WEYMOUTH, England, July 30 (Reuters) - Australia's Tom
Slingsby dominated in the Laser on Monday, putting himself 30
points clear of gold medal holder Paul Goodison after two races.
Slingsby, who had a disappointing Olympics at Qingdao in
2008, is on top form this year and defeated Britain's Goodison
at a warm-up regatta in Weymouth in June.
The Briton finished a disappointing 10th and 23rd, leaving
himself with plenty of work to do. The event will be won by the
helmsman with the least points after 10 races and a final medals
race among the top 10 finishers in which points count double.
Slingsby told Reuters he is expecting to see more of
Goodison, who he predicts "will come back strong".
Slingsby was "really happy" with his start, despite a second
place in the first race after a slip let in Juan Ignacio Maegli
from Guatemala who finished with a first and a 10th.
Colin Cheng of Singapore enjoyed early success with fourth
place in the first race. Cheng, who is based in Sydney, has been
in Weymouth every year for the past four years and "likes the
strong winds" the waters off the English south coast resort
offer the Olympic sailors.
In the women's Laser Radial class, a smaller sailed version
of the hugely popular Laser dinghy, Ireland's Annalise Murphy
came home first in both races.
And in the hotly contested Finn class, where Britain's Ben
Ainslie is vying for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold, his
Danish rival Jonas Hogh-Christensen maintained his overnight
The Dane overcame a disastrous start after he collided with
a committee boat on the line to finish seventh and lead the
class after four races with just 11 points.
"Ben is one of many. I can't focus too much on him," he said
when asked about being chased by Ainslie.
Ainslie said he was "not happy at all" after his sixth and
12th positions left him third equal with three others.
"I need to go away and get it right for the rest of the
week," the 35-year-old Briton added.
British favourites in the men's keelboat Star class Iain
Percy and Andrew Simpson, gold medallists in Beijing, had a good
day with a third and a second putting them in joint first after
Only two points separate the first four boats, which include
the Swedish pair of Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen and the
Brazilian duo Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada.
The turbo-charged 49er skiff class saw more Danish success,
with Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang coming out of the first two
races with just six points. The Danes led the field early on in
the first race, held on the spectator-friendly Nothe course.
But they failed to hold off the French crew who came through
on the fourth leg and finished first at the line.
Danish skipper Norregaard calculated there was a 30 degree
shift in the wind at one stage in the first race and suffered a
bad start in the second. But from the rear of the 20-strong
fleet they recovered to gain fourth position.
(Editing by Alexander Smith)