Ben Ainslie Wins Record Sixth Finn Gold Cup
Falmouth raised sailor and Olympic hero Ben Ainslie made history in home waters, when he won a record sixth Finn Gold Cup at the Falmouth Finn Festival.
Following a week of extremes, fluctuating from no wind at all to strong, challenging conditions, the local hero emerged ahead of the world’s best sailors in the Finn dinghy class to take the world title.
Though a medal race was attempted on the final day, it was soon abandoned and an hour later racing was completely abandoned as the wind disappeared. This left Ben Ainslie (GBR) as Finn World Champion. Ed Wright (GBR) took the silver while Jonas Hogh-Christesen (DEN) took the bronze.
Ben Ainslie (GBR) was presented with the Finn Gold Cup for a record sixth time. He previously won the Finn crown in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008.
Ainslie explained why it was such an important victory to win this event in Cornwall. He said: “Winning this year is the most special [of all six titles] for me personally because it’s where I grew up and learnt to sail and I have so much history here. And with the Olympics just around the corner it’s a great time to go out and win a world championship.”
When asked if this is his last Finn Gold Cup, Ainslie replied: “There’s a chance it could be. I have had 10 fantastic years in the Finn and I’m not sure how much longer I can keep going at this level, but I haven’t made any decisions yet on any future Finn racing. I will see how things go this summer and make a decision then.
“But I would miss the Finn if I gave it up. It’s a fantastic boat. It’s a great fleet, great sailors, and great camaraderie. And I think it’s a real true test of sailing, ability and fitness.”
Silver medalist Ed Wright (GBR) said, “It was a great week out there. I really had a lot of fun. The sailing was exceptional yesterday it was amazing; an epic day. And I really, really enjoyed it. I am happy to come away with the silver but maybe a tad disappointed I didn’t win but Ben has had a great week and is sailing really consistently – first, first, first, first, first … that’s hard to beat really, just great sailing from him.”
Ainslie now has his sights set firmly on the Olympics sailing event in Weymouth this summer. The local hero capped off his Falmouth Finn victory with the special privilege of being the first bearer of the Olympic Torch at the start of relay from Lands End around the British Isles.
Of the Olympic Torch Relay, Ainslie commented: “It’s a fantastic moment for the country. To have the flame on home soil gives everyone a chance to feel close to the Olympics and build up to the Games.”
Final results after nine races (1 discard)
1 GBR 3 Ben Ainslie 10
2 GBR 11 Edward Wright 30
3 DEN 2 Jonas Høgh-Christensen 64
4 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 72
5 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 72
6 POL 17 Piotr Kula 80
7 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 81
8 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 82
9 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 85
10 USA 4 Zach Railey 93