After the British high of yesterday a little nail biting action today as we get closer to crunch time
If you like nail biting finishes Ainslie provided yet another today as he closed what looked like a disastrous gap between him and the Dane from five points mid way through the race, to just one on the final downwind leg. On the final leg in a race that saw few place changes, Jonas Hogh-Christensen dropped a place to 5th while Ainslie clawed back to 6th limiting the damage in the overall points. Ainslie now trails the Dane by four points. Pieter Jan Postma won the race.
The final race will doubtless shape the medal race on Sunday.
Ainslie has cut things fine in previous Olympic events but this raised the tension for British supporters to a new level.
In the Lasers that were sailing on the Nothe course the Argenitean sailor Julio Alsogaray won the race convincingly. Behind him some of the top players slipped up at the weather mark and never got into the leading pack, among them Goodsion, Slingsby and overall leader Pavlos Kontides, all of whom had to do penalty turns after the first windward mark rounding leaving them into the teens.
It was the first day of racing for the Women’s 470 fleet where the British pair had a problem at the start and were at the back of the fleet shortly afterwards. They rallied later in the race to finish an impressive finish in 6th. The race was won by the Dutch girls Lisa Westerhof
Lobke Berkhout with Kiwi sailors Jo Aleh Olivia Powrie finishing second.
In the Star fleet it was another difficult day for British sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson who, despite a good start rounded the first mark in 6th before pulling back to 4th by the finish. Not a bad result by normal standards was it not for the Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada winning the race and reducing the overall points gap to just six points. The second race of the day will be crucial and the medal race on Sunday looking likely to be a nail biter.
In the 470 men the British men Luke Patience and Stuart BIthell also finished in fourth position although the Olympic favourites Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page finished second. The Brits still lead overall but will doubtless be under no illusion that there’s a long way to go and that they will come under increasing pressure in this competitive field.
More news later…..