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Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 10:15 UK

British sailors make bright start

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Light winds made for difficult conditions on Saturday

Great Britain made a good start in the sailing with the Yngling crew taking the overall lead, while Ben Ainslie is third in the Finn class.

The Yngling crew of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson claimed a second and third-placed finish to lead by four points overall.

Double Olympic champion Ainslie led for much of his first race but on the final leg he became becalmed and ended 10th.

However, he hit back to win the second race and finish the day third overall.

Ainslie, 31, is attempting to surpass Rodney Pattison as Britain's most successful Olympic sailor.

We could have easily given up on the first race but we knew we had to keep going and it all came good

Yngling sailor Sarah Webb

He held a 10-second lead over Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic-Gaspic at the final mark in the opening race but floundered in the light winds on the final leg to finish 61 seconds behind Greece's Aimilios Papathanasiou at the finish.

The second race for the heavyweight dinghy fleet saw Ainslie firmly in the driving seat by the end of the first lap and his victory moves him up to third behind Poland's Rafael Szukiel and American Zach Railey.

The wind in Qingdao is renowned for having light and variable winds and Saturday saw typically difficult conditions.

"The first race is a great example of that, where I was in the lead and the breeze shut down and came in from a different direction, and I lost 10 places," said Ainslie.

606: DEBATE
"It's something I think we're all going to have to deal with here. It's going to happen to everyone at some stage. It's just about trying to keep your powder dry and wait for your chances.

"My own experience with the Olympics has always been having a disastrous first day, so it doesn't feel quite so bad. Hopefully I can build from this in due course."

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Video - Ainslie rues dropped places

Ayton, Webb and Wilson are hot favourites to win the Olympic gold after claiming back-to-back world championships.

They were 15th and last at the first mark in their opening race and were still down in 11th at the final mark but a strong run to the finish line saw them leap into second.

Their third place in the second race puts them four points clear of Canada with the Netherlands one point further back.

"It's definitely a patience game, especially in the light winds," said Webb.

"We could have easily given up on the first race but we knew we had to keep going and it all came good."

Sailing medals are decided over an 11-race series, with the winner being the sailor with the lowest number of points accumulated during the series.

The winner of each race receives one point, the second two points and so on, with the number of points in the final race - called the medal race - being doubled.

After five races competitors discard their worst result, so the 10th place in Ainslie's first race may well end up being discounted.


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Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forGreat Britain 4 1 1 6
470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy 0 1 0
Finn - Heavyweight Dinghy 1 0 0
Laser - Men's One Person Dingh 1 0 0
RS:X - Women's Windsurfer 0 0 1
Star - Men's Keelboat 1 0 0
Yngling - Women's Keelboat 1 0 0
2 also show each event results forAustralia 2 1 0 3
470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy 1 0 0
470 - Women's Two Person Dingh 1 0 0
Tornado - Multihull 0 1 0
3 also show each event results forSpain 1 1 0 2
49er - Skiff 0 1 0
Tornado - Multihull 1 0 0
4 also show each event results forUSA 1 1 0 2
Finn - Heavyweight Dinghy 0 1 0
Laser Radial - Women's One Per 1 0 0
5 also show each event results forChina 1 0 1 2
Laser Radial - Women's One Per 0 0 1
RS:X - Women's Windsurfer 1 0 0
6 also show each event results forDenmark 1 0 0 1
49er - Skiff 1 0 0
7 also show each event results forNew Zealand 1 0 0 1
RS:X - Men's Windsurfer 1 0 0
8 also show each event results forNetherlands 0 2 0 2
470 - Women's Two Person Dingh 0 1 0
Yngling - Women's Keelboat 0 1 0
9 also show each event results forFrance 0 1 2 3
470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy 0 0 1
Finn - Heavyweight Dinghy 0 0 1
RS:X - Men's Windsurfer 0 1 0
10 also show each event results forBrazil 0 1 1 2
470 - Women's Two Person Dingh 0 0 1
Star - Men's Keelboat 0 1 0
11 also show each event results forItaly 0 1 1 2
Laser - Men's One Person Dingh 0 0 1
RS:X - Women's Windsurfer 0 1 0
12 also show each event results forLithuania 0 1 0 1
Laser Radial - Women's One Per 0 1 0
13 also show each event results forSlovenia 0 1 0 1
Laser - Men's One Person Dingh 0 1 0
14 also show each event results forArgentina 0 0 1 1
Tornado - Multihull 0 0 1
15 also show each event results forGermany 0 0 1 1
49er - Skiff 0 0 1
16 also show each event results forGreece 0 0 1 1
Yngling - Women's Keelboat 0 0 1
17 also show each event results forIsrael 0 0 1 1
RS:X - Men's Windsurfer 0 0 1
18 also show each event results forSweden 0 0 1 1
Star - Men's Keelboat 0 0 1

see also
Team GB photos - day one
09 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Where Britain's medals will be won
05 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Olympics blog
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics


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