Duo lay down a marker
ASHFORD’S SOPHIE AINSWORTH AND RIO PARTNER WARM UP FOR GAMES WITH VICTORY AT WEYMOUTH Sailing
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’