London 2012 Olympics: Strong start for Ben Ainslie’s sailing gold bid
Ben Ainslie’s assault on Olympic gold got off to a great start with a second-place finish in the opening race.
The 35-year-old, who is the favourite to take Finn class gold on home waters, has struggled at the beginning of previous Olympics but overcame a difficult start on the Nothe Course at Weymouth in Dorset to finish second behind Denmark’s Jonas Hogh-Christensen.
The three-times gold medallist rounded the first mark outside the top ten then produced a superb downwind leg to move up to third place. He dropped down to sixth heading around the third mark, but again shone downwind to turn in third position. He also entered the final leg in that position and, while unable to find a way to catch Hogh-Christensen, saw off Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic to secure second place.
In the second race, the Macclesfield-born sailor got off to a brighter start but found himself behind the in-form Hogh-Christensen once more. Ainslie was second from the first mark to the last, finishing behind the Dane and ahead of Kljakovic Gaspic.
Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson got off to a difficult start in the Star class. The reigning gold medallists rounded the opening race’s first mark in fourth and stayed in that position around the second. They fell away, though, on the second upwind leg and eventually finished.
France’s Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot won the race after a poor start, with Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows second.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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