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Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 19:05 UK

Ainslie powers to European title

Ben Ainslie
Ainslie won the world championships in Sydney earlier this year

Double Olympic champion Ben Ainslie added the European title to his world crown with a stunning win at the 2008 Finn Championship at Scarlino in Italy.

The British sailor clinched his fourth European title despite trailing Frenchman Guillaume Florent by eight points going into the final medal race.

"This does rank amongst one of my more satisfying victories," he said.

"It was difficult conditions, the wind was really shifting and the medal race was delayed by a couple of hours too."

The 30-year-old sealed his fifth world championship title in Sydney in January and will now look to defend his Finn title in Beijing later this year.

Ainslie last competed at these championships in 2005, where he sailed to gold to add to his 2002 and 2003 victories.

Victory in the only race on day one was followed by 16th and fourth on the second day of action and second and eighth the following day, leaving him seven points adrift of Florent at the halfway stage.

Ainslie was disqualified from race seven after pulling himself into contention for a medal after posting two bullets in race six.

An eighth on the penultimate day of racing left Ainslie knowing exactly what was required on the final day and he rose to the challenge to claim overall victory with Croatia's Ivan Gaspic second and Florent back in third.

see also
NI sailor Milne set for Olympics
02 May 08 |  Sailing
Sailors face Chinese challenge
05 Feb 08 |  Sailing
Ainslie seals fifth world title
29 Jan 08 |  Sailing
Win boosts Ainslie's 2008 hopes
18 Dec 07 |  Sailing
Ainslie upbeat on Olympic hopes
24 Sep 07 |  Sailing
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Start sailing
14 Oct 05 |  Sailing

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