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Skandia Sail for Gold day three Finns - Ainslie clears away

'Ben Ainslie from Great Britain racing leading the Finn class on day 3 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland, the 2012 Olympic venue.'    onEdition ©

A familiar pattern started to emerge on day three for the Finn class at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at Weymouth & Portland.

Two more wins for Ben Ainslie (GBR) has given him a useful nine point lead over Giles Scott (GBR), who moves up to second after a third and a second, while Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) drops to third after a sixth and fourth place.

After several postponements due to the wind shifting and strengthening, the first race of the day got away around 11.30 in 18-20 knots. World champion Ed Wright (GBR) started to produce the form he is famous for, leading round the top mark as the wind continued to increase. But regatta leader Ben Ainslie (GBR) wasn’t far behind and the chase was on. By the first leeward rounding Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN) had taken the lead from Giles Scott (GBR), while Wright slipped to third. Ainslie had eased into third by the second windward mark and then cruised into first place on the second run to lead to the finish. Høgh Christensen held on for second while Scott took third. Early race leader Wright could only manage a ninth.

After a course move, the second race of the day – race five of the series – started in a gusty 18-20 knots of breeze and increased to more than 25 during the race. Ainslie was clearly intent on sending a clear message to the British selectors and led round the top mark with Wright and Dan Slater (NZL) close behind. Zach Railey (USA) moved up to third on the downwind and then Scott made his move into second with Railey hanging onto third. At the finish, Ainslie took his second win of the day – and the third of the week so far – with Scott still in second and Railey ending a great day in third.

With the wind now gusting to 30 knots on many parts of the Weymouth Bay the fleet was sent ashore, once again without catching up with the programme. The Finns are still one race behind.

Giles Scott from Great Britain racing racing in the Finn class on day 3 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta -  onEdition ©?nid=84502  

Ainslie said of the day, 'We raced more inshore so it was a little shiftier on the first beats, though there was slightly more breeze than yesterday. In the first race I had a great second run which got me the lead and in the second race I was ahead from the first mark.'

'I feel okay about sailing in the windier conditions now. I'm quite small compared with some of these guys but my speed is okay. It's a bit of everything coming together well but it's also been tricky tactically.' Were they up for a third race? 'No, we were all pretty spent.'

'I come back in from a day like today and my body is aching, but it’s all about testing yourself so it is satisfying to get two good results. We have worked hard technically on the boat and physically on my fitness so it’s good to see that hard work paying off. I am happy with how things have gone so far but there is still a long way to go this week.'

Though Ainslie seems to have returned to the top of his form, second placed Scott is not phased by it. Is is happy with his own performance so far? 'Yes, I'm becoming increasingly happy, although I felt as if I was always on the come back from the first mark rounding. I need to start getting around the first mark in better contact with the leaders.' On the racing today, he said, 'I think the key today was being fast upwind and not making to many wrong decisions on the shifts.'

The World No 1, Zach Railey, also had a better day today. After some average results on Tuesday, he put himself right back into medal contention with a 4, 3 to move up to sixth overall.

'Moving course areas was a good decision by the RC. We raced on the 49er area today. I'm not sure we would have got the second race in on our course given that its usually windier on the outer course. So that was a great move today by the RC.'

'I used what I learned yesterday about the wind and did not make the mistakes again which was a huge positive from today. The wind is very difficult to figure out here. I still have some speed issues to work out but we will figure it out.'

Railey spoke about his preparation for this event. 'We have spent a good amount of time training in Weymouth. I missed the Delta Lloyd Regatta to train here during the event. As it is one of our trials venues and also the Olympic Games venue, knowing it well is a huge advantage. Weymouth is a very tricky place to sail and I don't think you can ‘figure it out’ but just spending time here makes you more comfortable with what you will be facing while racing here.'

How well does the team work together? 'We have really adapted to a new team process and we have been training as a team for a long-time now. I think it’s great and we are seeing the results improving all the time. We push each other to make each other better so that whoever goes to the Games has the best chance of success when they get there.'

Tomáš Vika (CZE) is the sole Czech entry this week in the Finn fleet, with the top Czech sailor and four times Olympian Michael Maier (CZE) concentrating on the defence of his World Masters title next week in Italy. He said 'I came to Weymouth straight from Medemblik. This area is perfect for sailing with stable wind conditions and is mostly windy. The only problem for me is that I feel always cold here. Both Portland and Weymouth are nice and the people are friendly; only the roads from the Academy to Weymouth centre is full of traffic jams.'

'My goal is to improve my sailing and become familiar with the racing area. I gained 10 kg compared to last year, but I'm still fighting more with myself than the other competitors.' Vika lies in 36th place after an amazingly consistent 34, 34, 32, 32, 34 so far this week.

The race committee will again attempt to run three races on Thursday to catch up with the programme. There are just two more days of qualifying races left before the medal race for the top 10 on Saturday 11th June.

Andrew Mills from Great Britain racing racing in the Finn class on day 3 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta -  onEdition ©?nid=84502  

Results after five races:

Rank Class Nat SailNo HelmName Total Nett R1 R2 R3 R4 R5
1st Finn GBR 3 AINSLIE Ben 12.0 5.0 2.0 (7.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0
2nd Finn GBR 41 SCOTT Giles 23.0 14.0 6.0 3.0 (9.0) 3.0 2.0
3rd Finn CRO 524 KLJAKOVIC GASPIC Ivan 20.0 14.0 3.0 2.0 5.0 (6.0) 4.0
4th Finn NZL 1 SLATER Dan 27.0 17.0 1.0 1.0 (10.0) 10.0 5.0
5th Finn DEN 2 H?H-CHRISTENSEN Jonas 45.0 22.0 4.0 4.0 12.0 2.0 (23.0)
6th Finn USA 4 RAILEY Zach 42.0 25.0 5.0 (17.0) 13.0 4.0 3.0
7th Finn GBR 11 WRIGHT Ed 46.0 28.0 9.0 (18.0) 4.0 9.0 6.0
8th Finn FRA 112 LOBERT Jonathan 51.0 33.0 8.0 12.0 (18.0) 5.0 8.0
9th Finn GBR 85 MILLS Andrew 50.0 34.0 15.0 5.0 6.0 8.0 (16.0)
10th Finn GBR 88 ANDREWS Mark 52.0 37.0 7.0 11.0 7.0 12.0 (15.0)
11th Finn SLO 5 VINCEC Gasper 58.0 40.0 (18.0) 14.0 3.0 16.0 7.0
12th Finn NED 842 POSTMA Pieter-Jan 65.0 42.0 (23.0) 13.0 2.0 14.0 13.0
13th Finn SLO 573 ?BOGAR Vasilij 72.0 42.0 10.0 6.0 14.0 (30.0) 12.0
14th Finn FRA 29 LE BRETON Thomas 76.0 48.0 21.0 9.0 8.0 (28.0) 10.0
15th Finn SWE 11 BIRGMARK Daniel 78.8 58.8 RDGa [15.8] 19.0 (20.0) 13.0 11.0
16th Finn FIN 218 NIRKKO Tapio 80.0 60.0 19.0 15.0 19.0 7.0 (20.0)
17th Finn ESP 100 TRUJILLO Rafael 82.0 60.0 16.0 (22.0) 11.0 19.0 14.0
18th Finn NZL 8 COUTTS Matt 99.0 63.0 (36.0) 8.0 16.0 20.0 19.0
19th Finn SWE 736 TILLANDER Johan 94.0 64.0 28.0 16.0 (30.0) 11.0 9.0
20th Finn AUS 1 CASEY Brendan 131.0 71.0 12.0 23.0 (BFD [60.0]) 15.0 21.0
21st Finn USA 1140 PAINE Caleb 110.0 85.0 24.0 (25.0) 22.0 22.0 17.0
22nd Finn SWE 6 ALLANSSON Bjorn 119.0 87.0 (32.0) 24.0 15.0 21.0 27.0
23rd Finn NED 83 HAGOORT Timo 127.0 89.0 13.0 20.0 31.0 25.0 (38.0)
24th Finn ITA 123 BALDASSARI Filippo 127.0 90.0 20.0 (37.0) 17.0 27.0 26.0
25th Finn EST 2 KARPAK Deniss 151.0 91.0 30.0 10.0 (BFD [60.0]) 33.0 18.0
26th Finn AUS 261 TWEDDELL Oliver 118.0 91.0 26.0 (27.0) 26.0 17.0 22.0
27th Finn CAN 5 DOUGLAS Greg 139.0 94.0 22.0 26.0 28.0 18.0 (45.0)
28th Finn BRA 109 ZARIFF Jorge 132.0 98.0 11.0 31.0 25.0 (34.0) 31.0
29th Finn POL 7 SZUKIEL Rafal 130.0 101.0 25.0 28.0 24.0 24.0 (29.0)
30th Finn GER 151 MILLER Matthias 143.0 102.0 (41.0) 21.0 23.0 26.0 32.0
31st Finn POL 17 KULA Piotr 163.0 103.0 14.0 (DNF [60.0]) 21.0 29.0 39.0
32nd Finn GER 771 KURFELD Jan 137.0 104.0 (33.0) 30.0 27.0 23.0 24.0
33rd Finn CAN 110 ROBITAILLE Martin 168.0 128.0 (40.0) 36.0 36.0 31.0 25.0
34th Finn RUS 1 SELIVANOV Alexey 174.0 131.0 31.0 32.0 29.0 39.0 (43.0)
35th Finn AUT 3 RAUDASCHL Florian 174.0 132.0 27.0 29.0 38.0 38.0 (42.0)
36th Finn CZE 52 VIKA Tomas 166.0 132.0 (34.0) 34.0 32.0 32.0 34.0
37th Finn CAN 902 WILTON Brendan 182.0 140.0 39.0 35.0 33.0 (42.0) 33.0
38th Finn EST 11 V?NSALU Lauri 177.0 140.0 (37.0) 33.0 35.0 35.0 37.0
39th Finn AUS 2 MCMILLAN Rob 188.0 141.0 (47.0) 39.0 34.0 40.0 28.0
40th Finn AUS 235 CASTLES Timothy 194.0 146.0 (48.0) 40.0 39.0 37.0 30.0
41st Finn GER 127 MASSLER Julian 219.0 159.0 38.0 (DNF [60.0]) 41.0 45.0 35.0
42nd Finn SUI 5 CHRISTEN Christoph 210.0 160.0 (50.0) 43.0 37.0 44.0 36.0
43rd Finn SUI 84 HOFER Silvan 207.0 162.0 35.0 (45.0) 40.0 43.0 44.0
44th Finn TUR 35 KUYUMCU Efe 218.0 165.0 (53.0) 41.0 43.0 41.0 40.0
45th Finn USA 40 LAWRENCE Luke 226.0 166.0 29.0 (DNF [60.0]) DNC [60.0] 36.0 41.0
46th Finn CAN 26 BRIKIS Paul 223.0 175.0 45.0 38.0 45.0 47.0 (48.0)
47th Finn IRL 4 HAMILTON Ross 233.0 181.0 (52.0) 44.0 44.0 46.0 47.0
48th Finn GER 712 FROH Christoph 235.0 185.0 44.0 49.0 46.0 (50.0) 46.0
49th Finn USA 21 LAMPHERE Gordon 246.0 186.0 42.0 48.0 47.0 49.0 (DNC [60.0])
50th Finn NZL 7 DOUGLAS Bradley 257.0 197.0 49.0 46.0 42.0 (DNF [60.0]) DNC [60.0]
51st Finn GBR 18 HADDEN James 256.0 201.0 (55.0) 51.0 50.0 51.0 49.0
52nd Finn CAN 9 HEMMING Rob 263.0 203.0 51.0 50.0 48.0 54.0 (DNF [60.0])
53rd Finn USA 74 SPRAGUE Henry 265.0 205.0 43.0 42.0 (BFD [60.0]) DNF [60.0] DNC [60.0]
54th Finn SUI 63 GAUTSCHI Thomas 266.0 206.0 57.0 52.0 49.0 48.0 (DNC [60.0])
55th Finn AUS 11 WELLS Shaun 271.0 211.0 54.0 54.0 (DNF [60.0]) 53.0 50.0
56th Finn FRA 21 COLIN DE VERDIERE Mathieu 270.0 212.0 (58.0) 55.0 51.0 55.0 51.0
57th Finn LTU 7 RYMONIS Tauras 273.0 213.0 46.0 47.0 (DNC [60.0]) DNC [60.0] DNC [60.0]
58th Finn GBR 23 BRIDDON Harry 281.0 221.0 56.0 53.0 (DNF [60.0]) 52.0 DNF [60.0]
59th Finn USA 81 REVKIN Joshua 300.0 240.0 (DNC [60.0]) DNC [60.0] DNC [60.0] DNC [60.0] DNC [60.0]

Gasper Vincec from Slovakia racing in the Finn class on day 2 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta -  onEdition ©?nid=84502  

Race by race results here
Event website here

by Robert Deaves


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12:15 AM Thu 9 Jun 2011 GMT

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2011 Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta
2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup

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