Friday, 28 January 2011
by Robert Deaves
British Finn hopeful Giles Scott (GBR) took both Finn race wins on day one of the 2011 Rolex Miami OCR to lead the series after day one from the 2008 Olympic Silver medalist Zach Railey (USA) and the double Olympic Finn champion Ben Ainslie (GBR).
Sailed under warm cloudy skies and in a shifty but useful 10-15 knot breeze, Giles Scott took the first race after a delayed start from Railey and Brendan Casey (AUS) and was going fast enough around the course to take the second race from Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Railey to end the day on a perfect score.
Zach Railey (USA) had the next best day with a 2-3, coming back from mid fleet at the first top mark in the second race to place an excellent third. Meanwhile Ainslie started his series steadily with a 5-2 to round out the top three after day one.
Casey is on equal points with Ainslie after a 3-4 today, while last year's bronze medalist in Miami, Gasper Vincec (SLO), sits in fifth after a 4-7.
After winning Skandia Sail for Gold at the Olympic venue in Weymouth last year and picking up a bronze at the World Championship, Giles Scott is one of the main challengers trying to stop Ainslie from sailing at a fifth consecutive Olympic Games. Even though the British team in Miami is missing the current World Champion, Ed Wright (GBR) who chose to skip the event he has won for the past two years, it still has three sailors in the top ten with Andrew Mills (GBR) in sixth.
Railey commented on the day's racing, “There were shifts of 10 to 20 degrees all day and most lasted for a long time so there were big losses if you were not on correct side of course. Giles was very fast around the course and downwind was going very well. Overall, I'm happy with the day as I came back from 12th at the first weather mark in the second race to finish third. The conditions were very nice with a good breeze of more than 10 knots all day.”
Fleet racing continues until Friday with the medal race for the top 10 on Saturday 29 January.
Results after two races:
1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 2
2 USA 4 Zach Railey 5
3 GBR 3 Ben Ainslie 7
4 AUS 1 Brendan Casey 7
5 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 11
6 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 13
7 USA 619 Caleb Paine 16
8 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 16
9 SWE 736 Johan Tillander 17
10 ITA 146 Michele Paoletti 23