Bright start from Ainslie

29 July 2012 / 15:38

Ben Ainslie's assault on Olympic gold got off to a great start with a second-place finish in the opening race.

The 35-year-old is the undoubted star of Great Britain's sailing team and the bookies' favourite to take Finn class gold on home waters.

Ainslie, who has struggled at the beginning of previous Olympics, overcame a difficult start on the Nothe Course to finish second behind Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen.

The three-time gold medallist rounded the first mark outside the top 10, although produced a superb downwind leg to move up to third place.

Ainslie dropped down to sixth heading around the third mark, but again shone downwind to turn in third position.

He also entered the final leg in that position and, while unable to find a way to catch Hogh-Christensen, he saw off Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic to secure second place.

Ainslie's strong start to the Games continued in the day's second and final Finn race. While the Macclesfield-born sailor got off to a brighter start than earlier Sunday afternoon, he found himself behind the in-form Hogh-Christensen once more.

Ainslie was second from the first mark to the last, finishing behind the Dane and ahead of Kljakovic Gaspic as the top three ended the same as the opening race.

While Britain can be happy with their performance in the Finn, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson got off to a difficult start in the Star class.

After a 30-minute delay, the reigning gold medallists rounded the opening race's first mark in fourth place and split from the main pack for the second mark, where they were also in fourth. They fell away, though, on the second upwind and entered the final leg in 12th position, eventually finishing 11th.