Ainslie puts wind up rivals despite calm conditions
Finn champion and Yngling trio set fair after a tough opening day on the water
Sunday 10 August 2008
It was an up-and-down time as Britain's two brightest sailing medal hopes took to the water on the opening day of the Olympic regatta. The Yellow Sea track was in typically capricious form as Ben Ainslie showed impressive authority in the Finn, while in the Yngling, Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson rode a little luck to come 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 theway up the first leg, down the second and again up the third.
But he fell into a private wind-free zone early on the run home – there were not more than three to four knots anyway – and, also being pushed back by the tide, could only watch as others with better breeze sailed past to drop him from first to 10th atthe finish.
Those flukey wind patterns, in contrast, came to the aid of the Yngling trio, who at one point were last. But they came through from the back of the 15-boat fleet to finish second, which was particularly galling for their arch-rivals, the trio skippered by Sally Barkow of the United States, who dropped from second to 14th.
Ainslie was in command of his second race, when the breeze was slightly stronger and more reliable, and his win was enough to push him back up to third overall. Another cautious start from the Yngling women again saw them having to fight back, but they did so, finishing second and leading into the clubhouse overnight.
"It was hard work to gather and recover in the first race," said Webb. "We could have given up but we had to keep going."
Ainslie said: "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.
"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."
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food