Tag Archives: regatta

Ben Ainslie claims early lead in America"s Cup World Series

Ainslie still has golden touch as Olympian claims early lead in America's Cup World Series

|

UPDATED:

18:28 GMT, 5 October 2012

Ben Ainslie has taken an early leader in the America's Cup World Series fleet racing on San Francisco Bay.

In only his second regatta on the
tour Ainslie registered a win and a third place with his team JP Morgan
BAR in the first two heats to open up a five-point lead over Australian
Jimmy Spithill.

Early lead: Skipper Ben Ainslie registered a win and a third place with his team JP Morgan BAR

Early lead: Skipper Ben Ainslie registered a win and a third place with his team JP Morgan BAR

'It comes down to practice and time in the boat, just like anything else,' said Ainslie, who won his fourth Olympic gold at London this summer. 'If you don't train and put the effort in you're not going to get the results.

'We hung on and are delighted to get our first win in this series.' There are five heats left in the San Francisco race with 11 teams competing.

London 2012 Olympics: Sailing – Ben Ainslie wins gold

'Sir Ben' is king of the waves: Ainslie wins fourth gold to become best ever Olympic sailor

|

UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 5 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Sir Ben Ainslie, as we shall surely come to know him, is now the greatest Olympic sailor in history. But, more than that, he is as bloody-minded a competitor as British sport has ever produced.

We know that because if he was anything less, he would not have won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the light breeze off Weymouth on Sunday. The story of his success at these Games is of a man who found the right answer to the most difficult question of his life.

It was asked of him in the middle of last week when he had lost the first six of the 11-race Finn regatta to the Dane Jonas Hogh-Christensen. At that point, Ainslie turned his eyes upon himself and discovered the heart to fight back.

Flare player: Ainslie celebrates his fourth Olympic gold

Flare player: Ainslie celebrates his fourth Olympic gold

On Thursday, on the fourth day of racing, he finally won his first race. He then vented his anger at Hogh-Christensen and Holland’s Pieter-Jan Postma for calling a foul on him for allegedly touching a buoy. He accused them of ‘ganging up’.

He was in a corner and baring his teeth. Making him angry is a mistake, he said. So it inevitably proved, that indefatigable spirit to the fore until he was standing up in his boat on Sunday, holding two orange flares and soaking up the acclaim of more than 5,000 on the crowded Nothe peninsula.

But, my goodness, it took a tense final race to settle it. The situation was this: he had to beat Hogh-Christensen for gold. Would he concentrate on his one rival, handcuffing him by sailing in his way That was the tactic he employed with such ruthless brilliance in Sydney in 2000 in another epic duel, against the Brazilian Robert Scheidt. But there was a complicating factor here: Postma also had a mathematical chance of winning gold.

Neck and neck: Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen battle for position

Neck and neck: Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen battle for position

Neck and neck: Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen battle for position

So how to cover both bases Before the start, Ainslie circled Hogh-Christensen like a bird of prey. The Dane hid behind the committee boat, frustrating Ainslie’s tactic, and then made the better start. Ainslie, though, reached the first turn ahead. He never let the advantage slip.

All was well, then No, suddenly, Postma was closing in on second place and that meant Ainslie would be pipped to gold. We held our breath, the Nothe crowd sighed.

But dramatically, thankfully, Postma lost out on the final turn as he tangled with the New Zealander Dan Slater and was forced to do a penalty turn. Postman finished fifth, Ainslie was ninth and the Dane 10th. Ainslie had triumphed.

On the water, he celebrated with his coach David Howlett, the Arsenal-mad guru whose sage technical advice and unflappable manner Ainslie paid generous tribute.

Golden moment: Ainslie punches the air as he realises he has won

Golden moment: Ainslie punches the air as he realises he has won

Golden moment: Ainslie punches the air as he realises he has won

This was a gold medal Ainslie had no right to win. He had to pile on the weight to meet the physical demands of a fleet dominated by bigger men.

He also had to nurse his 35-year-old body through pain. I have interviewed him on the physio’s bench and seen his weary, heavy-limbed walk.

Yes, he needed a physio and recent back surgery but not a sports psychologist. His view was that he knew more about how to prepare than some jumped-up shrink. How refreshing. If, as he admitted, the expectation of a home Games had caused him sleepless nights, he would deal with it.

His mindset for the demands of high-delivery sport is perfect: his fear of failure matches his desire to win. When asked, he could never be sure which was the greater motivation. I suspect the former marginally, but who knows Whatever the mix, his Olympic story is remarkable.

Silver lining: Ainslie won silver in the Laser class at Atlanta 1996 as a 19-year-old

Silver lining: Ainslie won silver in the Laser class at Atlanta 1996 as a 19-year-old

Golden moment: Ainslie with Iain Percy at Sydney 2000

Golden moment: Ainslie with Iain Percy at Sydney 2000

Winning habit: Ainslie celebrates another gold medal in Athens

Winning habit: Ainslie celebrates another gold medal in Athens

Three and easy: Ainslie with his Beijing 2008 medal

Three and easy: Ainslie with his Beijing 2008 medal

His sport, unlike some others, did not permit him to win more than one medal at any single Games. His longevity of success is unmatched by any British Olympian other than the rowing knights Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matt Pinsent.

Ainslie’s odyssey started in Atlanta with silver in 1996 and continued with the four golds in two different classes. His extra silver now gives him the edge over Dane Paul Elvstrom as the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time.

Ainslie said ‘Never say never’, as Redgrave famously had before returning to compete for a fifth gold, but intimated that this was the end of his Olympic participation. ‘It’s killing my body,’ he added. ‘I want to go out at the top at my home Olympics. You can’t beat that.’ It had been a long journey from his Swallows and Amazons upbringing in Cornwall.

He will now pursue his America’s Cup ambitions with BMW Oracle next year, and hopefully with his own newly formed team in 2015. We wish this most English of Englishmen luck with those endeavours.

We salute you Ben for your manners off the water and your over-my-dead-f****** – body approach on it.

Flying the flag: Ainslie was jubilant after his success

Flying the flag: Ainslie was jubilant after his success

Flying the flag: Ainslie was jubilant after his success
BEN AINSLIE FACTFILE

1977: Born on February 5 in Macclesfield, Lancashire. His father, Roddy, sailed in the first Whitbread Round the World Race.
1996: Having won the European Championships and finished third in the Laser World Championships, he goes on to win silver at the Olympic Games in Atlanta aged 19.
1997: Finishes third in the Laser World Championships and takes bronze at the European Championships.
1998: Wins both the Laser European and World Championships.
1999: Ainslie is named British Yachtsmen of the Year and World Sailor of the Year, having won the Europeans and World Championships yet again.
2000: Sees off competition from Brazil's Robert Scheidt to win Laser gold at the Sydney Olympics. Also wins Laser Europeans and finishes third in the Laser World Championships. Named British Yachtsmen of the Year and made MBE in New Year Honours list.
2002: After spending 14 months with the 'One World Challenge' America's Cup campaign, Ainslie moves to the Finn class. He wins the first of what prove to be many World Championships in the division and takes the Finn Europeans. Becomes British Yachtsmen of the Year and World Sailor of the Year.
2003: Takes another Finn Gold Cup and another Finn European crown.
2004: Ainslie's dominance of the Finn class continues as he wins a second Olympic gold medal in Athens, Greece. Also takes the World and European crowns as he is named British Yachtsmen of the Year for a fourth time. Inducted into the Finn Hall of Fame.
2005: Ainslie racks up a fourth successive Finn Gold Cup and receives OBE. He also wins the Finn Europeans.
2008: After re-entering the America's Cup arena with Emirates Team New Zealand, he returns to the Olympic circuit to win an unprecedented fifth world title, European title and Olympic gold in Qingdao, China. He is named British Yachtsmen of the Year for a fifth time, World Sailor of the Year yet again and made CBE.
2011: Fights off tough competition to be selected for the British sailing squad in the Finn class. Year ends in controversy at the ISAF World Championships in Perth, Australia, where he is involved in an altercation with a media boat.
2012: In January launches Ben Ainslie Racing, a new team that will initially compete in the next edition of the America's Cup World Series along with plans to join ORACLE Racing for the defence of the 34th America's Cup. Having recovered from back surgery, he wins the Finn Gold Cup for a record sixth time in Falmouth, Cornwall.
August 5 – Wins fourth Olympic gold medal, triumphing in the Finn class on home waters off Weymouth at the London 2012 Games. With four golds and a silver, Ainslie becomes the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

London 2012 Olympics Sailing: Paul Goodison and Ali Young see medal hopes ended

Goodison and Young see medal hopes ended in Weymouth's water

|

UPDATED:

16:40 GMT, 4 August 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Great Britain's Paul Goodison and Ali Young both saw their London 2012 medal hopes ended on Saturday.

After a successful day on the water for the British sailing team on Friday, on Saturday proved a disappointment as the duo's podium hopes were extinguished.

Reigning Laser gold medallist Goodison came into the regatta amongst the favourites but has struggled all week due to a back injury picked up in just the second race.

Time to look forward: Great Britain's Paul Goodison misses out on a medal

Time to look forward: Great Britain's Paul Goodison misses out on a medal

The Yorkshireman came off the water in tears on Tuesday but fought on courageously to complete the 10-race opening series.

Goodison secured a ninth and then an eighth today to leave him sixth overall, meaning he will compete in Monday's medal race but without a chance of a medal due to the points margin.

Olympic debutant Young is in the same situation after fleet racing came to a close in the Laser Radial class.

The 25-year-old began the Games in fine form and was third overall midway through the regatta.

However, Young began to taper off and saw her hopes of a top three ended today as she was black flagged in the afternoon, before then finishing fourth in the last fleet race.

London 2012 Olympics: Ben Ainslie on for gold

Ainslie in prime position for gold on Sunday after bamboozling Hogh-Christensen

|

UPDATED:

14:54 GMT, 3 August 2012

Ben Ainslie's mind games worked wonders this afternoon to put a fourth Olympic gold in his own hands heading into Sunday's medal race.

The 35-year-old came into London 2012 as overwhelming favourite to top the podium but heads into the final race of the regatta behind Jonas Hogh-Christensen, who has sailed the regatta of his life.

The Dane pulled four points clear of Ainslie on Friday afternoon, but the Briton responded in some style in the final race of the opening series to halve that.

Surging forward: Ben Ainslie is primed for another gold after winning race 10 in the men's finn class

Surging forward: Ben Ainslie is primed for another gold after winning race 10 in the men's finn class

Having got off to a storming start and
built up a lead of almost 200 metres, the Macclesfield-born sailor
slowed right down in the final upwind leg in a bid to slow down
Hogh-Christensen, who was in second.

The Dane struggled with the move
rarely seen before a medal race and was overtaken by Holland's
Pieter-Jan Postma, who went onto finish second.

Ainslie won the race to put him two
points behind Hogh-Christensen in the overall fleet standings heading
into the medal race, which is competed between the top 10 boats and sees
points scored doubled and added to the opening series' score.

With two points for each position in
the medal race, Ainslie will win gold as long as he finishes ahead of
Hogh-Christensen and not at the back of the fleet – as that would allow
Postma back in should he win the medal race.

More to follow….

Oops: Overnight leader Jonas Hogh-Christensen stumbled in race 10 after capsizing

Oops: Overnight leader Jonas Hogh-Christensen stumbled in race 10 after capsizing

London 2012 Olympics rowing: Britain men"s pairs win bronze – and so does Alan Campbell

Satch and Nash continue rowing success with pairs bronze… and Campbell follows suit in single sculls

|

UPDATED:

11:39 GMT, 3 August 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

George Nash and William Satch delivered Great Britain's a rowing bronze medal by winning a bronze in the men's pair.

And Northern Irishman Alan Campbell added another shortly afterwards in the men's single sculls.

New Zealand's dominant crew of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray claimed gold in stunning fashion.

France held on to win the silver medal after fighting off Britain's desperate late surge in a thrilling sprint for the line.

Britain have now won two golds (thanks to a gold moments afterwards in the women's double sculls), a silver and two bronze medals at the Olympic regatta.

Oar-some: Britain's William Satch (L) and George Nash took bronze in the men's pairs final before congratulating winners Hamish Bond and Eric Murray

Oar-some: Britain's William Satch (L) and George Nash took bronze in the men's pairs final before congratulating winners Hamish Bond and Eric Murray

Britain finished the race just out of
their lane as they strove to catch the French but they did not impede
the race winners New Zealand, who were over two lengths clear of the
field.

Satch and Nash only came together in
the pair at the start of this year after Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs
Hodge were moved back into the four.

Reed and Hodge had failed over two
years to beat the dominant Kiwi pair and head men's coach Jurgen Grobler
decided to maximise Britain's gold medal chances in the four.

Some saw that as Britain sacrificing
the chance of a men's pair, but Satch and Nash displayed their podium
potential by winning silver at the first World Cup regatta of the year
in Belgrade, which they underlined further with an impressive Olympic
semi-final victory.

The French set the early pace in the
final before New Zealand, hailed as the best boat in the whole Olympic
regatta, took control and powered clear of the field in the third
quarter of the race.

Punching the air: Bond and Murray toast their emphatic triumph at Eton Dorney

Punching the air: Bond and Murray toast their emphatic triumph at Eton Dorney

Britain slipped a length down over
the second 500 metres and left themselves just too much to do as France
responded to a strong push from Satch and Nash in front of the
grandstands to hold on to second place by half a second.

Earlier, Germany were crowned Olympic
champions in the men's quadruple sculls with a stunning victory over
silver medallists Croatia, with Britain finishing fifth.

The Germans set the pace for the length of the final and then accelerated clear of the Croatians, who had been unbeaten in 2012 up until the Olympic final.

Australia's world champions finished with bronze as Britain's medal bid faltered over the second 1,000 metres after a strong start.

Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Tom Solesbury and Matt Wells were third at the halfway stage, having had to battle through the worst of the water in blustery conditions at Eton Dorney.

Despite missing out on the podium, they could be proud of their achievement after becoming the first British men's quad to qualify for an Olympic final.

And trailing behind them in sixth were the reigning Olympic champions from Poland.

Head in hands: There was disappointment for Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Tom Solesbury and Matthew Wells in the men's quadruple sculls final

Head in hands: There was disappointment for Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Tom Solesbury and Matthew Wells in the men's quadruple sculls final

Golden boys: Germany's Tim Grohmann, Lauritz Schoof, Phillipp Wende and Karl Schulze pose on the podium after receiving their gold medals

Golden boys: Germany's Tim Grohmann, Lauritz Schoof, Phillipp Wende and Karl Schulze pose on the podium after receiving their gold medals (pictured, celebrating their victory below)

All smiles: Germany's Karl Schulze, Phillipp Wende, Lauritz Schoof and Tim Grohmann celebrate winning gold

London 2012 Olympics: Ben Ainslie struggling in Weymouth

Sailing legend Ainslie struggling to maintain gold rush after fresh defeat in Weymouth

|

UPDATED:

14:19 GMT, 31 July 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Ben Ainslie saw his assault on Olympic gold stutter once again on Tuesday as he finished behind Finn leader Jonas Hogh-Christensen for a fifth time at London 2012.

The three-time gold medallist is the undoubted star of the British sailing team and over-riding favourite to top the podium on home waters.

However, Ainslie has failed to overcome Hogh-Christensen this week and got off to a poor start in Tuesday's first race.

Choppy waters: Ben Ainslie is struggling to stamp his authority in the Finn class

Choppy waters: Ben Ainslie is struggling to stamp his authority in the Finn class

The 35-year-old managed to claw back places as the race went on, but could only finish fourth as the Dane got his third bullet of the regatta to extend his lead at the top of the overall standings.

Ainslie moves up to second but lies nine points shy of Hogh-Christensen after both their worst results are discarded.

Overall for the British team, though, it was a better start to the day after a frustrating time on Monday.

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson continued their fine form in the Star class by winning race five at a canter, with rivals Brazil following them home 50 seconds later.

Olympic debutant Ali Young followed up her sturdy start to the regatta with a second in the day's first Laser Radial race, which was won by Ireland's Annalise Murphy for the third race in succession.

Close run thing: Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark continues to lead the way

Close run thing: Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark continues to lead the way

Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes started well in the 49er class, having posted two 12th place finishes on Monday.

The British pair finished the day's first race third and were well placed in the second, only to capsize and come home 18th.

Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen continue to lead the 49er class after finishing second to New Zealand in the first race and fourth in the second, having capsized when leading.

Meanwhile, the RS:X class began on Tuesday and Nick Dempsey got off to solid start, hauling himself up the fleet in both races to post a fifth and seventh.

The Norwich-born windsurfer was fourth overall, while the Netherlands' Dorian van Rijsselberge won both races.

London 2012 Olympics: Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins set Olympic record

Grainger and Watkins set Olympic best as Team GB rowers book final spots

|

UPDATED:

09:56 GMT, 30 July 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins underlined their status as gold medal favourites by setting a new Olympic best time as they qualified for the final of the women's double scull.

The double world champions destroyed the previous mark, set by Germany in Barcelona 20 years ago, by nearly five seconds as they won their heat in six minutes 44.33 seconds.

It was a commanding performance from Grainger and Watkins, who left world bronze medallists New Zealand trailing home in second place around two lengths behind.

At the double: The British duo have set a new Olympic record after an explosive performance

At the double: The British duo have set a new Olympic record after an explosive performance

The British double are now unbeaten in 22 consecutive races and their victory will have laid down a marker to their nearest rivals Australia, who pushed them close in the final of last month's Munich World Cup regatta.

Earlier, the Great Britain men's eight also qualified for the final with a victory over Canada and Holland in Monday's repechage.

The new-look Great Britain crew made a fast start and quickly opened a three-quarter-length lead over reigning Olympic champions Canada to take control of the race.

After eight: The British team have booked their place in the final

After eight: The British team have booked their place in the final

The Canadians, Holland and Australia all put the pressure on in the final stages and succeeded in closing the gap.

But Britain remained calm, rowing within themselves at 36 strokes per minute to seal the win and a place in Wednesday's final.

The British crew only came together
six weeks ago when stroke man Constantine Louloudis proved he had
recovered from a back injury which kept him out of all three World Cup
regattas.

After a
confidence-boosting performance in the heat, finishing second behind
Germany, Britain will be better again for today's outing having won
without having to hit top gear in a final sprint.

See you in the final: Greg Searle reacts as Team GB progress from the repechage

See you in the final: Greg Searle reacts as Team GB progress from the repechage

The British women's quadruple scull squeezed into their Olympic final after battling back from the brink of elimination to finish third in this morning's repechage.

Beth Rodford, Debbie Flood, Frances Houghton and Melanie Wilson were trailing last in the six-boat field around the half-way mark before producing a strong push in the second 1,000 metres.

Britain moved into the qualification places after the New Zealand crew developed a crab – where a rower's oar blade sticks in the water and acts as a brake – and then overtook reigning Olympic champions China to cross the line third, behind Australia and the United States.

London 2012 Olympics: British rowing campaign starts strongly

Smart start at Eton Dorney as British men and women double scull progress

|

UPDATED:

13:10 GMT, 29 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase put a troubled season behind them to open the defence of their Olympic title by winning their lightweight double scull heat in commanding fashion.

Hunter and Purchase felt at rock bottom after successive sixth place finishes in the World Cup series – but they have a reputation for performing best on the biggest stages.

The world champions led chief rivals New Zealand from the start and held off a late Kiwi charge to win by half a length, in six minutes 36 seconds.

Both crews progress into the semi-finals
but to have won in such fashion will have been a confidence boost for
the British crew – and may serve as a statement of intent to the rest of
the field.

Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland
were similarly successful in the women's lightweight double, dominating
their heat to win by clear water and cruise into the semi-finals.

Water performance: Britain's Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter eased through the lightweight double sculls

Water performance: Britain's Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter eased through the lightweight double sculls

World championship bronze medallists last year, Hosking and Copeland edged ahead of New Zealand at the half-way mark and then pulled clear in a supreme exhibition of sculling.

New Zealand set the world's fastest time in Lucerne earlier this year and won gold at the Munich World Cup regatta but they could not live with the British crew.

Hosking and Copeland were seven seconds
faster than world champions Greece, who won the second heat and 19
seconds up on third heat-winners China.

Brit special: Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking followed suit in their heat at Eton Dorney

Brit special: Katherine Copeland
and Sophie Hosking followed suit in their heat at Eton Dorney

The British women's eight finished third in a heat dominated by the United States and must now come through Tuesday's repechage to reach the final.

The United States, world and Olympic champions, were in complete control after driving a length clear in the opening 500 metres.

While they moved ominously into the final, Australia withstood a late push from Britain to secure second place, although with only one crew progressing to the final they also face a repechage.

London 2012 Olympics: Ben Ainslie shrugs off form doubts

Ainslie shrugs off 'amusing' form doubts after defeat to Scott at Sail For Gold regatta

|

UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 19 June 2012

Three-time Olympic champion Ben Ainslie has laughed off 'amusing' question marks over his form heading into the London 2012 Games this summer.

Ainslie suffered defeat in the recent Sail For Gold regatta as Giles Scott – who missed out on an Olympic place to Ainslie – beat him in the Finn class earlier this month.

That prompted exaggerated concern about his prospects for this summer's showpiece despite the 35-year-old having won the world championships just two weeks before.

Plain sailing: Ainslie remains a favourite heading into London Olympics

Plain sailing: Ainslie remains a favourite heading into London Olympics

But Ainslie, who suffered from illness and a capsized boat as he lost to Scott in Weymouth, has no concerns about his level of performance.

He said: 'For everyone racing in the Olympics, the Sail For Gold was really a warm-up regatta.

'We had the World Championships two weeks previously and then obviously the Olympics coming up, so to peak for three big events was always going to be tough.

'I wasn't really surprised at the result. It's great for Giles, he sailed really well and it's good for him to prove how good he is. For me personally, in the build-up to the Olympics, it's great to have him as a training partner.

'But the result for me really has no significance at all. It was really just a case of an opportunity to be out there racing on the Olympic courses.'

Best foot forward: Ainslie was one of the lucky few to carry the Olympic torch

Best foot forward: Ainslie was one of the lucky few to carry the Olympic torch

Much was made of the failure to win the Sail For Gold regatta but Ainslie is happy to ignore the furore.

The four-time Olympian, who collected his London 2012 kit in Loughborough today, said: 'It's always quite amusing.

'I mean, two weeks previously I won the World Championships and everybody said it was easy. Then Giles won the Sail For Gold regatta and suddenly, in two weeks, I'm in everyone else's eyes under-performing.

'I think it's just something you have to deal with if you're towards the top of any sport. The pressure for the Olympics will be greater than ever and as I say, that's just something you have to deal with.

'You notice those expectation levels a lot more because we're at home. Previously we've been abroad and you don't quite get the feeling of anticipation and expectation but we are experiencing it now, being at home which is fantastic.

'But at the same time we have to rise to that level of expectation and get a result.'

London 2012 Games: Sir Steve Redgrave predicts a gold rush in London for British rowers

Five-time Olympian Redgrave predicts record medal haul for British rowers

|

UPDATED:

13:05 GMT, 12 June 2012

British rowers could be set for a record medal haul at the London Olympics, says Sir Steve Redgrave.

The five-time gold medallist claimed that the host nation could expect to do better than ever on the water.

Confident: Sir Steve Redgrave

Confident: Sir Steve Redgrave

'This team will produce more medals than probably any other rowing team in British history,' he said.

'There are 14 events, we've qualified for 13, and 10 of the teams won medals at the last World Championships. It could be our most successful Olympic rowing team ever.'

Britain's previous best haul was also at a home Games, in 1908, when the rowing events were held on the River Thames at Henley and the host nation won eight medals, including four golds.

This year's regatta will be held at Eton Dorney lake, near Windsor.

Britain was the leading rowing nation at the last Olympics in Beijing with two golds, two silvers and two bronzes and rowing is the only sport Britain has won gold in at every Games since 1984.

Redgrave won his five successive gold medals between 1984 and 2000.

The Games start on July 27.