Sailing: Charles and Smith turn to calculator

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The fight between Lawrie Smith and Glyn Charles for the Star class place in Britain's Olympic team turned into a matter of mathematics after the third race of the Bacardi Cup in Miami yesterday, writes Stuart Alexander.

Charles finished 54th and Smith 55th as the previously strong winds turned light, but both will discard those scores as their worst result. That means, in turn, they will now have to count the less damaging of the two scores they had previously discarded when eight races, two in this regatta and six in January, had been completed.

So while Charles had apparently increased his lead by one place, in fact he will now have to count a previous 23rd, Smith a previous 18th, and that means Smith gains a net four points and reduces Charles' lead from 13 place points to nine.

With a possible three races to go, but more probably two, Smith needs to score on average five points better than Charles in each race to secure the place in Savannah.

Only one British pair, Matthew Eeles and Philip Hilyard, made the cut to the final 56 of the Hobie Cat 16 World Championship in Dubai. As they are 47th with only two days left, British medal hopes have gone.

Even the world champion Aaron Worrall, of Australia, in eighth, silver medallist Claudio Cardoso, of Brazil, 12th, and five times silver medallist Blaine Dodds, of South Africa, 10th, are struggling. Two South Africans, Shaun Ferry and William Edwards, lead the field.