Ben Ainslie (GBR) has cleaned up in the Finn class at the Grade One Sydney International Regatta which finished on Sydney Harbour earlier. Ainslie won two of the final day's three races, while his great rival for the 2008 Olympic berth, Ed Wright, finished the regatta in fifth overall.
The triple Olympic medallist across two classes won six of the nine race series hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, beating nearest rival Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN) by a whopping 17 points. The bronze medal went Finn world champion Rafael Trujillo – just. The Spaniard finished the regatta on equal 30 points with another Brit and Olympian in waiting, Giles Scott, who missed out on countback.
However, the 20 year old was, in his own words, 'very pleased indeed,' particularly with his second place in Race 6 this afternoon. 'It was very tight on the last leg. I managed to pull out on Raff (Trujillo). I’ve done better than I thought I would, so that’s always pleasing,' said Scott who has hopes of representing at the 2012 Olympics to be held on his home waters in Weymouth in the UK.
'It was very shifty today – 10/12 knots and a big swell coming in through Sydney Heads. I enjoyed it immensely – I enjoy any conditions when I’m hiking best,' said Scott, who has the privilege of training with the master and other top ranked British Finn sailors when they are all at home.
Meanwhile, Ainslie’s coach, Dave Howlett, a former Finn star himself, says he is pleased with Ainslie’s results at the Yachting NSW organised event. 'Ben wanted to win here, so all is going according to plan. With Giles finishing so well
Ed Wright, Ainslie’s rival for the British Olympic place, had a mixed day, his best result a second in the final race 8 for a fifth place overall, 22 points behind Ainslie. It does not bode well for his Olympic chances.
Australia’s best result came from Brendan Casey who commented: 'I had a good day today; I got a fifth, a fourth and a third, which is better than yesterday when I broke gear. The Queenslander finished a good sixth overall, one place and two points in front of fellow Aussie Anthony Nossiter who has been selected for the Australian Sailing Team for Beijing.
Casey also paid tribute to the volunteers from Sydney Boys High School who helped organise the 390 plus boat trolleys up and down the ramp each day. 'They did a great job and they were very well behaved and pleasant and had fun while they were working,' he said.