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Rio Olympics – Scott lays down Finn gauntlet as he moves into pole

by RYA on 11 Aug 2016
Giles Scott – Day 3 – Rio Olympics RYA
Four-time World Champion Scott took advantage of almost Britain-esque conditions of 20+ knots and grey skies to take second place in the day’s opening race – race three of their event overall – before leading from start to finish in their second race to claim pole position at the top of the Finn class rankings.

The 29-year-old Olympic debutant was left ruing a poor opening race to his regatta yesterday, finishing 17th after getting caught on the wrong side of a wind shift on the notoriously shifty Sugarloaf course.

But with the Finns racing outside of Guanabara Bay on the ocean today, it was conditions Scott revels in and he was not about to waste the chance to begin his regatta in earnest.

He said: “It was big seas, really full on racing and I was really pleased to come away with a first and a second, especially after a frustrating start yesterday.

“In the first race today I actually went to the wrong windward mark, because we were quite close to the leeward end of the Laser fleet, so that was a bit of an error but I managed to pull back through to second.

“It was quite nice to get some windy conditions just to dig your heels in and grunt up. Rio was quite kind to us on the outside courses. When we were towed in past the races on the inside bay it looked like a different world, it was quite surreal.”

With three races now completed the sailors can discard their worst score from their series, meaning Scott’s 17th is now currently discounted. Slovenia’s Vasilij Zbogar, a two-time Olympic medallist in the Laser, led overnight but scores of 7, 10 today saw him leapfrogged by the Brit, while Alican Kaynar (TUR) sits in third overall.

And most tellingly every sailor currently occupying a top 10 position is already discarding a score of 10th or higher with six races still to go, meaning there is virtually no margin for error for the remainder of the regatta for any sailor.

The Finns are set to resume racing back inside the bay on the Escola Naval course from 5pm BST tomorrow before a rest day on Friday, and Scott will be keen to make sure he goes into the lay day on a high.

He added: “There is still an awfully long way to go and the racing in Rio is particularly tough, it is going to throw all sorts at us so we really just have to be mindful of that and prepare as much as possible.

“The Finns are a very technical class it’s very tactical and also very physical so I think if you get races that hit all those areas it’s only good for the sailors.”

The Finn class is scheduled to contest an 11 race series, with three races per day on 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 August before the final one off medal race on Tuesday 16 August.

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