Sailing: Ainslie steers tyros to victory
Thursday 04 August 2005
With Ainslie as tactician was Nic Rogers, the 2004 silver medallist in Merrick's class - the 470 - as they coaxed the best out of a crew picked from some of the country's top young talent.
From bacon rolls in Shepards Wharf at 8.30am to glowing praise for his crew seven hours later, Ainslie showed all the old qualities of fierce concentration, with the added focus on crew management and big-boat helming which he is developing to further his long-term goal as an America's Cup skipper.
Among the guests on a blustery day was Matt Ray of Men's Fitness magazine. Bad call. He was immediately roped into action, hoisting the mainsail and given the first stint grinding the winch for the spinnaker trimmer, 23-year-old Scott Gray from Edinburgh.
Shifts in the Eastern Solent wind direction added a snakes-and-ladders factor and the boat could surely do with £20,000 of new, performance-boosting sails, but everyone stuck to their jobs, coped with the occasional injury, and put everything into the final half-hour on the 37.7-mile course to be rewarded with a winner's cannon at the finish line.
The crew work, said Ainslie, had been nearly faultless, adding: "This is a learning experience for me, too, setting up the boat and improving my starting techniques." Next stop is the Finn-class European Championship in Sweden, followed by the World Championship in Moscow.
One of the major prizes of the week, the Britannia Cup, was won by Eamon Conneely's 52ft Patches to complete a hat-trick for double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson after her success in the Queen's Cup and the RYS Cup.
Also back in winning form was Tony Dodd's quarter-tonner Purple Haze, giving him three wins and a second so far. In the SB3 class, Ian Southworth, was second yesterday to add to two previous wins, and in the X One Design class, a third win for Stuart Jardine extended his lead over Kim Slater.
Latest in Sport
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: Mario Balotelli and Gary Lineker lead the trolling of United
Police probe Mario Balotelli racist abuse as Kick It Out voice their displeasure
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3 player ratings: Leonard Ulloa? Radamel Falcao? Jamie Vardy? Angel Di Maria? Who was the star man?
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...