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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 12:21 GMT
Win boosts Ainslie's 2008 hopes
Ben Ainslie
Ainslie has been heavily involved with the Americas Cup
Ben Ainslie staked his claim for a place at the Beijing Olympics next year by winning the Sydney International Regatta ahead of rival Ed Wright.

The triple Olympic sailing medallist won six of the eight races in Australia to finish clear of the field.

The event was the first of a potential four regattas to decide who will race for Britain in 2008 in the Finn class.

A decision on whether to confirm a selection or to continue the trials will be made early in the new year.

Ainslie, 30, is determined to go to Beijing despite his America's Cup commitments restricting his Finn racing over the last two years.

He missed the World Sailing Championships this year to work with Team NZ in the America's Cup but claimed gold at the Olympic test event in China in August, his first Finn race in 12 months.


And he hopes his victory in Sydney, combined with Wright's fifth place, will persuade selectors that he should get the opportunity to try and win a third Olympic gold.

"I'd hope that with this win and with the results from China this year and last year that it'll make things quite clear, but that's really up to the selectors now so I'll just have to wait and see," Ainslie told the BBC.

"It's a great result and part of the Olympic trials, so it was very important to win that and also beat all the other international competition down here.

"It's hard because you only have one spot per class per nation so when you have a situation as we do where there are two good sailors, we have to have selections and the Sydney Regatta and possibly the World Championships in Melbourne in January are our selections.

"It's tough in our sport when you've got two good guys and only one gets to go to the Olympics but hopefully from this result and winning in China, that should be enough for me to get selected but we will see."

Ainslie, who was recently named as skipper of Britain's Team Origin in the 2009 America's Cup, won gold in the Finn class in Athens in 2004 and in the Laser class four years earlier.

Ainslie upbeat on Olympic hopes
24 Sep 07 |  Sailing
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18 Sep 07 |  Sailing
Ainslie leads Brit medal charge
22 Aug 07 |  Sailing
Ainslie hunts Finn gold in China
15 Aug 07 |  Sailing
Ainslie given Beijing test boost
17 Jul 07 |  Sailing
Ainslie faces sailing dilemma
16 Apr 07 |  Sailing
Ainslie skippers Team NZ to win
06 Apr 07 |  Sailing


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