Monday, 30 July 2012

Ainslie not on his best form, says Hogh-Christensen

Stevie Morrison likened racing in Weymouth yesterday to playing Super Mario with too many banana skins and not enough mushrooms to describe the fluctuating fortunes that marked Britain’s day on the water.

Morrison and Ben Rhodes opened their 49er campaign with two consecutive 12th places which they admitted was frustrating while Ben Ainslie dropped to third place in the Finn class leaving him with his head in his hands and angry.

“I didn’t sail very well so I’m not happy at all,” Ainslie said.

“ There was nothing in particular I did wrong but it just didn’t come together  so I’ll have to raise my game for the rest of the week. At this level at this point, you need to be sailing really well and nailing it so I’ll have to sort it out.”

Danish sailor Jonas Hoegh-Christensen who remains at the top of the Finn leaderboard agreed that Ainslie was struggling for form.

“He doesn’t seem to be on his best form. I don’t know why but he is a good sailor so will be back with avengence tomorrow. He is fuelled by bad results so we will probably see him in the top boats tomorrow.”

The Weymouth windshifts and choppy waters created major problems with two capsizes in the Finn fleet and a number of injuries including Laser sailor Paul Goodison who sustained back pain in between races one and two which required immediate attention at the end of racing.

Paul Goodison required immediate treatment 
His injury, a regular complaint among sailors who need to hike, accounted for a 23rd place in the second Laser race following a 10th in the first, which leaves in 17th overnight, a hefty 30 points behind leader Tom Slinsgby from Australia.

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson rose four places to the top of the Star leaderboard after making ‘educated guesses ‘on the shifts that came off to claim two podium positions from two races.

Nice work, Alison Young

“As long as you are not miles behind at this point in the regatta it is a case of getting over the nerves and getting on with it. We thought we would be quick upwind but we weren’t which was flipping frustrating but on the last beat, we made a few changes to our settings which made a big difference.  

“It was shifty and puffy so you have to avoid the big losses by making educated guesses.”

Alison Young also made an impressive start to her Olympic career in the Laser Radials with a 7th and a 10th to finish 9th overall with Irish Radial sailor Annelise Murphy leading by three points over Evi Van Acker from Belgium and Ben Ainslie's girlfriend Marit Bouwmeister.
Dutch Laser Radial contender Marit Bouwmeister

“It was a pretty average first day gives me something to build on for the rest of the regatta,” she said.

Picture credit: the fabulous Ian Roman from Yachting World

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