today.'

Was it nerves today? 'I don't think I was more nervous this morning that any other day. But you're always a bit nervous at the Olympics. We have a very detailed plan from when we wake up to when we go to bed and we've been following that plan and it seems to work and it takes a lot of the pressure off.'

Finn fleet - London Olympics 2012 -  Francois Richard ©   Click Here to view large photo

There is one more day of the opening series left before Sunday's double points non-discardable medal race. Today was proof, if we needed it, that it will be a fight all the way to the finish.

Ainslie was more aggressive today, appeared to be faster upwind, made fewer mistakes and was blisteringly fast downwind. He seems to have overcome the lacklustre performance of the first three days and refocussed on the job in hand. Høgh-Christensen by contrast made several mistakes and the capsize in race seven may hang over him in the days that remain. Two more opening series races remain and today's change in fortunes has set up a thrilling match between these two amazing sailors. We can't wait.

Races nine and ten are scheduled for 12.00 Friday, on Weymouth Bay South course.

Full results here


by Robert Deaves

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100520

7:13 PM Thu 2 Aug 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

03 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: RS:X - Alabau leads the way
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: 470 Men - Flying Nothe on day 5
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: Elliott 6M (WMR) - Aussies on fire in Weymouth
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Womens Windsurfer at Mid-point
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: 49er - Brits excel on day 5
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Ainslie marches on in Finns
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery
03 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Star medals look decided
03 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Profitable day 5 for Team GBR
03 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Strong sailing from Team Ireland
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Join the crew of the ORMA60 TeamVodafoneSailing as they slash 20 minutes off their previous record for the PIC Coastal Classic on Friday. The Coastal Classic is a 119nm course from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands. Originally conceived as a drag race between multihulls and monohulls ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leaders pass Fernando and head for Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Volvo Ocean Race Control reports that the lead boats in the 40,000nm race have rounded, or rather passed, the turning point off Fernando de Noronha. They are now proceeding down the Brazilian coast, to round the back of the South Atlantic high pressure zone , and have what is expected to be a fast ride to the Leg 1 finish in Cape Town. ... [more]  

Melges 32 Gold Cup on the horizon by International Melges 32 Class Association
With a fleet and sailors as diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club kicks off in just two weeks, featuring eighteen ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from nine different countries. ... [more]  

With less than a day left to reach the turning mark at Fernando de Nonoha, 220nm off the coast of Brazil, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has retained the lead she built in the Doldrums. She is unlikely to be headed, although the second boat on the water, Team Brunel is projected to be less than an hour behind at Fernando ... [more]  

One flight of the Quarter Finals was sailed Friday afternoon following the completion of the Qualifying Rounds and the selection of opponents and draw for boats. The Quarter Finals set Ian Williams against Marek Stanczyk, Taylor Canfield against Steffan Lindberg, Eric Monnin against Pierre Morvan, and an all Swedish pairing of Bjorn Hansen against Johnie Berntsson. ... [more]  

What could be better than racing for three days with over 2000 of the world's best sailors? How about racing for four days! The St.Maarten Heineken Regatta is proud to announce that their pre-event, the Gill Commodore's Cup, is accepting entries in all boat categories (excluding Lottery Class). ... [more]  

The seventh day of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the light winds continue, despite a promising forecast for today. In the late afternoon a few of the sailors took part in a tow-in training session as there is scope to run a tow-in contest tomorrow, with the forecast looking glassy. ... [more]  

Picture postcard perfect conditions returned to Bermuda for the third and final day of Qualifying at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour. After yesterday’s torrential rain, Hamilton Harbour was bathed in glorious sunshine and breeze that by lunchtime was gusting up to the mid-teens. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Keeping a good watch by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Peter Dimech, Principal Race Officer and Race Chair spoke about the storm that raged through the Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet. “The remaining yachts racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are expected to arrive at the Royal Malta Yacht Club by today and tomorrow. Whilst the wind speed has decreased, the sea state is still significant and we are keeping a close watch on the yachts still at sea. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Alvimedica. I’d hate to come across as being impossible to please but after days of wanting out of the doldrums, days of struggling with routines, with sleep, with a lack of regularity and consistency to our schedules, and of course--predictability to the weather—we’re 'out' and still trying to find it ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 13 onboard Team SCA. I’m unsure if I should be nervous, excited, stressed, or thrilled today. As today I get to have fish guts smeared over me only to then become officially apart of King Neptune’s kingdom. ... [more]  

There was a shakeup at the top on day three of the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida! Fully recharged thanks to the lay day yesterday, all competitors were eager to enter the final stretch of the competition in Clearwater, and the planing conditions in the forecast certainly contributed to the excitement on the beach. ... [more]  

The opening day of the 105-boat China Cup International Regatta saw old rivalries renewed in the Beneteau 40.7 class, as Vatti Sailing stole victory from Vanke Longcheer in the opening Simpson Marine Passage Race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica Navigational Strategist, Anderson Reggio, explains the issues ahead of the crews in the remaining half of leg 1 of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. After the Equator and Fernando, the weather looks to be shaping up to be pretty standard for the South Atlantic. The St Helena High which typically dominates this body of water is the main driver for breeze in the short term. ... [more]  

The next landmark, or ‘sea mark’ if you will, for Leg 1 is crossing the Equator, as Team Alvimedica continue to make their way south to round Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil. Crossing this latitude is not like crossing any other on their way around the world, but has special significance for sailors who have never crossed the 0° parallel of latitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Mapfre cruzará el Ecuador hacia las 13:00 aproximadamente. ... [more]  

Argo Group Gold Cup - A front slowly crossing Bermuda brought with it an overcast sky and rain squalls. Nonetheless, despite squelching their way ashore completely soaked, the Group 2 crews enjoyed the morning’s stronger breeze, the wind less shifty having veered into the southwest overnight, blowing down Hamilton Harbour rather than across it. ... [more]  

RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - In second place, Adam Larson of Bermuda has seven points and had a great day on the water today. Larson, whose family is still without electricity after Hurricane Gonzalo, said he has been getting to bed a lot earlier these days and feels that the conditions also favored his performance today. ... [more]  

As predicted in last night's preview in Sail-World, the ORMA 60 TeamVodafone Sailing has set a new course record for the 119nm course in the PIC Coastal Classic. ... [more]  

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One, top seed in Group 2, is the first skipper to qualify for the Quarter Finals in the 2014 Argo Group Cup. Canfield lost his first match in day one of racing against Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing. Since then the number two skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour has sailed to seven straight points. ... [more]  

The forecast for day six at the La Torche PWA Grand Slam offered a slight possibility of producing some racing, but unfortunately the wind never really materialised meaning the sailors spent another day on hold. Throughout the day there were gusts of up to 10 knots, but the wind failed to improve beyond that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team SCA. This morning the boat was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, shortly after sun up we were hooning along in 20kts in a torrential downpour, by late afternoon we were sailing backwards, and who knows what tonight will bring. ... [more]  

The push and shove of 12 knots of Atlantic breeze – things are looking up in the Volvo Ocean Race. On board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, things are looking up. First in the fleet, and out of the Doldrums, they’re heading fast towards the Equator, trade winds blowing gusts of encouragement around their ears. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team Alvimedica. There is no question as to the origins of the phrase 'down in the doldrums;' the monotony of these days is painfully apparent. It’s a pattern too familiar: a night of variable conditions—torrential rain and 20 knots of wind one minute, no wind and starry skies the next. Feast or famine. ... [more]  

With only nine days remaining until the close of entries, one of the smallest, most audacious and memorable yachts in the history of the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, appropriately became the 100th entry. A mere 10.5 metres, James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will again do duty as one of the pintsized yachts in fleet for the 70th edition of the 628 nautical mile race. ... [more]  

Today was the last day of competition at the Student Yachting World Cup. Even though England’s victory was already for sure, the top-5-ranking could change a lot with two more races: Italy was second with 46 pts, Ireland third with 47 pts, Norway fourth (52 pts) and Switzerland fifth (58.2 pts)… the USA followed with 59 pts! ... [more]  

A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

The United States will be the second most heavily represented nation at the Star Sailors League Finals when they take place at Nassau in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. Reflecting the consistency, quality and number of sailors involved in the Star class, the United States has the largest representation in the Star Sailors League with 294 skippers and 376 crew. ... [more]  

Airbus and Oracle Team USA have forged a technology partnership. As Official Innovation Partner of Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup, Airbus will share the know-how of its engineers and experts in fields such as aerodynamics, instrumentation and simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis to work with the Oracle Team USA design team. ... [more]  

Thursday has proved another dramatic day in the story of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. While yesterday (Wednesday) was a day of seamanship and survival as yachts battled storm force winds, it was also a day of arrivals as the same winds pushed competitors to the finish. ... [more]  

The Royal Malta Yacht Club has been a hive of activity both day and night, welcoming back yachts taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. By Midday on Day Six 34 yachts have finished the race and 25 yachts have retired. Each and every sailor that has taken part, including those that are still out there, has a story to tell for years to come. ... [more]  

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar made a near perfect start to in the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda yesterday. The British skipper who stands top of the the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and is second in the ISAF rankings, goes into today's remaining round robin flights leading group 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Brunel. 'At this rate, it will take a century before we get to Cape Town,' sighs Jens Dolmer, standing on the bow. He is trying in vain to push the flapping foresail outwards. There is hardly a breath of wind. In the distance, the sun is sinking into the ocean. ... [more]  

The 2014 Severne Starboard Aloha Classic is coming...
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Artie's heroic return
Argo Group Gold Cup - Slender lead for Marek Stanczyk
Ben Ainslie Racing foiling on the Solent + Video *Feature
METS names DAME Award nominees
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A day of rest for wave sailors
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A day of reckoning for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race - Playing the Doldrums lottery
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng Race Team takes on the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica, somewhere in the windless ITCZ
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory
Volvo Ocean Race - Another perspective from Team SCA
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Success in San Francisco
RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship - Intense racing + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas
The first sail that changes lives
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature
34th Student Yachting World Cup La Rochelle 2014 - Fifth race day
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Match racers defy Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Qualifying Groups set   
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Kids breeze past Hurricane Gonzalo   
DSS to revolutionise IMOCA 60s, both new and old   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami: Groupe Beneteau sponsors US Sailing Team   
Volvo Ocean Race - The bright side of the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind contemplates the tropics + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dull day, crazy night for Dongfeng Race Team   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA ready for equator crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race - Tough challenge for Brunel's Pablo Arrarte Elorza   
RS:X Youth Worlds - Hard work on day 1 + Video   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - NoR released, entries open for 2015   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A turning point for the fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg one – Doldrums for dummies   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish   
Student Yachting World Cup - Fourth race day + Video   
New improved swell forecasting and more locations from PredictWind   
Volvo Ocean Race: Day 9 final report - Lead continually changing   
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - An opportunity for growth   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT