07/29/2012 08:14 EDT | Updated 09/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Britain's Ainslie 2nd behind Dane in opening day of Finn class at London Olympics

WEYMOUTH, England - British star Ben Ainslie is off to a strong start in his quest to become the greatest Olympic sailor ever.

He's just not in first place.

Ainslie finished second to Denmark's Jonas Hoegh-Christensen in the first two races on a brisk Sunday afternoon on Weymouth Bay.

Hoegh-Christensen had a perfect day thanks to strong starts, leading at every mark in both races. He beat Ainslie by 17 seconds in the first race and by 19 seconds in the second. Ainslie was second around every mark in the second race.

Hoegh-Christensen has two points and Ainslie four after two of 10 races. Croatia's Ivan Gaspic was third in both races and is third overall with six points.

Ainslie is trying to win his fourth straight gold medal, and fifth straight overall, which would make him the most successful Olympic sailor ever.

Coincidentally, the man Ainslie is trying to displace as the greatest Olympic sailor is Denmark's Paul Elvstrom. Elvstrom won four straight gold medals from 1948-60.

There are 10 races, and each sailor discards his worst finish. The top 10 advance to the medals race Aug. 5.

American Zach Railey, who took the silver behind Ainslie in 2008, was 10th in the first race and 15th in the second race, and is 15th overall.