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05 Aug 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Sailing , Sweden

Ainslie stars amid Swede dreams - London 2012 - Sailing

Sweden's Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen saw their 'dreams come true' as they overcame the odds to win gold in the Star class on a day in which Great Britain's Ben Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.

Defending Olympic Games champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson sailed exceptionally throughout the week and came into today's Star medal race with an eight-point lead over Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada.

However, it was Sweden, not Brazil, who proved to be Percy and Simpson's undoing as the Brits lost their crown to Loof and Salminen.

It capped a perfect Olympic debut for the latter and ended five-time Olympian, two-time bronze medallist Loof's Star career in style.

'It was a dream come true,' he said. 'We were happy for the silver but the gold came instead.

'We knew the other guys would be more stressed than us because they had more pressure than us.

'We really had nothing to lose so we put pressure on the other guys in the lead.

'We were hoping for a good first cross, we got a good first cross and then we just sailed a brilliant race.'

While the Swedes celebrated victory, it was not long before Great Britain's Ben Ainslie also had something to cheer.

The 35-year-old replaced Denmark's legendary Paul Elvstrom as the Games' most decorated sailor after triumphing on home waters in the Finn class, in front of thousands of supporters in Weymouth.

Ainslie faced fierce resistance throughout the week from Elvstrom's countryman Jonas Hogh-Christensen, although he managed to finish ahead of the Dane in this afternoon's medal race to increase his Olympic haul to four golds and a silver.

Afterwards Ainslie said: 'I am pretty speechless. It has been a tough week. There was amazing competition, especially from Jonas Hogh-Christensen from Denmark, but this was the time to do it in front of a home crowd.'

Fleet racing continued in the other classes today, such as the men's RS:X, where Dorian van Rijsselberge has one hand on the gold medal.

The Netherlands windsurfer got a bullet - sailing terminology for victory - in race nine but did not finish race 10 as gold was already secured - assuming he completes the medal race - so did not want to get in the way of the rest of the fleet.

In the women's RS:X, Spain's Marina Alabau is in pole position for glory, with a 14-point cushion over her rivals Lee-El Korzits and Tuuli Petaja in joint second.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are top of the women's 470 standings after six races after posting a first and sixth today.

Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have a strong lead at the top of the 49er class after a double bullet today.

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