What might Ainslie do today to help his quest for Gold?
While today isn’t quite crunch time, the two races in the Finn class are crucial for Ainslie in his quest for Gold. Jonas Hogh-Christensen has beaten him in every match so far and has demonstrated that he can come back from seemingly impossible positions.
So what might Ben Ainslie try today? I think there are two strategies available.
1 – Lock horns with Hogh-Christensen and match race him from the pre-start in both races. If successful he could gain a few precious points on the Dane and may be able to unsettle him. The risk is that he loses out to the rest of the fleet. Ainslie does not yet have a big enough points gap between him and third to be able to concentrate on Hogh-Christensen without the rest of the fleet stealing a march.
2- Go out and win both races. Sailing fast, winning the race and sticking to what has been so successful for him would seem to be a safer plan. He needs to gain points on the rest of the fleet in order to establish a buffer. He can then lock horns with Hogh-Christensen later.
The trouble is that Ainslie seems short of speed this week and is struggling to sail a dominant race off the front of the fleet.
There is another issue lurking for Ainslie, what if Hogh-Christensen has one or more allies who will protect him from any assault by Ainslie? Worse still, what if the tables are turned and others have plans to hold the Brit up?
Whatever the strategy and game plans, today’s two races will be watched more closely than any other so far.