Ainsworth inches closer to a medal chance in Rio

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

Charlotte Dobson and Itchenor Sailing Club’s Sophie Ainsworth enjoyed their best day on the water so far as they upped their 49erFX medal charge in Rio on Monday.

The Brits went into racing sitting sixth overall, and an excellent second in the day’s opening race followed by fifth and ninth placed finishes from their three races today has seen them move up a place to fifth overall, 13 points off bronze medal position.

The 49erFXs are set to contest the final three races of their 12-race opening series on Tuesday before Thursday’s scheduled Medal Race.

Dobson and Ainsworth will be doing everything they can to sail themselves into a strong a position as possible heading into that final double points showdown.

Dobson said: “It was really good to get outside on the ocean today, we did three races really quick back-to-back so it was all a bit of a blur but it was a good solid day so I think we’ve got to be pretty happy. I’m happy with the series that we’re building at the moment, we’ve had no big disasters so we’re looking forward to on Tuesday.”

Ainsworth continued: “It was about giving ourselves the opportunity to go and attack tomorrow with no howlers so we’re looking forward to the rest of the racing. It’s just a case of executing the skills we know we have, getting clean off the start line and racing as well as we can and seeing where we end up at the end of the day.”

In race one on Monday, Dobson and Ainsworth made their intentions quite clear, racing to the top mark in second and holding that position for the whole race. In race two they again engineered themselves into a decent position off the start line, rounding the windward mark in sixth before moving up a place for fifth.

In 7-12 knots of consistent SSE breeze across the Copacabana ocean course, the third race proved more of a challenge, when, after hitting the first mark in fifth, they dropped as low as 13th in the fleet before recovering to cross the line ninth.

Dobson added: “In race one we were quick to identify there was quite good pressure on the right-hand side of the racecourse and we committed pretty hard to that and that paid out really well.

“That was quite a heart flutter moment when we committed that hard in race one after putting ourselves in a good spot in the first upwind but it was quite an easy race from that point onwards. It is definitely not the venue to be thinking about other boats. We’re three races away from the Medal Race so still a long way away.

The 2016 World Champions Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez, who won London 2012 Match Racing gold, and Berta Betanzos Moro (ESP) lead the event after two bullets and a fourth today, with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in second and home favourites Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) in third.

The 49erFX class is contesting a 13 race series.

To follow the 49erFX Girl’s fortunes at Rio 2016 visit www.rya.org.uk/Rio2016, follow @BritishSailing on Twitter and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britishsailingteam

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