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16 August 2008, 09:06 am
Finn Medal Race Abandoned And Rescheduled For Sunday
Ben Ainslie (R) of Great Britain and Zach Railey (L) of the USA
Ben Ainslie keeps a close eye on Zach Railey in today's abandoned Medal Race

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

Great Britain's Ben AINSLIE looked to be on his way to winning a third Olympic gold medal in today's Finn Medal Race, before the wind died and the race was abandoned.
Following a delay of around one and a half hours, the Finn Medal Race got underway in a light 5 knot southeasterly. Ben AINSLIE (GBR) immediately signalled his intentions by covering every tack made by his only rival for gold Zach RAILEY (USA). AINSLIE successfully carried up his match racing tactics up the first beat and RAILEY rounded the top mark in last position a distant 5 minutes behind the lead. The American would have been in seriously in danger of falling from his silver medal position where it not for a series of mistakes made by his closest challenge Daniel BIRGMARK (SWE) at the start.

It proved to be unimportant, as the wind drop as most of the fleet were on the second upwind and the Race Committee abandoned the race. The Finns waited for another hour and a half but conditions didn't improve and they returned to shore shortly before 16:00.

The Finn Medal Race has been rescheduled for Sunday at 14:00 local time.

"It was very frustrating to me," said AINSLIE back onshore. "I thought to myself, the conditions are very unpredictable, so I just have to cope with it the best I can."

Looking ahead to tomorrow, it appears unlikely the Briton will change his tactics. "At the end of the race that was abandoned, Zach and I had a little gentlemanly chat," AINSLIE revealed. "He mentioned that he would like a silver or bronze medal, and I said to him, 'This is the Olympics, and I can't take any chances."'

RAILEY said a mistake at the start had cost him dearly, "I had a good start but heard a horn blown from the Committee boat. I thought it was an individual recall, but it turned out to be a mistake. So I gybed back and restarted. That's how he [AINSLIE] got ahead of me and was able to do what he did to me."

Ahead of tomorrow's race he added. "I'll do my best next time not to let it happen again."

Overall Results - click here

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