Ainslie is on the verge of his sixth Finn world championship win before starting the Olympic torch relay. Matthew Sheahan reports from Falmouth
UPDATE –VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS DAY 5
He’s on the billboards,
he’s in shop windows and he’s even in the men’s public toilets here in
Falmouth, but pretty soon it looks likely that he’ll be all over the news as
well. Ben Ainslie is big news in his former home town of Falmouth where he
looks likely to lift some more silverware before carrying the Olympic torch on
the first stage of its UK journey. And he is about to hit the national press too.
Having won two of the three
races on the penultimate day of the Finn Gold Cup, the World Championships for
this Olympic class, Ben Ainslie looks set to take the title by storm for a
staggering sixth time.
Conditions here in Falmouth
are boisterous with solid 25+ knots and big seas providing full on conditions,
a stark contrast to yesterday’s conditions when racing was abandoned due to
lack of wind. Losing yesterday’s races meant that three races were to be run
today before the final medal race which will take place tomorrow, Friday.
As Ainslie crossed the
start line for the third time today the calculations were being made in the
media centre as to whether a third victory could hand him the championships a
day early. Few would be surprised if this happened given his dominant
performance this week in the 94 boat fleet where he has notched up five wins
and two thirds.
The third race started at
1420 – Here’s how the last race on Thursday panned out.
Weather mark 1 – Ainslie
leads around the weather mark, Ed Wright in second, Matt Coutts third as the
fleet barrels off downwind between 9-13 knots
Leeward Mark 1 – Ainslie
continues to lead, Ed Wright second as the fleet pounds back upwind in big
breaking seas. Right hand side of the course seems favoured up the beat.
Windward Mark 2 – Ainslie rounds
1st, Ed Wright second 147m behind after Ainslie stretches lead. With
Wright currently second overall, Ben will not be able to secure his overall
championship win today unless he gets some boats between him and his team mate.
Wing Mark (Triangular
section of course) – Ainslie stretches lead to 250m over Wright.
Finish – Ainslie wins, Gaspic
Ivan Kjakovic 2nd, Zach Railey 3rd, Ed Wright finishes 4th
Another victory for Ben but,
not enough to secure his World Championship without sailing the medal race
For those who masterminded
the poster campaign around Falmouth’s public hotspots, the news will come as a
welcome relief – the headline billing in town will happen as planned, despite it’s star’s best attempts to win a day early.