Duo lay down a marker


Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport All The Week’s Action... -

It was job done for So­phie Ainsworth as she con­verted an overnight lead into vic­tory at the Sail­ing World Cup in Wey­mouth and she be­lieves a tricky week of racing will stand her in great stead for the up­com­ing Olympic Games.

Fol­low­ing a week of light winds caus­ing a heav­ily re­duced race sched­ule, Sun­day fi­nally saw stiffer breezes at the Wey­mouth & Port­land Na­tional Sail­ing Acad­emy and Ainsworth took full ad­van­tage in the 49erFX class.

Along­side part­ner Char­lotte Dob­son, the Ash­ford sailor fin­ished fourth in the medal race, worth dou­ble points, to seal over­all vic­tory – fin­ish­ing one point clear of New Zealand So­phie Ainsworth duo Alexan­dra Maloney and Molly Meech in sec­ond.

The World Cup was the fi­nal ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion be­fore the Rio 2016 Olympics, which are now a lit­tle over 50 days away, and Ainsworth claims she couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter warm-up.

“In Rio we’re ex­pect­ing the wind to be quite light and the sched­ule to be quite de­mand­ing in terms of fit­ting it in with lots of wait­ing around,” she ex­plained. “We cer­tainly got a lot of that this week!

“Hav­ing a lot of races can­celled changes the im­por­tance of the days that you do race – you can’t have any bad races and you need to be con­sis­tent.

“So the high­light of the week for us is that we man­aged to stay very con­sis­tent through­out and man­aged our risk well to make sure we were in a po­si­tion to be fight­ing when­ever the medal race was.”

Ainsworth and Dob­son will be mak­ing their Olympic de­buts in Rio and their per­for­mances sug­gest they will be right in the medal hunt.

The World Cup vic­tory in Wey­mouth laid down a marker to their ri­vals but the 26-yearold in­sists the pair won’t be dwelling on their suc­cess.

“We’ve got a cou­ple of days to have a bit of a re­lax and re­gen­er­ate our nerves but then we’re straight out to Rio,” added Ainsworth.

“Then we’re back­wards and for­wards for the next month or so putting the fi­nal preps in be­fore the big event.”

The Sail­ing World Cup Wey­mouth and Port­land was held at the Wey­mouth and Port­land Na­tional Sail­ing Acad­emy from June 6-12. The Na­tional Lot­tery-funded Bri­tish Sail­ing Team is proudly sup­ported by of­fi­cial part­ners Volvo Car UK, Zhik and Peters & May. Fol­low the team’s lat­est news and up­dates at british­sail­ingteam.com or on Twit­ter @Bri­tishSail­ing.

‘A cou­ple of days to re­lax them we’re straight ou to Rio’

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