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Scott poised for finest hour in Rio Olympics

by RYA on 15 Aug 2016
Giles Scott (GBR) in Finn class on day 7 at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Richard Langdon/British Sailing Team
Giles Scott will sail to gold in Rio tomorrow (Tuesday 16 August). The 29-year-old from Huntingdon goes into the final Medal Race of his Olympics knowing that he simply has to complete the race to top the podium.

Four-time World Champion Scott effectively wrapped up his first Olympic title on Sunday by putting a 24-point gap between himself and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) in silver medal position.

With the race worth double points, even if Scott was disqualified and scored the worst possible result of 22 points, he still couldn’t be beaten to gold. The race is scheduled to get underway from 5pm BST on the Pa?o de Ac?ucar (Sugarloaf) course.

It is a defining moment for the man who’s talents were honed on Grafham Water as he inherits the Finn title held by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie, while also ensuring that the men’s heavyweight dinghy crown remains in British hands for a fifth successive Games.

Matt Howard, Scott’s coach, insists it is no more than he deserves.

He said: “It’s been three and a half years since we put together this project for the Olympics so there is a bit of relief. There’s been quite a lot of pressure on us to perform and to keep his game going, so it is just unbelievable elation.

“I had to have a word with myself on the water because he hadn’t actually finished the race and I was starting to well up and I know for a fact that he had to have a word with himself as well because he was doing the same thing! I am just over the moon with it all and it’s been a great ride.

“The Olympics is a funny old event where favourites often don’t perform it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of relief. We spend 250 days on the water a year and I think the big thing is his attention to detail is significant, every little thing, which means the work level that he puts in, and I do as well in supporting him, is huge.”

Anyone can try sailing for free at Scott’s at home club of Grafham Water SC as part of the RYA’s Sail for Gold Roadshows from 10am tomorrow.

All comers are then invited to watch the Medal Race and cheer him on with all his clubmates and members of the British Sailing Team, including Scott’s pre-Olympic training partner, Ben Cornish from 5pm.

Despite being one of the Games’ hot favourites for gold in the Rio build up, Scott remained the most level-headed man about his chances, refusing to get caught up in the hype and maintaining the unassuming attitude that has led to his success.

Matt added: “He is a really nice guy, off the water and frankly he is a nice guy on the water too. He won’t let anyone push him around but equally you very rarely find him having an incident with another boat, very rarely find him in a protest and generally his attitude is to keep his nose clean and get past people with boat speed.

“What better way to end it than with a Medal Race win, I am sure he will be trying pretty hard to get that and I think he will be enjoying the moment. It will be nice to be in a position where I don’t have to stress in a Medal Race!”

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