Ben Ainslie takes gold at Finn Europeans and British 49er boys retain European title

Ben Ainslie has claimed his third European Finn title by winning the 2005 Finn European Championship with an impressive eight points in Kalmar, Sweden. Ainslie has dominated the competition for most of the regatta and earned more first place finishes than any other sailor at the event. “We have had a really good regatta and it was a shame there was no racing today as we have had such a tight fleet with the second and third placed boats fighting over the top places.” Ainslie commented, “Every time I get in the Finn I have to get used to it all over again, so I was surprised but pleased with my results. I am looking forward to the worlds in Moscow and hope to be able to put in a similar performance.”

At the 49er Europeans in Copenhagen, Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks successfully defended their European Championship title. The finals consisted of four short races with the two lowest placed boats being knocked out at the end of each race. Morrison and Rhodes managed to hold on for the first race but were finally knocked out in the second, earning them a seventh place finish overall, while Draper and Hiscocks sailed well in the last four races earning them the much wanted gold.

Draper commented: “Obviously we are really pleased to have won this event for the second year running, but we don’t really feel like we have sailed to be European Champions. We knew from the start it would all come down to the grand final, but it seems like all of the hard work the teams put in just got ignored. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes went into the final in gold medal position and would have won the event but because of the grand final system all of our points were wiped clean and they ended up in seventh overall. Hopefully the world championship will be run as a normal event and we can really see who deserves to be at the top of the leader’s board.”

Morrison explained: “We’re gutted about the results, but we knew from the start that the racing would be held in this format. We can only be pleased with the way that we have sailed at this event and hope to put in a similar performance at the worlds.”

Overall Results


Gold Fleet

1, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR

2, Morgan Larson/Pete Spaulding. USA

3, Peter Hansen/Soren Hansen, DEN


7 Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes, GBR


1, Ian Martin/Ben McGrane, GBR

2, Roger Gilbert/Olivier Vidal

3, Alejandro Dominguez/Carlos De Bricio, ESP


9, David Evan/Rick Peacock

10, John Wilson/James Barker

Bronze Fleet

1, Lennart Briesenick-Pundez/Morten Massmann, GER

2, Kristoffer Brink/Rasmus Jarvinen, FIN

3, Jeroen van Catz/Wilco Stavenuiter, NED


8, Mark Bell/Poul Bell


1, Ben Ainslie, GBR (1,1,1,1,1,(4),3) 8 pts

2, Dan Slater, NZL (2,(35),2,13,2,13,1) 33 pts

3, Gasper Vincec, SLO (11,4,4,5,(39),1,10) 35 pts


13, Ed Wright, (13,14,20,4,23,6,(30)) 80 pts

17, Chris Brittle, (29,8,(bfd)31,12,7,15) 102 pts

23, Matt Howard, (38,12,15,19,36,22,(54)) 142 pts

33, Ed Greig, (52,9,(BFD),46,15,38,27) 187 pts

41, Mark Andrews, (35,29,(43),40,31,41,37) 213 pts

62, Richard Hart, (63,67,51,64,44,52,(68)) 341 pts