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Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 10:32 UK

Wind frustrates Ainslie gold bid

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Video - Britain's sailors must wait

Ben Ainslie must restart his bid for a third Olympic sailing gold medal after organisers abandoned Saturday's Finn class medal race in Qingdao.

Ainslie looked on course for gold, but the race was halted when the wind died and sailing was postponed for the day.

"It was massively frustrating - I felt like I had one hand on the trophy there," said Ainslie.

With conditions failing to improve on Saturday, both the Finn and Yngling medal races will now be held on Sunday.

Ainslie and the GB Yngling crew are each guaranteed medals when they race, but the two-time Olympic gold medallist criticised the choice of Qingdao as a venue when he returned to dry land.

I think you have to try not to let it wind you up - it's only going to make the challenge harder for you

Ben Ainslie
"It's not the sport's fault, it's not the sailors' fault, it's the fact that we have been put in this venue where we do not get any wind," he added.

"I think you have to accept it and try not to let it wind you up to much. It's only going to make the challenge harder for you."

Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson did not get as far as the water on Saturday, as the doomed Finn medal race kept the Yngling sailors on the shore.

The British trio are a single point ahead of the Dutch crew, whereas Ainslie holds a commanding 12-point lead over Railey in the Finn.

Ainslie's approach as Saturday's abortive medal race began was to shepherd Railey to the back of the fleet, far away from the remaining boats, with the aim of preventing the American taking fifth place or higher - and thereby guaranteeing Ainslie gold.

We had a little chat towards the middle of the race - Railey was just saying he wanted to hold on to silver or bronze

Ben Ainslie

The Briton's finishing position in the race does not matter. He can also win by finishing anywhere within six places of Railey, who was heard to plead with Ainslie as the pair drifted away from the pack.

"We had a little chat towards the middle of the race just before it got abandoned," said Ainslie. "He was just saying he wanted to hold on to silver or bronze.

"I was telling him that's the situation with the Olympics - when it comes to the crunch you've got to make sure of it and with the conditions like they were today you can't leave anything to chance.

"You've got to try and get in front of your opponent and try to nail them down."

Ainslie added: "I guess the only problem is now the American knows what's coming on Sunday. But we'll see what the conditions are like, keep focused and keep going."

If either or both classes fail to complete their medal race on Sunday, it can be delayed by one more day. After that, the gold medallists will be determined by current standings.

606: DEBATE

In the 49er class, Britain's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes finished eighth, 11th and 15th in their races to earn a spot in Sunday's medal race, although they will only be battling for position after ending up ninth with 94 points from their 12 preliminary races.

Britain are also in the women's 470 medal race as Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark moved up to ninth with a 15th and fifth on Saturday.

In the men's 470, Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield will enter Monday's medal race in fourth place, three points behind third-placed France and five behind the Netherlands in second.

Britain's Athens silver medallists were disqualified for crossing the start line early in race eight but bounced back to finish second and third in the remaining races.

Australia's Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page have already sealed the gold in the men's 470.

In the Laser, Paul Goodison dropped from first to fourth after a ninth place in race five, while Penny Clark moved up to sixth overall after finishing third in her only race of the day.

Leigh McMillan and Will Howden are 10th in the Tornado class after placing eighth and 13th, while Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are eighth in the Star after a 13th and third on Saturday.


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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
Sailors thwarted by lack of wind
14 Aug 08 |  Sailing
Alan Wills blog
15 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics


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