Ben Ainslie maintains lead

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The Independent Online

An up and down fourth day of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta saw only four-time Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie maintaining a healthy lead in the Finn singlehander as he scored a first, sixth, and fourth in winds swinging between eight and 15 knots.

The 1,100 sailors from 62 countries are being tested in a variety of conditions, many of them competing not just for glory at this regatta but places in their national teams competing on the same track in 2012.

Ainslie already has a 13-point cushion over his nearest rival, Giles Scott, and there are two more Brits, Ed Wright and Andrew Mills in the top eight.

Having led the lighter weight Laser singlehander, Nick Thompson had a bit of a horror show as Australia’s Tom Slingsby took over the lead and in the 470 women’s dinghy Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark slipped from first to second.

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson held station at fifth in the Star keelboat while Nick Dempsey moved from first to third in the windsurfer. His counterpart Bryony Shaw was not helped by a premature start in one of her races and is lying eighth.

But at one stage, as racing progressed into the evening, John Pink and Rick Peacock took the lead in the 49er high performance dinghy.