Ben Ainslie in fierce duel with tormentor Giles Scott

 

When you are generally acknowledged to be one of, if not the best in the world, then being beaten four times in consecutive races can be a bit ego-bruising. So, for Ben Ainslie to score a win over Giles Scott in the final race of the day restored a little dignity, even authority.

The man who started the Olympic torch relay at Land’s End and has won four medals, the last three of them gold, playing away from home, will take some stopping when the Games kick off on the same waters as the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta off Weymouth this week.

But Scott has already upset the Ainslie apple cart this year, last month winning the national championship in the heavyweight Finn singlehander in Falmouth.

Ainslie went on to win the world championship a couple of weeks later, but Scott was absent, sailing for the Koreans on a 45-foot America’s Cup training boat in Venice.

Now the tormentor is back. After six races Scott has discarded his worst result so far, a 21st in the opening race, won the next four and was second to Ainslie in the sixth race. He has a clear margin at the top of eight points.

Ainslie is said to be carrying an infection, which his coaches will be monitoring carefully to ensure it does not threaten tip top fitness for the first race of the Games on Sunday 29 July.

“I had a nice final race to end the day,” said Ainslie afterwards. “I haven’t been 100 per cent at this regatta, but to be honest it is a great opportunity to get out on the water and see how the competition is doing and know more about the venue so it is completely worth doing and hopefully I will start to feel better towards the end of the week.

“I’m doing ok, but Giles is doing really well, he certainly has turned the pace up, especially upwind in these conditions. I am very lucky that he is my training partner.”

Also seeking to restore grip and authority on the Olympic selection are the west country pairing of Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, who represented Britain in the 49er skiff last time round in China.

Throwing down the gauntlet have been Dave Evans and Ed Powys, and they still lead after eight races, but a first and a second in the two final races of the day have pushed Morrison and Rhodes up to fourth.

Second, and still favourites for gold in August, are Australia’s Games representatives Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. They are just one point off the lead and know exactly how to exert pressure.

And leading the Star keelboat class is Iain Percy, who won the Finn gold medal in Sydney and went on to win the Star gold with partner Andrew Simpson in China.

“A much better day, today. We, found a lot more speed upwind and we are still working on our downwind, so we managed to get a second and a first,” said Percy. “Half way through the regatta and it all starts again, with any number of boats still in the medals.”

Percy and Simpson have a slender one-point margin over Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil, the pair they beat into second place in China. Scheidt was the man to whom Ainslie came second in the Laser in 1996 and then exacted dramatic revenge in Sydney four years later.

Racing is expected to begin early on Thursday in the hope of beating a forecast gale-force blow to the punch, so results in the bag now could prove very valuable.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones