Lack of wind forces sailing postponement

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The Independent Online

Finn gold medal favourite Ben Ainslie and the Yngling crew of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson will have to return to the water tomorrow after today's races at the Olympic sailing regatta were postponed due to lack of wind.

Light breezes resulted in a lengthy delay to the start of races in four of the seven categories yesterday but the intensity of the wind off Qingdao deteriorated further today, causing organisers to call off all races in the Finn, Yngling, 49er, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X classes.

Friday is a reserve race day in the Finn and Yngling classes and organisers are expected to try to get as many races as possible completed prior to Saturday's medal races.

Seven preliminary races have already taken place in each category, one above the minimum number of six required by the International Sailing Federation in their sailing instructions.

However, organisers are understood to be keen to get the prescribed 10 preliminary races completed, meaning that up to three races could be run tomorrow.

Regardless of how many races do take place, the medal races for the Finn and Yngling will take place on Saturday.

Both British teams are in first place in their categories and in strong positions to win gold medals at this point.

Five-time Finn world champion Ainslie, who is attempting to win Olympic gold for the third consecutive Games, has a six-point lead over American Zach Railey while reigning two-time world champions Ayton, Webb and Wilson are five points ahead of the Netherlands.