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Ainslie masters tricky conditions in Finn Worlds

'Ben Ainslie (GBR) - 2008 Sail Melbourne Finn - Asia Pacific Regatta.'    Jeff Crow/ Sport the Library ©    Click Here to view large photo

The second day of racing at the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne proved to be challenging with light and shifty wind.

Multiple World and Olympic Champion, Ben Ainslie (GBR) made his way through the fleet to cross the line a few meters behind Florian Raudaschl (AUT). The young Austrian who had nurtured a good lead around the course could not match Ainslie speed on the downwind leg. To further his disappointment, Raudaschl found himself disqualified for starting early giving the race victory to Ainslie.

Michael Maier (CZE) enjoyed the lighter conditions to finish in second place and improve his overall results after a very disappointing start in the regatta.

Australian Anthony Nossiter improved from a poor start to take 3rd place. “I was on the second row but I decided to sail conservatively on the beat. I played the shifts in the middle of the race and passed a few on the run.”

Anthony Nossiter (AUS)- 2008 Sail Melbourne -  Jeff Crow- Sport?nid=41141 the Library ©   Click Here to view large photo

Dan Slater (NZL) capitalised on his earlier outstanding results with a 4th place which gives him a comfortable lead on the overall standings, 12 points ahead of Ben Ainslie (GBR). He is the only sailor with one digit results so far. Ainslie had predicted the tough weather conditions: “We will all have to count with bad races in this regatta. Despite being strong, the wind is often shifty and quite hard to read.” Today he compared the sailing conditions with Qingdao. “We raced with light wind and the remaining big waves created by the earlier breeze.”

With most sailors training in strong wind to prepare for this event, the sailing conditions on the start of the Finn Gold Cup are taking most by surprise: “Not the weather I was expecting in Melbourne” declared Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), disappointed with a 15th place. Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) and Peter-Jan Postma (NED) lost about 10 places after sailing on the wrong side of the shift on the last beat. However, the Greek is only losing one place to 3rd overall, while Hoegh-Christensen and Postma conserves their earlier 4th and 5th position.

It could have been a great day for Junior Piotr Kula. The young Pole finished the race in 11th place but was found among the 6 sailors disqualified at the start. Giles Scott (GBR) is loosing 5 places in 16th position after collecting 31 points today. He is still the clear leader of the Junior division. Ian Cook (USA) was the first Junior across the line with a 29th. He is placed in 4th place in the Junior classification, 5 points behind Federico Melo (POR) and 4 behind Henry Bagnall (GBR).

Two races are scheduled on Thursday.

Special thanks go to sponsors: State Government of Victoria; Parks Victoria; Mercedes Benz; Helly Hansen; Bayside City Council; Mornington Peninsula Shire Council; City of Kingston; Schenker Australia; Yachting Australia; Ronstan International; Ribsport; Silver Marine.

For information and results, go to:

by Corinne McKenzie


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10:23 AM Thu 24 Jan 2008 GMT

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