posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 02:40 PM
Four years ago Britain's Olympic armada returned from Sydney with a golden bounty - and their fair share of bronze and silver too. Sailing is now
poised to deliver again - as British boats hold the overall lead in three classes with three races remaining of their regatta.
Ben Ainslie finished in second and third place in his two races on Wednesday to maintain an eight-point advantage on the leaderboard over Spain's
Rafael Trujillo. The Spaniard's challenge was left reeling by a tactical start-line misjudgement which disqualified him from race seven.
Britain's Yngling entry, skippered by Sydney gold medallist Shirley Robertson and crewed by Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton, hold a seven-point lead over
nearest rivals Denmark. They finished fourth and sixth in Wednesday's races, the latter being their worst performance so far and currently the score
they would discard. Quietly going about their business were Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield in the men's 470 class - a second and third keeping them six
points ahead of American veterans Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham.
Consistency has been the key to their regatta so far.
Rogers and Glanfield have failed to win a single race but have been outside the top five just twice in their first eight races. All three classes
compete in two races on Thursday and will complete their regatta with their 11th and final race on Saturday - a potential golden day for Team GB.
Conditions were perfect on the Saronic Gulf with a consistent sea breeze making for some close-quarter racing. In the 49er class, which only began its
regatta yesterday, British pair Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks moved into second place after carding a fifth, sixth and third on Wednesday. They are
just two points behind overall leaders Marcus Baur and Max Groy. And it could get even better next week. Iain Percy, the Finn gold medalist in Sydney,
begins his campaign in the Star fleet on Saturday - a class in which he won the world title two years ago.