Ben Ainslie has highlighted the need for extensive "venue familiarisation" during the British Sailing Team's training for the 2008 Olympic regatta to be held in Qingdao this August.

Currently in Melbourne ahead of this month's Finn World Championships, Ainslie yesterday received the news that he will represent Great Britain in this class at the Olympics this summer.

The Hampshire sailor, who has recently returned to the Finn class after two years concentrating on the America's Cup, was selected over Bournemouth based Ed Wright.

Wright put in a very strong challenge for the Olympic berth and Ainslie expressed sympathy for his fellow 30-year-old: "It's very hard in sailing because we only have one spot in each of the classes, so in our situation Ed's currently ranked third in the world and if he was sailing for any other country he'd be going to China and would be a medal prospect. It's very tough for him."

Looking ahead to China, the double Olympic gold medallist acknowledged that the light winds and strong currents in Qingdao would create "less of a physical and more of a mental game," comparing the racing in prospect to "chess on water."

As a consequence, Ainslie stated that he and the rest of the GB sailing team would "spend a lot of time over the next five or six months in China, trying to get used to the conditions."

He also predicted that the challenging conditions would lead to exciting racing. "It will make it a lot more interesting for people watching because there will be a lot of place changes and a little bit of Lady Luck in there as well. There will definitely be some surprises in this Olympics from the sailing world."