Ben Ainslie and his team on Oman Air thrived in the close combat racing on Friday, climbing into 4th place in the standings going into the penultimate day at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 6, in Trapani.
Leigh McMillan and his team on The Wave, Muscat seemed unstoppable, having won five out of six races, until Ainslie, and Roman Hagara with Red Bull’s Extreme Sailing broke their winning streak.
“Today was amazing,” said Ainslie. “It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. I couldn’t quite believe it before the racing and I said to the guys ‘Is this really the size of the race course?’ and they said that this was quite a big course! It was great racing, lots of incidents and good breeze. This is a great opportunity for me as I have been sailing the Finn now for eight months and it’s great to have a break.”
Ainslie used his legendary competitive streak and match racing skills to the full, using his knowledge and forcing the others to make errors in the second race of the day, eventually barging his way to the finish line with the law on his side.
Paul Campbell-James failed to take avoiding action quick enough and was penalised. pre-racing Campbell-James said: “He [Ainslie] is very good at the boat on boat aspect and you can see that from the last two Olympic medal races where he just took out the opposition. And that is what it will be like today.”
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