War of words as Ben Ainslie and Danish rival clash on the water in Weymouth

 

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."

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week