Ben Ainslie secures gold for Britain
Saturday 11 June 2011
The best was saved until last when, despite coming last in the final race, quadruple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie secured gold for Britain in the heavyweight Finn singlehanded dinghy at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta.
He first snuffed out any chance of his great rival Giles Scott scoring highly enough to overtake him and then, job done, allowed Scott to secure the silver medal by being ninth.
An all-British podium was missed by just one point as current world champion Ed Wright came fourth with Andrew Mills 8th.
That made a tally of two golds, three silvers, two bronze and both a paralympic gold and silver for top nation Britain, as Nick Dempsey won the windsurfer class, the Macgregor sisters Lucy and Kate with Annie Lush took silver in the match racing, as did Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the 470 dinghy.
Bronzes went to reigning Olympic champion Paul Goodison in the Laser and to Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes in the high performance 49er.
All of them have been named to represent Britain as the fully developed new Olympic Games site will be in full test mode at the end of July, with the addition of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star keelboat, Charlotte Dobson in the Laser Radial, Bryony Shaw in the women’s windsurfer, and the men’s 470 pairing of Nick Rogers and Chris Grube.
But, while the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was dishing out the medals, others were receiving the equivalent of P45s on future funding.
Precious resources will now be concentrated on a smaller squad judged to have real medal potential.
Britain has benefitted from an unbroken funding programme for a full-time sailing squad after bring home five medals from Sydney in 2000 and six from China in 2008, including four golds.
But the world has been copying and catching up on a management system that is already in overdrive, a year ahead of a special incentive on our own home waters to top the medals board again.
Twice former world match racing champion Ian Williams progressed to the semi-finals of the Korea Cup.
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