Defending World Champion Giles Scott is keeping a level head in spite of extending his lead at the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna on Friday (27 November).
The Portland-based sailor has amassed an impressive 52-point lead after eight races at the New Zealand venue, but says he will need to bring his A-game on Saturday’s penultimate day of World Championship racing if he’s to be successful in his quest for a third title.
Scott’s teammates Ed Wright and Ben Cornish currently occupy the eighth and ninth positions overall so will look to consolidate their berths in Sunday’s 10-boat finale in the two races on Saturday.
A change to windier conditions and a three-race day provided a tough and physical test for the 76 sailors at this Finn Gold Cup.
Scott was quick out of the blocks and posted a fourth in his opening race of the day before a bad start in the second left him fighting back from deep in the fleet through to finish 15th, which is currently his worst race series discard.
The 28-year-old finished second behind Greece’s Ioannis Mitakis in the final race of the day.
Today was certainly a big day,” Scott remarked. “Three races of an hour plus is a big amount of loading!
“For me it went reasonably well – I had a bit of a sticky patch in the second race with just a really poor start. I lost track of where the line was and ended up following everyone in. I think I rounded the top mark about 45th.
“Other than that it was a solid day and I’ve extended my lead which is great for tomorrow.”
Scott currently leads Slovenia’s Vasilij Zbogar by 52 points in the overall standings, but is not taking anything for granted in the final push for the podium spots.
“Obviously having the lead I’ve got at t
he moment is a great place to be, but ultimately there’s still the potential of 160 points tomorrow. There’ll be no resting up and I’ll have to bring my A-game.”
“I’m feeling really good and I think I’ve been sailing well until today,” the 2011 and 2014 World Champion continued. “But there are still two very important races to go tomorrow so I’ll be looking to get through those in good stead.”
Ed Wright dropped to eighth overall with 26,14,21 from his three races on Friday, while Ben Cornish’s day improved as it went on.
The Exmouth sailor picked up a black flag disqualification in the first race after a premature start but managed to bounce back from the disappointment for the subsequent two races, picking up a 21st and a tenth to see him in ninth overall. James Hadden is 45th overall.
Two final fleet races will be held from 1200hrs on Saturday to determine the top ten medal races qualifiers on Sunday.