The return of Brilliant Ben


 
We speak to Ben Ainslie about his seven bullets in eight races in Qingdao, despite not having sailed his Finn since last year
Will Ben Ainslie go down in the history books as the greatest ever Olympic sailor? If not we would like put his name forward right now. Yes, he is a couple of medals short of Torben Grael's five, but with three he is well on his way... To summarise the facts as they have panned out at this week's Olympic test event in Qingdao - Ainslie, now 29, has not sailed a Finn in anger since the World Championship (the Finn Gold Cup) last year in Moscow, having taken up a rather important day job as the man responsible for kicking Dean Barker's derriere around the track during Emirates Team New Zealand's in house training. So Ainslie has come to Qingdao, jumped back into his Finn had four days training in very un-Qingdao 10-15 knot sea breeze conditions with team mate Ed Wright and with eight races sailed has won SEVEN of them and in the only race he didn't win, he finished second, which he can of course discard. Most who have watched hiim out on the race course this week acknowledge that Ainslie has been in a class all of his own. making it look at though this Olympic class is child's play. Yes, possibly the Finn is an easier class to win in than the Laser Ainslie sailed for so long and there are only 18 boats racing, but at the test event he has been up against old hands such as Greece's Emilios Papathanasiou, who was second behind Ainslie at the Gold Cup last year and this year won Holland Regatta and is a past European champion, or Spain's Raphael Trujillo winner of the Rolex Miami OCR this year or Jonas Hoegh-Christensen winner of this year's Gold Cup and the Princess Sofia Trophy. Of the present

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