Huntingdon sailor Giles sets his sights on London 2012 slot

HAVING trained with three-time Olympic champion Ben Ainslie prior to Beijing 2008, Giles Scott is only too aware of the size of the task that awaits him as he bids to reach London 2012 - but the Huntingdon sailor isn't one to sit in the shadows.

With only one boat per nation permitted to compete in each class at London 2012, Scott, along with compatriots Ed Wright and Andrew Mills must do what no-one has managed in 11 years - beat Ainslie when it really matters - just to make sure of their involvement when the five-ringed circus rolls into town next year.

But Scott believes there are reasons for optimism and with next month's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta expected to go someway towards determining who will get the nod - the defending champion will take heart from last year's victory over Ainslie.

It must be said that Ainslie had only just returned to the Finn class, having seen his 2013 America's Cup quest come to a premature end when Sir Keith Mills pulled the plug on Team Origin, but Scott's victory in Weymouth last year demonstrated Ainslie will not have things all his own way.

Since then Ainslie has roared back to his very best and has scooped consecutive gold medals at the two most recent ISAF World Cups in Hyeres and Palma - but 23-year-old Scott believes he could have the edge off the south coast.

"I think Weymouth will suit the all-rounders which is what I see myself as. It depends what's coming across the Atlantic," said Scott.

Scott may be 11 years Ainslie's junior and while he will surely take up the mantel of British number one after London 2012 he's not willing to bide his time until then.

"All four of us are enemies on the water and friends off it but, in the past month, we've been putting a bit of distance between us, but there's no hatred there."

- Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.rya.org.uk/programmes/skandiateamgbr