SAIL FOR GOLD: Scott pips Ainslie to Finn title in Weymouth
BEN Ainslie might be looking to be crowned the greatest ever sailor with gold at London 2012, but the Finn sailor couldn't end the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta as the best Brit with Giles Scott claiming victory.
YOUNG PRETENDER: Giles Scott got the better of Ben Ainslie on Olympic waters in the final regatta before London 2012
The two had been locked in a battle all week and went into Saturday's medal race with Scott leading in first and Ainslie 12 points behind.
And in his attempt to finish with gold Ainslie capsized during the race, allowing Scott to race away to claim victory, and with it the Sail for Gold title.
But with the Games less than 50 days away Ainslie insists he isn't about to panic, adamant he will learn from the experience before returning to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for real when London 2012 gets underway.
"It wasn't the greatest race I've ever sailed in my life," he said. "I have to say it was a little bit embarrassing going for a swim but sometimes these things happen, thankfully it wasn't the Olympic Games.
"I made a mistake, we're all human. So it wasn't my best race but Giles sailed fantastically, he had a great series and I'm really pleased for him to go out and show how good he is.
"It's been a good learning experience for sure. We're not that long to go now until the Olympics.
"For all the top guys to be here racing against each other, learn something about the course areas. It's a shame we missed a couple of days with so much wind, but all said it's been a good event and great preparation.
"I haven't had a very good week but you have to deal with those things, it's no excuse. I didn't sail particularly well either so actually to still finish second overall, all things considered it's not a bad result.
"But certainly Giles really had a fantastic week,sailed really well and I'm pleased for him to go out there and have a good regatta."
Ainslie and Scott accounted for two of Great Britain's eight medals from the final regatta before the Olympics.
Scott was joined on the top step of the podium by Alison Young, the laser radial sailor finishing her medal race in second to take the gold by two points from Finland's Sari Multala who finished one place behind in third, with Ireland's Annalise Murphy winning the race, propelling her into bronze in the process.
The 470 men's team of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell finished with silver after ending their medal race in second, behind gold medallists Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page from Australia.
And there was more joy for their female counterparts as Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark went from fourth to third despite ending their medal race in seventh.
There was also a bronze medal for Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star, as well as Nick Dempsey in the RS:X men's event.
Olympic-bound 49er duo Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes could only watch as compatriots Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign finished one place above them to take bronze.
Bryony Shaw came fifth in her medal race to end up eighth overall, while there was agony for Paul Goodison as he just missed out on a laser medal in fourth.
The laser class was once again won by Tom Slingsby, the Australian having never been beaten at Weymouth since the Beijing Games, but Goodison is vowing to do all he can to change that when it really matters.
"I handled everything really well round the first mark, then me and Tom got a bit further in front of everyone else and I though it was all quite easy then.
"But I think he employed a bit of team racing tactics where he was more interested in trying to sort his mates out and slow me down which I was a little bit annoyed at.
"And at the end it was my bit of a mess up on the finish line and I'm quite frustrated.
"I'm pretty wound up after what happened between us and I think that's going to focus my attention and make me train harder and get better."
Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com.
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