Ainslie happy with his seconds
Ben Ainslie finshed second in his first two Finn races Three-time gold medallist Ben Ainslie struck a satisfied figure after securing second-place finishes in both of Sunday’s opening Olympic sailing races.
The 35-year-old is the undoubted star of Great Britain’s sailing team and the bookies’ favourite to top the Finn class podium.
“It was a good day,” he said.
“They were tough conditions out there, especially on the Nothe Course in the first race.
There was very, very shifty winds but it was a good start.
It was ok, but there is a long way to go.” Ainslie has previously struggled at the beginning of Olympics, but flourished on the home waters of the south coast.
He finished the day with two second places behind Denmark’s Jonas Hogh-Christensen, who he joked had the spirit of countryman Paul Elvstrom behind him – a man Ainslie would overtake as the most decorated Olympic sailor ever should he win gold.
Ainslie added: “I think Jonas was on a hotline to Paul Elvstrom today.
He sailed fantastically well so all credit to him and we’ll see how things develop for the rest of the week.” The other men’s class to start on Sunday was the Star and saw British pair Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson recover from a difficult start to end the day in fifth overall.
The reigning Star gold medallists endured a poor first race in which they ended 11th, but responded superbly to end the day’s final race in the top two.
After some confusion over the final result, victory was awarded to Brazil’s Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada – much to Simpson’s disappointment.
“We thought we were ahead but it sounds like it was unbelievably close or we need to look at it,” he said.
“It has changed back and forth apparently so that is a worry in itself so we better check that.
It’s a bit annoying if we didn’t beat them but it is a good marker for the rest of the week.”