War of words as Ben Ainslie and Danish rival clash on the water in Weymouth
The battle on the water turned to a war of words ashore as Britain's Ben Ainslie and the Olympic thorn in his side who is Denmark's Jonas Hogh Christensen traded accusations over an incident that could have cost Ainslie valuable points.
The Finn singlehanders have had explosive exchanges before, but this time Ainslie accused Christensen of ganging up with Pieter-Jan Postma of the Netherlands, whom Ainslie crossed swords with at the world championships in Perth last November.
"He [Jonas] and the Dutch guy basically teamed up to say that I hit [a] mark, which pissed me off because I didn't hit the mark," said Ainslie.
Christensen, who had to recover from a capsize in his opening race of the day as Ainslie notched up his first win of the regatta, said: "From where I was in the race I thought he hit the mark. The Dutch guy thought he hit the mark as well. If he really thinks we ganged up on him then he should protest us for bad sportsmanship... just coming out with that allegation is pretty bad."
Christensen went on: "Nobody gangs up on nobody, and if he thinks that then he is the bad sportsman. And if he was so sure he didn't hit the mark he shouldn't have taken the penalty turns, but he did – so maybe he did hit the mark."
Which Ainslie countered by saying that it was better to take the penalties even if he hadn't hit the mark than leave the matter to an international jury in a protest room.
Even so, he came back to beat Christensen again and, with two of the basic 10 races remaining before the double-points decider, he is just three points behind the Dane and at his most dangerous. At the end of the second race Ainslie jabbed pointedly at his chest as if to say: "I am the boss here."
In fact it was a good day all round for the British team, revelling in the exhilarating racing conditions on Weymouth Bay. Added to Ainslie finally beating Christensen, a win and a second for Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson extended their lead at the top of the Star class to nine points. Two wins for Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes in the 49er set their medal bid back on track, while a second in their opening race for Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell in the 470 dinghy was followed by a win in the next race.
The 49er pair were justifiably upbeat after winning both races, which rocketed them up to second overall, just nine points behind the Australian hot favourites, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, 10th and sixth on the day, and six points ahead of the New Zealand partnership of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who came into the regatta lined up for at least the silver medal.
Said Morrison: "We've had really good boat speed all week and if there was anything slightly different [today] it was that we executed the starts a lot better. It doesn't happen often that you score two wins. We can smile and feel happy until dinner tonight [then] we need to get back into reality, which is that we have eight races left. The time for celebrating is next Wednesday.
"Unfortunately it is about being boring, doing what we do every day, not being too emotional about what is happening. Hopefully we can bore ourselves to a gold medal."
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Arsenal shareholders Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri appear on Forbes' rich list - with a combined net worth of £14.9bn
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin