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London Olympics 2012: Sailing Olympics Newsletter - Day 5

'August 1, 2012 - Weymouth, England - 470 Men - Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) lead the first race of the Mens 470'    Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

Welcome to's 2012 Olympic Newsletter for Day 5, August 2, 2012

Tuesday was a day of mourning in Britain, particularly so around the sailing parish of Weymouth.

No-one had died, but somehow many had come to doubt whether the Dream would be achieved - 'Our Ben' winning his fourth Gold Medal.

The end was nigh, so it seemed.

Yesterday, was the rest day for the Heavyweight Mens Singlehander event, sailed in the Finn class - a boat synonymous with Ainslie's sailing accomplishments - and the gloom remained.

But today, soon after the start of Race 7 in the Finn class, the British eyes were smiling. Ainslie was back to his best. All was well with the world again.

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

That inner glow was reinforced throughout the afternoon on both the outer Weymouth Bay courses, which looked like something out of the Southern Ocean. Big waves, fresh breezes, plenty of spray, cold temperatures. But it was all Brit, Brit, Brit.

One of the features of the Olympic sailing regatta is the prominent display of each countries national flag on the sails of the competitors.

Despite the hard conditions the sun shined through. And shone brightly on the Union Jack emblems on the sails of the British Star, Finn and 470 sailors.

It was a telling sight - even for those not blessed with British descent. The Brits were back.

Ainslie has cut his 10pt deficit to just three points, and few would now bet against him for the Gold medal. It will be no walk in the park - but 'Our Ben' is more than up to the test, and was on fire today at Weymouth.

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) 470 Men August 1, 2012 - Weymouth, England - -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Behind the ballooning British spinnaker in the Mens 470 class, was the stars of the Southern Cross - not quite ballooning, but streaming in the breeze.

The young crew of Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders, from New Zealand, had dropped their spinnaker halyard and were flogging the sail trying to get up to the gybe mark. They were in second place in just their first race in the Olympics, and sailing very well.

A slip from the trapeze by crewman Saunders, almost put the Kiwi pair in the drink, but they recovered well, and had a place nailed in the top three at the mark.

Ben Ainslie - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition -!©_Ingrid_Abery  

From there slipped a little more to finish eight, but nailed it in the second race of the day with a third place, and now lie in fourth place overall, ahead of the other crew with the Southern Cross on their sails - the world champions Mathew Belcher and Malcolm page (AUS).

Tomorrow will see the first race in the Womens 470 get underway - the final event to start at this Olympic Regatta.

The first medals will be awarded on Sunday.

470 Men - Paul Snow -Hansen and Jason Saunders (NZL) sailing in their first Olympic race, have a little strife while in second place in Race 1 -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

But already the stories are developing from this regatta - the ones that will mark its place in the history of sailing.

Follow them as they unfold on

In this edition of Sail-World’s Olympic newsletter we have all the background and reports on the day’s racing, along with some great images from some of the world’s top photographers.

We’ll all be back in action tomorrow – stay tuned to

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Olympic Editor

August 1, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Star Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

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