A hat trick of victories on the last but one day of the J.P. Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth yesterday has put Ben Ainslie, from Lymington in Hampshire, on the brink of an historic sixth Finn World Championship title.
With a 20 point margin over his Skandia Team GBR team mate Ed Wright in second, Ainslie has only to start and finish tomorrow’s double-points scoring medal race to lay his hands on the coveted Finn Gold Cup for the sixth time, and for it to stay British hands for the eighth time in 11 editions of the event.
Thursday’s three races were held among 25-30 knot winds and big waves, and proved a tough test with even the most experienced sailors capsizing in the physical conditions.
The 35-year-old Ainslie, sailing these Worlds in his home county, mastered what he described as ‘pretty extreme’ conditions to notch up three race wins and close in on the title.
"It was a great day. It was unbelievable sailing, some of the best I have ever experience at 25 to 30 knots of wind,” said the triple Olympic gold medallist Ainslie, who has the honour of running the first leg of the Olympic Torch Relay when it kicks off this Saturday morning in Land’s End.
Four Skandia Team GBR sailors will feature in today’s final medal race, with Mark Andrews and Andrew Mills also making the 10-boat cut in seventh and eighth respectively.