Will the slow spots return to Ainslie’s performance and why Ainslie was quicker yesterday
After a return to form yesterday, Ainslie needs to claw back the remaining three points on his arch rival Jonas Hogh-Christensen and extend his lead over third place so that he can concentrate on the Dane come the double points medal race on Sunday.
We’ve seen Ben display and an apparent lack of pace at times leaving many of his supporters nervous about whether a dose of the slows might return. But after what looked like a return to form what has changed?
It seems that Ainslie’s weak spot has been in a particular wind range, 14-18 knots in a short chop where it is difficult if not impossible to steer around waves. In these conditions the heavier crews and their additional righting moment counts for a lot. Here the big guys are able to punch through the short and potentially boat stopping waves more effectively.
Add to this the effects of a beat against the tide as we saw in his earlier races and the punishment lasts for longer up the beat.
Yesterday was different. Bigger waves that were easier to steer around and an ebb tide that swept the fleet up the beat more quickly reducing Ben’s weaker point.
Conversely the runs were longer as they were against the tide and allowed the lighter Ainslie to capitalise on this.
The good news for Ainslie is that today’s conditions are forecast to be the same as yesterday and that the tide will be very similar too.