British squad on form in Skandia Sail for Gold regatta

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The Independent Online

When the going got tough the tough got going in Weymouth as a strong British squad went into the clubhouse at the end of the third day of Skandia Sail for Gold regatta leading in five classes and holding second place in three more.

The breeze was piping up to 25 knots, which suited three times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie fine. He won both his races to hold top spot in the Finn singlehander with Giles Scott nine points adrift in second.

Also leading are Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the women’s 470 dinghy with Nick Dempsey leading the windsurfers, also with two wins.

Nick Thompson, increasingly a 2012 threat to the 2008 Laser gold medallist Paul Goodison, is also leading as Goodison, with third and a fifth, lies eighth. And in the Paralympic classes, John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, counting three firsts and a second, have a good lead in the Sonar.

In the super-competitive 49er high performance dinghy, Britain has four in the top 10 but it is the combination of John Pink and Rick Peacock who are second to the Sibello brothers of Italy.

Fighting their way back with a second and an eighth are the reigning gold medallists from China, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson lying fifth in the Star keelboat class.