Great Scott earns third UK title

Dorset Echo: MORGAN MAGIC: Champion Giles Scott MORGAN MAGIC: Champion Giles Scott

GILES Scott won the opening race of the day at the JP Morgan Asset Management Open UK Finn Nationals to seal his third UK title with a race to spare.

The Portland sailor topped the charts at Falmouth, finishing ahead of Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie and France’s Jonathan Lobert.

Overnight storms had cleared, leaving blue skies in the morning, but the wind built during the day for a challenging last day of the regatta.

The first race took over 45 minutes to get away following a series of general recalls and black flags. When it did get going, Russia’s Eduard Skornyakov led round the top mark with Scott close behind.

Scott soon took the lead and rounded the gate just ahead of fellow Brit Andrew Mills and Jonas Høgh-Christensen of Denmark to sail away to win the race and the championship.

With the wind reaching 20 knots, the final race was a hard test, with many deciding to call it a day.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic battled against Lobert for the lead, but eventually the Croatian extended for a comfortable win.

Scott said of the first race: “It was an exciting race with lots of recalls and the tide pushing us over the line.

“I didn’t get the best of starts so I took a hitch up and came back on good numbers and then caught up the guys who had hit the left harder.

“I managed to round second and then had the lead by the bottom and then slowly extended up the second beat, which was nice.”

On his third UK title, Scott added: “It’s nice to win here, especially as it’s the first time I have raced Ben in a Finn nationals.”

Ainslie added: “It’s been great racing and it’s been a fantastic event I think.

“We’ve had great conditions and a variety of conditions. For me it’s been great to be sailing back in Cornwall where I grew up.

“I’ve never really raced here so I am learning a lot. I didn’t sail particularly well to be honest so it’s good to learn about the conditions.”

The sailors now have a few days off before the JP Morgan Asset Manage-ment Finn Gold Cup starts on Sunday.

Scott though, will not be on hand to defend his title.

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