Ainslie leads British gold rush

An awful lot can happen in the three final races, but the prospect of Ben Ainslie equalling Britain's best Olympic sailing record - Rodney Pattisson's two golds and a silver in 1968, '72 and '76 - is now very real.

An awful lot can happen in the three final races, but the prospect of Ben Ainslie equalling Britain's best Olympic sailing record - Rodney Pattisson's two golds and a silver in 1968, '72 and '76 - is now very real. Similarly, Shirley Robertson could become Britain's first sailing double gold medallist, equalling Spain's Teresa Zabell in the 470 dinghy in 1992 and '96. And the four-year campaign of Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield to better the fourth they posted in the 470 dinghy last time in Sydney is on course to go three better. So it could be a hat-trick of golds for Britain on Saturday.

Races nine and 10 are scheduled for today and the 11th on Saturday. It is even possible that Robertson and her crew of Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton in the Yngling could wrap things up today with a race to spare. Rogers and Glanfield can make sure they have at least silver.

All eyes were on Ainslie at the start of yesterday as he went out on the water knowing that a jury, having studied video evidence of the protest incident by France in the second race of the Finn singlehander event, had decided it was not conclusive enough to re-open the hearing. But the unexpected bonus, as Ainslie made a clean start to his work, was that his closest rival, Rafael Trujillo of Spain, was to be one of five boats bumped from the race for being across the start line early. The other great threat, 1996 gold medallist Mateusz Kusnierewicz of Poland, went back to exonerate himself and then sailed to a despondent 17th.

Ainslie's cushion, as he hammered home a second and third in a strengthening wind - Kusnierewicz won the second race impressively - increased from one to eight points over Trujillo and to 23 over Kusnierewicz.

Sarah Ayton said only that she was "a little bit excited" after posting what, remarkably, was their worst result of the regatta so far - a sixth. This despite a problem rounding the windward mark for the second time in their second race. They hit it after being fouled by the Ukranians, did a penalty 360-degree turn, and proceeded to use their downwind speed - "We have been working on that for six months," said Ayton - to leave them in a commanding position. After their nearest rivals, the Danes, there is another big gap.

The same is happening in the 470s, where Rogers and Glanfield stretched their lead over the Americans, Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham, to six points. Also, moving into the silver medal position after four of their 16 races were Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks in the 49er dinghy. They are two points behind the leaders, Marcus Baur and Max Groy of Germany.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable