Britain's top sailors battle it out for world championship title
A no-holds-barred fight between five top British sailors is in prospect for a world championship title as all 10 Olympic classes race on the Indian Ocean, former home of the America’s Cup.
Throwing down the gauntlet to the man chasing his fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, Ben Ainslie, heavyweight singlehander rival Giles Scott says adamantly: “There are no team orders, if there were there would be a bit of an uprising. If we have to sail each other off the course it will happen. It has happened before.”
Ainslie, one of the world’s best, has already been given the Finn class place at the Weymouth venue next year and would be a near-banker to win gold again – he won silver in the lighter weight Laser in 1996, gold in the same class in 2000, and then gold in the Finn in 2004 and 2008.
His aim is to be the most successful Olympic sailor in history and to match Steve Redgrave’s rowing record.
But the world championship gold is up for grabs and Scott has his own illustrious record as reigning European champion. Ed Wright is the current world champion, Andrew Mills is always a threat, and insiders point to the potential of Scotland’s Mark Andrews if the breeze is in the fresher end of the scale. They would all be happy to knock Ainslie off his perch.
The concurrent world championships see over 1,100 sailors from 76 countries fight it out over two weeks with Britain’s world class match racing trio of the Macgregor sisters of Lucy and Kate, plus former Cambridge rowing blue Annie Lush mid-boat, opening proceedings on Saturday.
For many countries the primary aim will be to finish well enough to qualify for a Weymouth slot. Some will also use the results in Fremantle to select their one representative(s) in each of the 10 classes. Britain, as host, has automatic qualification and has already named its representatives in seven of the classes.
Perth and the Western Australia province, which says it has spent A$20m on the event, thinks it will double that in cash returns and establish itself as a world class sailing event organiser.
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Green village to be bulldozed and mined for lignite in Germany's quest for non-nuclear fuel
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month