Seventh heaven for the British sailors in the running


Great Britain dominate the Olympic waves with an impressive number of seven medalist crews halfway through the regatta.

With high winds and Typhoon Nepartak hitting Tokyo, conditions have favored the GB team as they look to greatly extend their lead as the most successful nation in sport at the Games.

Windsurfing Emma Wilson was the first to secure a medal – a precocious 22-year-old daughter of two-time Olympian Penny who quickly lost an unwanted tag.

She finished fourth at the World Championships in April, fourth at the European Championships last year and fourth at the Tokyo test event two years ago.

Oh, and she’s ranked fourth in the world.

“It hasn’t leaked yet, it’s just an incredible feeling,” said Wilson, who will be aiming for gold in Saturday’s double-point medal race.

“I’ve been watching the Olympics since I was little and it’s always been a dream. In the end, I didn’t finish fourth either, which is so good, because I’m sick of it!

Elsewhere, defending Finnish champion Giles Scott, America’s Cup tactician Ben Ainslie, recovered from a nightmarish opening day to win four races on the spin.

Scott opened up about his discomfort juggling the Olympic and Cup campaigns and finished ninth at the 2021 World Championships.

But the fear he is arousing in the heavyweight fleet seems stronger than ever and throughout the third day of racing he has never been lower than the second at any stage.

“It’s a big racetrack, it’s a washing machine,” he said. “It’s a shame that there aren’t a lot of spectators because it’s a perfect showcase for Olympic boat races.”

Great Britain holds the top spot in both single scull classes with 49er duo Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell experiencing the darker side of being there to get shot.

After winning the fourth and final race on Tuesday they were marked men and Spaniards Diego Botin le Chever and Iago Lopez Marra got a little too close to feel comfortable on the course.

“We had a target in the back when we were in the lead, a lot of boats were tacking us around and we weren’t as prepared for this as we should have been,” said Fletcher.

“We were a bit surprised in the first race when the Spaniards kicked us out and we were like ‘wow’, we still have a long way to go to think about tacking other crews.

“But we tried to focus on our race and we’re happy we pulled it out last.”

Flag bearer Hannah Mills’ attempt to become Britain’s most decorated Olympic sailor alongside Eilidh McIntyre means she also has a target on her back.

The 470 duo lightly wear the crown won by Mills with Saskia Clark in Rio and won the final race to keep pace with their main Polish rivals.

“We want to continue to record these consistent scores,” McIntyre said. “It’s a very boring thing to say but it’s a boring thing to do, just keep going with consistent good results and you’ll be there at the end of business at the regatta.

“You see what the other athletes on the GB team are doing, this picture of Tom Daley on the podium, I want to go in there and do it.”