Giles Scott, the British defending Olympic champion, won both races on the second day of the Finn competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This turnaround followed a lacklustre performance on the opening day, when two ninth place finishes left him ninth place overall in the small 19 boat fleet. And immediatly sparked questons about the time he has been able to train, while competing full-time with Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup Team.
Scott vowed . . . ‘to go home, reset, refuel and come out tomorrow swinging’.
And come out swinging he did . . . Back to back wins propelled him to fourth place, and just four points off leader Alican Kaynar of Turkey, who could only manage a sixth and discarded a 13.
Wednesday’s conditions played to Scott’s strengths.
The second day delivered superb 15-18 knots onshore wind conditions on Sagami Bay and two spectacular races for the Finn fleet on the offshore Zushi course area.
With a building wind during the day and a growing sea state, the fleet had two fantastic races. The left side proved favoured most of the day and those who could dominate their lanes to the left generally came out ahead.
In Race 3, Norway’s Anders Pedersen led the group from the left round the top mark from Cardona and USA’s Luke Muller.
Pedersen maintained his lead up the second beat, though Scott had closed the gap to just six seconds after rounding the first mark in seventh. Scott’s downwind technique was key and he took the lead as the boats came together at the bottom gate to lead into the finis.
Pedersen crossed second, with 2019 World Champion, Josh Junior, from New Zealand, finding some form to cross in third.
Race 4 was again all about the left. Scott punched out of the start on starboard and was able to cross the fleet to the right on the layline. He was dominant though and never looked like relinquishing the lead, extending away for a comfortable win.
Behind Scott the Netherland’s Nicholas Heiner moved from fifth to second on the first downwind and stayed there, while Cardona just held off a challenge from Berecz to cross in third.
Scott was relieved he had put Tuesday behind him . . . After opening with two ninth places he admitted to being slightly worried.
‘I mean it was a shaky start, but I have a bit of a history of shaky starts at events like this, I guess, so I hope I can continue more like today.’
And downwind . . . ‘The pressure was super streaky but there were some really nice waves to surf, and getting through big waves you can extend away but that said, if you get it wrong its frustrating.
‘And it’s so hot out there you can overdo it and not have enough left at the bottom mark to go upwind. So there’s a little bit of energy maintenance needed in this heat.’
Scott knows this is his last chance for an Olympic medal with the Finn, which is dropped for Paris 2024.
‘It’s incredibly sad it’s the last Finn medal in the Olympics, but personally what an opportunity to try and close it out. There are lot of us that are after the same thing there so whoever puts it together this week is going to be the deserving winner of that.’
The top three that had ruled day 1 remain the same, with Turkey’s Alican Kaynar still leading from Hungary’s Zsombor
Berecz and Spain’s Joan Cardona.