Ainslie gets off to fighting start at Finn Gold Cup in Greece
Ninety-three sailors from 30 nations and five continents, including all but one of the world’s top 25, took to the Saronic Gulf for the first day of the 2002 Finn Gold Cup yesterday.
The event, hosted by the Olympiakos Yacht Club, Piraeus, Greece, is an important event for the sailors as not only is the world championship title up for grabs but it also allows the top nine finishing nations to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
The two times Olympian Emilios Papathanasiou got off to a good start in his home waters, winning both races to take an early overall lead.
Fresh from success after winning the gold medal at the Finn Europeans, double Olympic medallist in the Laser class and team GBR sailor Ben Ainslie started well in the championship, scoring a sixth place in the first race of the day, which he followed up with a second, finishing just behind Papathanasiou, putting him in second place overall. The number three world ranked Karlo Kuret, who has attended three Olympics and is yet to win a medal, is in third place overall.
Fellow team GBR sailor Charlie Cumbley also had a good day, scoring a ninth and a fourth place to put him in fourth overall after the first day, with team mate Chris Brittle in 14th place and third junior sailor overall, and Andrew Simpson in 24th position.
1, Emilios Papathanasiou, GRE (1,1) 2 pts
2, Ben Ainslie, GBR (6,2) 8 pts
3, Karlo Kuret, CRO (7,4) 11 pts
4, Charlie Cumbley (9,5) 14 pts
15, Chris Brittle (J) (33,7) 40 pts
24, Andrew Simpson (12,41) 53 pts
30, Dave Mellor (47,21) 68 pts
35, Adam Cowling (41,39) 80 pts
45, Matt Howard (37,53) 90 pts
65, Edward Greig (J) (74,48) 122 pts