Ainslie collects bronze

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The Independent Online


A bronze medal at the Laser World Championships in Simonstown, South Africa, was almost a disappointment for Ben Ainslie, Britain's representative at the Olympics.

The 19-year old was unable to recover in the final two races yesterday from a disqualification on Monday for putting on a top which meant his weight was seven ounces over the limit.

The gold medal went to Robert Scheidt, of Brazil, and the silver to Karl Suneson, of Sweden. Another Briton, Ian Percy, was pleased to finish fifth, behind Stefan Warkala, of Germany.

In Murcia, Spain, all the British contenders for the Olympics are doing well enough to go through in the European qualifiers for the women's doublehanded 470, the women's singlehanded Europe, and the men's singlehanded Finn.

After six races Bethan Raggatt and Sue Carr were 10th of 17 with 16 to qualify, Shirley Robertson was ninth of 26 with 19 to qualify, and Richard Stenhouse was 14th of 24 with 18 to qualify.

The Round the Isle of Wight Race, which is expected to attract a record entry of more than 1,500 yachts for its diamond jubilee on 29 June, is to be sponsored for the next three years by the Japanese-owned opthalmics company Hoya Lens UK, who will also back Eddie Warden Owen's 1996 campaign on the Ultra 30 circuit.

Britain's Sue Crafer is one of five women named as the initial core crew of Sweden's all-women EF Education entry in the 1997 Whitbread Race. The training boat joins the other training yacht, the former Galicia Pescanova, in Falmouth at the end of this month. Two new yachts are scheduled to be built.

Crafer joins Whitbread veterans Mikaela von Koskull of Finland, Leah Newbold of New Zealand, and Marleen Cleyndert of the Netherlands, all of whom crewed Heineken in the last Whitbread. A Swedish ice-breaker was yesterday accompanying the yacht out of Stockholm.