Ben Ainslie scored a first place yesterday to clinch the leader’s spot on the penultimate day of the Finn Europeans

The penultimate day of racing at the Finn Europeans, Cesme, Turkey, took place yesterday, and it was the new boy on the block that led the way. Laser class gold medallist Ben Ainslie, who is part of the RYA’s World Class Performance Programme, has been sailing the Finn for less than a year and today scored his second race win of the championship, to overthrow Luca Devoti of Italy and take the lead in the class with one race left to go.

The wind in Ilica Bay was light and shifty to begin with, turning the fleet inside out and seeing some of the top sailors put in their worst performance of the championship so far. Sydney silver medallist Luca Devoti of Italy finished in 10th place, which saw him drop down into the number two spot.

It was not however, plain sailing for Ainslie, as he came ashore there was a protest lodged against him by 2001 European Champion Emilios Papathanasiou for sculling before the start. Fortunately for Ainslie, the protest was thrown out and he kept his first place.

Racing will be tight during the last day’s racing today as Ainslie is discarding a disqualified and Devoti’s worse result is a 13th. If Ben hadn’t been disqualified he would have won the regatta with a race to spare, instead he has a five-point margin from Devoti, and will be looking to take his first ever championship win in the Finn class.

Team GBR sailor Andrew Simpson put in a steady performance, moving up into eighth place overall with team mate Charlie Cumbley in 12th place. Chris Brittle is currently in 14th place overall and looking in a strong position to take the Junior European Champion title.

Results (after day five)

1, Ben Ainslie, GBR (4,8,1,9,(DSQ),4,5,1) 32 pts

2, Luca Devoti, ITA (6,2,4,2,(13),9,4,10) 37 pts

3, Karlo Kuret, CRO (3,9,8,1,5,15,(29),3) 44 pts

Other RYA Team GBR

8, Andrew Simpson (5,12,(BFD),7,19,1,9,12) 65 pts

12, Charlie Cumbley (17,15,17,10,18,(21),12,6) 95 pts

14, Chris Brittle (19, (DSQ),27,15,7,14,8,22) 112 pts