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02 Aug 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Sailing

470 under way, Finn battle heats up - London 2012 - Sailing

Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell gave Host Nation Great Britain a fine start to the men's 470 regatta as they ended the day top of the fleet, while Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen was one of those who saw his medal challenge under pressure.

With the 470 competition getting under way on Day 6, the GB duo were edged out by Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstaedter in the first race, but then followed up that second place with a victory in race two.

That gave them the role of pacesetters after the early stages of competition, but there is still a long way to go, with the Austrians sitting second ahead of Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Ostling of Sweden.

In the Finn class, Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen continues to lead the way, but his spot at the top came under increasing pressure after he failed to shine on the water.

Hogh-Christensen finished eighth in the first race of the day as Britain's Ben Ainslie finally got his regatta back on track, before Spain's Rafael Trujillo Villar won race 8.

Ainslie's strong performance closed the gap on the Dane at the top, but he only has two opening series races tomorrow as well as Sunday's medal race to usurp the leader.

The same number of races remain in the Star class, where Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are well placed to retain their gold medal from Beijing 2008.

The British pair secured a first and second this afternoon to extend their lead at the top to nine points over second-place Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada.

'We seemed alright today,' Simpson said. 'It is not much of a lead sadly in this but any lead is always good. All we can do is keep chipping away.'

Earlier in the afternoon, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes secured a double victory in the 49er class.

The pair endured a frustrating start to London 2012 but are now beginning to show their true class, winning both races in Portland Harbour.

Australian leaders Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen could only place 10th and sixth today.

Nick Dempsey rounded off a great day for Team GB with a second-race victory in the men's RS:X, leaving him fourth in the standings behind Dorian Van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands.

In the Elliott 6m Match Racing, Australia continue to dominate as they preserved their 100 per cent record, while Marina Alabau Neira is still top of the women's RS:X.

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