Ben Ainslie heads towards sixth Finn class World Championship win at Fremantle
Monday 05 December 2011
In a massive blow to the solar plexus of all his rivals, Britain's Ben Ainslie delivered a flawless performance as he set about winning his sixth World Championship in the singlehanded Finn class.
The stage was just off Fremantle, Australia, on the waters which hosted the finest America’s Cup of the modern era in 1986-87, an event which Ainslie dearly wants to win one day.
The backdrop is the 10 world championships being run simultaneously for all the Olympic classes which will contest the 2012 Games at Weymouth starting at the end of next July. Ainslie, with a silver in 1996 and three consecutive Olympic gold medals under his belt and consolidating an intimidating pecking order for a fourth gold on the trot, won the first two races.
He was challenged briefly in the second race of the day by fellow and rival Brit Ed Wright, the defending world champion. Wright led round the top mark first time when Ainslie was fifth. At the finish Ainslie was in front, Wright, showing no effect from last minute medication for a leg infection, was second.
Luca Devoti, the Italian who won silver to Ainslie’s predecessor Iain Percy’s Finn gold in Sydney in 2000, said: “The only way to beat Ben is to ban him from the class.”
Also enjoying a good opening day, sailed in 13 to 16 knots and rolling waves, was the 470 dinghy pairing of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. They started with a fifth and then won their second race to be second to the Finnish brothers, Joonas and Niklas Lindgren, who notched up a first and a second. “We couldn’t be much happier,” said Patience. “The important thing in these competitions is to come away without making any mistakes.”
After a high speed dash down the Atlantic, Loick Peyron and the crew of the giant trimaran Banque Populaire were two days inside the schedule to beat the 48-day target to win the Jules Verne Trophy for sailing fastest round the world non-stop.
Latest in Sport
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
Raheem Sterling interview: No amount of money can convince Sterling to stay at Liverpool
The 10 potential biggest transfers of the summer: Raheem Sterling, Theo Walcott and Radamel Falcao in the mix
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England shirt is now
Liverpool injury news: Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren expected to be ready for Arsenal clash
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men