Ben Ainslie was beaten into the second place by his great British rival Giles Scott at the UK national championship for the singlehanded Finn dinghy in Falmouth.
It was Scott’s third title, but the first in which he has beaten Ainslie, who is the reigning Olympic champion and goes for his fourth consecutive sailing gold medal at the Olympic Games in Weymouth in July. He also has a silver from 1996.
This was also a warm-up for the Finn Gold Cup, the class world championship, next week but Scott, who won with a race to spare, will be absent as he heads for Venice, Italy and the America’s Cup World series regatta.
Said Ainslie: “It’s been great to be back sailing in Cornwall, where I grew up. I will certainly have to try and sail better next week. The competition will ramp up that little bit.”
With continuing pressure on Olympic Games budgets and places firmly in mind, a working party led by Carolijn Brouwer of The Netherlands (and Belgium) has been set up by the International Sailing Federation to look at ways of cutting the number of days – and possibly races – at the next Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
She is expected to report to the annual general meeting on a framework which would cut the total number of sailing days from the present 14 to nine, reducing each class to four racing days. It will also consider the ways in which such a condensed programme would still provide, even in fickle weather conditions, a full and fair event.
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