Ben Ainslie diary


News from the maestro at Hayling Island
Last weekend I competed in my first UK-based regatta for a long time - the Olympic classes qualifier at Hayling Island Sailing Club. The club at Hayling has changed a huge amount since I last saw it 18 months ago; all this is due to funding from the lottery in an effort to turn the club into a centre of excellence. Along with the centre in Weymouth it should provide two great bases able to host both training and events at a World class level. The regatta was a slightly odd one for me as I am not actually able to qualify for anything this year and events from last year still are being used for qualification. I can race in the Worlds and Europeans as it is possible to get wild card spots, but it means that I am unlikely to get the chance to race in the pre-pre Olympic Regatta this August in Athens. Missing out on the Athens event would be a shame as it will give invaluable experience of the Olympic Venue at a similar time of year to which the Olympics will be held. A light NE breeze on Saturday morning raised hopes of a postponement and the chance to watch the FA cup final (unfortunately I’m a Chelsea fan), but it wasn’t to be and we all left the beach at 11am for the 12 noon start. There was a huge amount of confusion in the Finn fleet as the race committee had altered the standard sailing instructions, sending the Finn fleet on the outer loop along with the Europes as opposed to the normal inner loop. The RC also caught us napping by hoisting a blue flag (with a number 1 on it) as their version of numeral pennant 1. All these changes

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