Ainslie’s successor on course to continue men’s Olympic Finn legacy

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The men’s Finn class has been one of the most successful for Great Britain at the Olympics so far this century.

After Iain Percy claimed gold in Sydney in 2000, Sir Ben Ainslie topped the podium in Athens, Beijing and London.

With the most successful sailor in Olympic history now retired, the torch has been passed to 29-year-old Giles Scott to continue the dominance in the discipline.

Scott was unfortunate to miss out on the Olympics four years ago, only being held back because of the capacity to take one competitor per nation.

Yet since London, he has taken part in 18 Finn events, winning 16 and finishing in second spot in the other two. Scott has also won the Finn World Championships in each of the past three years.

To take gold in Rio, a Finn sailor will need to have accrued the lowest score across a series of 10 races, with the winner of each regatta claiming one point, runner-up gets two points etc.

The 10 sailors to have obtained the fewest points through 10 contests then qualify for a bonus race. But points only count over 10 races, meaning that each sailor can expect to have their weakest score across the board removed from their overall total.

Consistency is the key, rather than a fluctuation of wins and bad results. In 2012, Ainslie only triumphed in two of his 11 races, finishing in the top three on a further four occasions.

The first two races in the Finn class are scheduled to take place on August 9th.

Scott may have been tough to beat during the last four years, but conditions in Rio are expected to be as tough as the sailors would have previously experienced.

The Olympic rowing schedule has already suffered cancellations because of the weather, with heavy crosswinds liable to make sailing difficult.

There is additionally the issue with water pollution in Rio’s Guanabara Bay, especially plastic bags, which can become tangled on a boat’s fin and significantly reduce speed.

Judging the winds will be tough enough, but evading the rubbish could be just as critical if Scott is to continue Britain’s growing legacy in the men’s Finn class.

Ladbrokes is not an official sponsor of the Olympics and is no way affiliated with any of the competing athletes, events or competitions being held in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.