Rio 2016: Itchenor’s Ainsworth stays in the game

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth in action in Rio / Picture by �Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth in action in Rio / Picture by �Sailing Energy / World Sailing

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Charlotte Dobson and Itchenor Sailing Club member Sophie Ainsworth believe Saturday was a day “that kept you in the game” after an exhausting four races moved them up to sixth in the overall 49erFX Olympics leaderboard in Rio.

After a weather delay saw the 49erFXs complete just two races on the opening day of their event yesterday, organisers took full advantage of some great racing conditions in Guanabara Bay today to bring up the midway point for the class.

Just like they did in the first race of yesterday, Dobson and Ainsworth flew out of blocks, this time finishing fifth in their opening race today.

Then, with the action being shown live on the BBC, the Brits maintained their consistency to post all four scores inside the top 10, finishing the next three races in eighth, seventh and 10th respectively.

The Danish pair, Jena Hansen and Katja Steen Salskov-Iversen, have laid down a marker to the rest of the fleet, leading after six races with four second places amongst those. With a well-earned rest day tomorrow, Dobson and Ainsworth are pleased with their position heading into the business end of the regatta.

Dobson said: “Today was a big day and we ended up with four good races in 12-15 knots. Poor Soph is exhausted!

Today was a big day and we ended up with four good races in 12-15 knots. Poor Soph is exhausted!

Charlotte Dobson

“It was a tricky course because there wouldn’t really be too much going on but then suddenly it would get really unstable, certainly towards the end of the day. If you didn’t have good starts you would have a hard way back into the race.

“The adrenaline takes over but sailing has always been a mental sport and I think because the Olympics is such a long event, and there is so much hype, the people who can keep it all together will be the ones that win in the end.

“We have still got two more days of opening series racing to go, and that’s six races, plus the medal race so although today wasn’t a sparkling day it was a day that kept you in the game so we are more than happy with that.”

Home favourites, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), remain in second place with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in third.

The 49erFX class is scheduled to contest a 13 race series, with anoher three races per day on Monday and Tuesday August before the final one off medal race on Thursday.

To follow Charlotte and Sophie’s fortunes at Rio 2016 stick with this website or visit www.rya.org.uk/Rio2016, follow @BritishSailing on Twitter www.facebook.com/britishsailingteam

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