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Scott extends lead in Finn at Rio Olympics

by RYA on 12 Aug 2016
Giles Scott – Day 4 – Rio Olympics RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
The four-time World Champion held a five-point advantage over Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) overnight, but scores of 11th and his second race win of the regatta, combined with finishes of 15th and ninth for his nearest rival, saw Scott move further ahead.

The Finns took full advantage of a racetrack switch to the ocean Copacabana course, and the 2m swell and 20+ knots of wind that brought them.

Scott had to fight his way through the fleet in the first race of the day, as he rounded the first mark 19th of the 23 boats, before crossing the line 11th. But race two was a different story as he joined Jake Lilley (AUS) and Caleb Paine (USA) in a race to the first mark, eventually grabbing the lead, then keeping Paine at bay to take the win.

There is an 20-point gap between Scott and Paine in fourth after six races. But now carrying two scores outside of the top 10, with four races still to come, the Brit knows everything can change in one misjudged gust of wind and, as the Finns now head into their rest day, he won’t be taking anything for granted.

Scott said: “It’s good to put a bit more of a point gap on today but at the moment I‘m just very frustrated with how I sailed in that first race. I found myself with only a handful of boats behind me at that first mark, which was pretty frustrating.

“There was a huge gain on the right hand side of the course all day and I was pretty slow to realise that on that first leg and I let the fleet get to the right of me and it put me on the back foot. But I managed to come back to 11th, which I suppose was damage limitation. To come out and win the next race that is all I could ask for really.

“The important thing to remember is that everyone has got big scores now. I don’t think there is one person who has been massively consistent so you know you really have to fight for every single position, regardless of where you find yourself. There is a long way to go in this regatta and it’s going to be tough.”

Zbogar, a two-time Olympic medallist in the Laser, sits seconds overall with 30 points to Scott’s 18, while 2016 Finn Europeans silver medallist, Zsombor Berecz (HUN), lies third.

The Brits also had a surprise visitor in the form of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, to welcome them off the water today.

Scott added: “I was caught a little bit off guard at the top of the slipway but it was very nice to have a quick chat with Her Royal Highness and she wished me words of good fortune for the rest of the week. She was very nice.”

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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