Road To The Olympic Games

Olympics Summer

American Railey leads in Finn sailing; Toronto's Cook 3rd

Outsider Zach Railey of the United States hauled in first place overall in Finn class sailing on Sunday, with British sailing star and undisputed favourite Ben Ainslie, a triple Olympic medallist, riding hot on his wake.

Outsider Zach Railey of the United States hauled in first place overall in Finn class sailing on Sunday, with British sailing star and undisputed favourite Ben Ainslie, a triple Olympic medallist, riding hot on his wake.

"I definitely have to say it is an honour to be the lead," Railey said. "But we are just four races into this and it's a long regatta. We're not even halfway."

Christopher Cook of Toronto was third overall after four races.

Olympic first-timer Railey, 24, took two second places on Sunday, following up on a second and fifth on Saturday's opening day in consistent sailing. Ainslie, 31, took a fourth and a win Sunday, coming off a 10th and a second on Saturday in the 11 race series.

The American, who was No. 28 at the 2008 Worlds and is currently ranked No. 18 worldwide, hadn't even figured into pre-games speculation about top challengers. The seemingly unbeatable Ainslie is going for a third straight Olympic gold, and fourth medal in four Olympics, including his silver in 1996.

"Zach is sailing really well," said Ainslie, adding that he was also satisfied with his own result in 26-boat class because "a fourth and a first were good results."

Gasper Vincec of Slovenia was fourth. Sailing also continued in the three-women Yngling class, with British favourites Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb, and Pippa Wilson taking a lead on Finland, the Netherlands and the United States after four races.

The Canadian team of Jennifer Provan and Martha Henderson of Toronto and Kathryn Abbott of Sarnia, Ont., plumetted from second overall to 12th after finishing 10th and 15th in Sunday's two races.

On Sunday, competition started in the fast 49er skiffs, and the day's three races ended with Britain in the lead, followed by Italy, Denmark and France.

Gordon Cook of Toronto and Gordon Ben Remocker of Vancouver were 15th out of 19 boats.