Scott officially wins Finn title on Olympic debut

Team GB sailor Giles Scott finally got his hands on Olympic gold in Rio to take his place at the top table of the sport.

The 29-year old has long been one of the world’s best sailors in the Finn class, storming to four world titles between 2011 and 2016, and European golds in 2011 and 2014.

With only one competitor allowed in each class, Scott was forced to watch from the sidelines as friend and teammate Sir Ben Ainslie captured a dramatic gold at London 2012, completing a record-breaking hat-trick of consecutive Olympic titles.

But with Ainslie stepping away from Olympic competition after London, the door was open for Scott to make his mark in Rio, and he burst through it at a speed of knots.

Six top-three finishes – including three wins – in the ten-race opening series rendered the medal race no more than a victory lap for the Brit. But he ended on a high nonetheless, placing second in the race to finish 32 points clear in the standings.

“It’s been a huge luxury because there’s not many times when you can say you’ve won an Olympic Games before the medal race,” said Scott.

“We knew coming here to Rio that the racing wasn’t going to be easy. Regardless of form it was always going to be a hard week and it certainly was that.

“I had a particularly shaky start but managed to pull through some good consistency and to win it the way I have, I couldn’t ask for it any other way.”

Team GB have now won the Olympic Finn title for the past five Games, with Iain Percy winning at Athens 2000, before Ainslie's hat-trick.

And Scott admits extending the run in Rio had become his ultimate target as soon as he missed the cut for London 2012.

“Obviously I was pretty disappointed not to get to compete in London but what came off the back of that was a lot of desire and I suppose the drive to right what wrongs I felt I’d made,” said Scott.

“I wanted to get here, to put a good show on in Rio and to be able to do that is great.

“The initial hit of race 10 was the big moment where it did really hit me hard that I have won. Since then, I’ve had time to think about what we’ve done and put together and just look back on the last three years.

“It’s incredibly good to be in a situation where we can look back and say that all the decisions we have made and thought so hard about were the correct decisions to make.”