Pink takes control in race for Olympics

John Pink
John Pink
Alex Alley, from Gosport.

Picture: Sarah Standing (151832-9304) PPP-151030-175051001

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John Pink battled shifting conditions perfectly to take control of the 49er fleet – and his Olympic bid – at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Australia yesterday.

The 28-year-old skipper from Hill Head, alongside crew Rick Peacock, jumped from seventh to first after taking a win and a sixth from the day’s two races.

That was one race short of the full schedule, due to a stable wind failing to arrive, and means Pink and Peacock will now make up for lost time on their supposed rest day today.

It is tight at the top, with nine points separating them from eighth.

But they couldn’t be better placed, with results in Fremantle pivotal in terms of selection for the sole London 2012 place.

Fellow Brits Dave Evans and Ed Powys are in that chasing pack, having themselves jumped up – this time ninth to fourth – but Pink isn’t concerned by them or the conditions.

‘Tuesday was a bit lighter than Monday and Wednesday was shifty, but we are on a different course to Monday so it isn’t as choppy on the water,’ said Skandia Team GBR sailor Pink.

‘I think they were planning to do three races on the trot on Wednesday like they did on Tuesday, but it is all dependent on the forecasts as we saw.

‘If they can get three in then they will do that, but if they can’t they won’t. To be honest, it doesn’t make a difference to us.’

Also in the 49er, Alain Sign and his skipper Dylan Fletcher remain well behind in the race in 16th after finishes of 16th and third on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, in the 470, Penny Clark, alongside Katrina Hughes, is now fifth overall after a 25th place finish – their lowest of the regatta so far – and another 10th on the same day.

Lee-on-the-Solent’s Clark recorded four top-10 finishes on the opening two days of the championships Down Under.

The pair began with first and 10th-place finishes on Monday.

They then sailed home in third and then ninth position in races three and four.

As a result, the crew had gone into day three in fourth position, but have dropped a place in their quest for a medal, with a lay day scheduled for today.

n Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more info go to skandiateamgbr.com