Ainslie bounces back
Saturday 09 August 2008
It was an up and down day, but the underlying message was the unmistakeable threat of power as Britain's two brightest sailing medal hopes took to the water on the opening day of the Olympic regatta in Qingdao.
The Yellow Sea track was in typically capricious form as Finn singlehander Ben Ainslie showed impressive authority and the Yngling keelboat team of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson rode a little luck to send them home smiling.
In his first race, Ainslie seemed set to reverse the pattern of previous regattas. Instead of struggling near the back or picking up penalties he strode away majestically from a near-perfect start and led all the way up the first leg, down the second and again up the third.
But he fell into private patch of windfree zone early on the run home, there were only three to four knots anyway, and could only watch as, also being pushed back by the tide, others with better breeze sailed past to drop him from first to 10th at the finish.
"We're going to suffer like that throughout the week, so you just have to put the bad results behind you, be tough and deal with the situation," he said in clearly relaxed mood afterwards. "I had a vision of Athens at one stage, where I had two bad races on the first day, so this is probably my best start ever to an Olympics. Hopefully I can build on that."
Those flukey wind patterns, in contrast, came to the aid of the Yngling trio, which at one point was dog last. But they came through from the back of the 15-boat fleet to finish second, particularly galling for their arch-rival Sally Barkow of the United States, who dropped from second to tenth to 14th.
Ainslie was again in command of the second race, when the breeze was slightly stronger and more reliable, and the win was enough to push him back up to third overall, while another cautious start from the Yngling women again saw them having to fight back, which they did by coming second and leading into the clubhouse overnight.
"It was hard work to gather and recover in the first race," said Sarah Webb. "We could have given up but we had to keep going."
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was shirt swapping the real reason?
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement