British sailing duo in 1st heading to medal race

Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson used two strong finishes Friday to hold onto first place in the men's Star sailing event, and will head into the medal race with a strong chance at the gold medal.

Percy and Simpson finished fourth in the day's first race, then won the other. They sit in first with 18 points, while Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada are second with 26.

Friday provided the final two preliminary races in the Star (men's keelboat) class, which is, like most of the sailing events at these games, a fleet race.

In the 10 preliminary races, points are awarded in ascending order -- 1 for first, 2 for second, and so on. After those races, each boat's worst performance is discarded and the 10 best crews advance to the medal race, where points are doubled. Points after the medal race determine who gets gold, silver and bronze.

So Percy and Simpson sit in good position to get a win, though the Brazilians won three of the preliminary races and are a threat. Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih sit in sixth place.

The men's Finn (heavyweight one-person dinghy) also held its final two preliminary races Friday, and Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen still leads. However, he holds just a two-point edge over Great Britain's Ben Ainslie -- the two-time defending gold medalist -- moving to the medal race.

The Star and Finn class finals will be held Sunday.

In other sailing action, Australian Tom Slingsby won one of the day's two races in men's Laser (one-person dinghy), and still leads that competition with only two races to go before the medal round.

His fellow Aussies, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, are still leading the men's 49er (skiff).

British duos also lead the men's and women's 470 (two-person dinghy) classes.

Belgian Evi Van Acker is first in the women's Laser Radial (one-person dinghy).