Huntingdon sailors Ben Saxton and Giles Scott leading the way in the World Cup
- Credit: Getty Images
A brilliant performance ensured Ben Saxton ensured he will take the overall lead into today’s medal race at the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth, but he is adamant that won’t mean a more conservative gameplan.
A lack of wind has meant a reduced schedule at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy this week, but Nacra 17 sailor Saxton has capitalised whenever he has been out on the water - and did so again on Saturday.
Alongside partner Nicola Groves, the Huntingdon sailor dominated the field – recording comfortable victories in the two races completed to surge to the top of the overall standings, seven points ahead of German duo Paul Kohlhoff and Carolina Werner.
That is a healthy advantage for the British pair to take into the medal race but Saxton claims it would be dangerous to change their approach now.
“I don’t think you can be a bit more defensive even when you’re leading going into the medal race,” he explained.
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“If we sail a good race we win the regatta which is the best thing about being in the lead on the final day.
“Everything is under our control and this is going to be great practice for the Rio Olympics because that will be a small fleet like this.
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“We’ve sailed a great few days but we’re not too far ahead of the other guys so hats off to them for still being there. Now we have a good chance to practise staying ahead of the field.”
Sunday’s sailing consists of a sole medal race, worth double points, with the winners being the pair atop the overall standings at the conclusion of that race.
Saxton’s fellow Huntingdon man, Giles Scott, is another sailer sitting top of the leaderboard heading into today.
Scott boasts a one-point cushion over rival Ben Cornish in the Finn class after winning the only race of yesterday.
But with the weather having played havoc with racing all week, Scott insists it is still all to play for.
“With so many people able to medal it effectively turns it back into a normal fleet race with you keeping half an eye on certain sailors,” he said. “It’s an odd situation to be in.
“We’re even closer than I thought we would be with the small fleet and it sort of feels like the regatta is only just getting going and we’re in to the medal race.
“It’s a little bit strange to have a regatta with only five races and it just puts massive emphasis on the medal race tomorrow with 20 points up for grabs.”
Tickets for the Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, to be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from 6-12 June, are available at www.rya.org.uk/go/swcgb. The National Lottery-funded British Sailing Team is proudly supported by official partners Volvo Car UK, Zhik and Peters & May. Follow the team’s latest news and updates at britishsailingteam.com or on Twitter @BritishSailing.