Ben Ainslie grabs slender lead at World Sailing Championships

 

In a slug it out, last man standing confrontation between rival members of a British squad that is eclipsing the rest of the world, the Finn class world championship, one of 10 being staged off Fremantle, W. Australia, saw reigning Olympic champion Ben Ainslie grab a slender lead over reigning European champion Giles Scott.

For good measure, current world champion Ed Wright is joint third and all three, plus Andrew Mills, took the top four slots in the second race of the day.

Ainslie, who has Olympic silver and three consecutive golds, has never been worse than third in the eight races so far, with three wins. Scott also has three wins.

Saturday sees the racing move to the centre course for the final two qualifying races before the top 10 contest the medal-deciding double points finale. In theory that should be on flatter water and slightly lighter winds which would suit Ainslie. But theory is only that.

“It’s pretty brutal.  For the first time in my life I have some idea maybe of what it’s like to be a rower,” said Ainslie. “You’re pushing yourself way harder that you ever would in a training session because you’re racing and it’s amazing how hard you can push yourself when you’re actually racing for something.  God knows how an Olympic rower copes with the pressures they put on their body but somehow they make it happen.”

The only other name in the frame is that of Peiter-Jan Postma of the Netherlands, who shares third overall with Wright, but what sounded like rather boastful predictions that Britain could win all three medals are now at least a possibility, if not yet a probability.

The top 10 go into a double points medal decider on Sunday, one of four that day which includes the men’s 470 dinghy, where British chances of gold have taken a lurch. The reigning world champions, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, are marching away from Britain’s Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. 

The Australians have six wins, a third, and a ninth from eight starts and can discard that worst result, the ninth. Patience and Bithell, who had shared the lead, have a 28th, a ninth and a third from their last three outings.

So, the British pair is comfortable in second place at the moment with a 13-point cushion over the third-placed Croatians but can afford no more slip-ups.

Having to sail a repechage in a bid to secure a place in the quarter finals is the British trio of Lucy and Kate Macgregor and Annie Lush in the women’s match racing.

A late afternoon start for the latest protest against Volvo round the world race competitor Camper put extra tension on the Spanish crew preparing for the inshore race in Cape Town on Saturday and the start of the second leg to Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Camper, which is managed by Team New Zealand has to answer a 30-page document of complaint by the French team Groupama. The argument is over the use of rigging and mast adjustment which, Groupama says, the rules specifically try to prevent. The Groupama case was dismissed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living