London Olympics 2012 - Rockin’ and rollin’ Laser style

Tom Slingsby (AUS) racing on day 2 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, which took place in June of 2011.
Forty-nine Lasers answered their first official starting guns in the 2012 Olympics, racing on the Weymouth Bay South course. Conditions steadily built over the course of both races, topping out somewhere around 15 or 16 knots, testing sailor’s medium-air-and-small-wave skills.

The usual suspects were at the top of the fleet. Australian Tom Slingsby, the current (and five-time, total) Laser World Champion and the gold-medal favorite, saw a dramatic turn of fortunes compared to his first day of racing in the 2008 Games in Qingdao, China. Guatemalan Juan Ignacion Maegli Aguero took the first bullet fired in the Laser Class, followed 27 seconds later by Slingsby; France’s Jean Baptiste Bernaz completed the top three. Great Britain’s Paul 'Goody' Goodison—who took Gold in the 2008 Games—finished in tenth place.

Race Two saw Slingsby’s fortunes improve, as the confident Australian took the bullet, beating out Brazil’s Bruno Fontes and Uruguay’s Alejandro Foglia Costa, who finished second and third, respectively. Goodison posted a 23, dropping him down to 17th, overall, while Slingsby’s performance slingshot him to the pole position after Day One. 'A bit different to my start four years ago,' reported a happy Slingsby. 'I am really happy—I got away well and a great day.'

As for the conditions, the super-fast Australian was more than prepared. 'I have done five regattas here in similar conditions,' said Slingsby. 'I knew that my speed would be fine and I [thought] I knew what the wind was going to do a bit and I knew what the tide was doing so I knew there weren’t too many crazy variables out there. I knew if I started well and got in my own rhythm I would be fine and I had two good races using that technique.'

Interestingly, today marked a complete flip-flop from the 2008 Games, which proved to be golden for the Brit and disastrous for the man from Down Under. Four years later, it appears that this will be Slingsby’s Olympiad, at least based on Day One’s performance. When queried in the mixed-media zone (where sailors can talk to the media once their boats have been pulled out of the water) afterwards, Slingsby couldn’t remember ever not winning a regatta after posting a strong results on Day One. Oddly, Goodison was 'unavailable' to comment in the mixed zone.

For his part, Slingsby was sympathetic to his fellow competitor’s first-day woes. 'I was next to him in the first race and I see him there and I am always going to push pretty hard. I think I am always going 100% but maybe every now and then you [put out] that little one or two percent if you have got someone you really want to beat next to you. Goody is like everyone else. [He] had a tough day today but he generally has tough first days and he bounces back really well. He will be there and I have just to keep in my low scores, but I’m sure I will see him come the medal race.'

The Laser Class returns to the racecourse tomorrow, with their medal race taking place next Monday (August 6), so stay tuned for more, as it becomes known.

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1AUSTom Slingsby21                         33
2GUAJuan Ignacio Maegli Aguero110                         1111
3CROTonci Stipanovic56                         1111
4CYPPavlos Kontides94                         1313
5SWERasmus Myrgren115                         1616
6KORJeemin Ha89                         1717
7URUAlejandro Foglia153                         1818
8BRABruno Fontes172                         1919
9NZLAndrew Murdoch128                         2020
10FRAJean Baptiste Bernaz321                         2424
11ESTKarl-Martin Rammo718                         2525
12AUTAndreas Geritzer620                         2626
13GERSimon Grotelueschen1412                         2626
14ARGJulio Alsogaray207                         2727
15SINColin Cheng425                         2929
16GREEvangelos Chimonas13DPI19                         3232
17GBRPaul Goodison1023                         3333
18CANDavid Wright1815                         3333
19POLKacper Zieminski2213                         3535
20NEDRutger van Schaardenburg3311                         4444
21BELWannes Van Laer1926                         4545
22PORGustavo Lima2124                         4545
23NORKristian Ruth3214                         4646
24ISVCy Thompson2422                         4646
25CHIMatias Del Solar1632                         4848
26ESPJavier Hernandez3417                         5151
27DENThorbjoern Schierup3616                         5252
28SLOKarlo Hmeljak2330                         5353
29FINMattias Lindfors2528                         5353
30CZEViktor Teply2927                         5656
31MNEMilivoj Dukic2633                         5959
32HUNZsombor Berecz3034                         6464
33CHNjian shi2739                         6666
34ITAMichele Regolo3135                         6666
35RUSIgor Lisovenko2840                         6868
36COLAndrey Quintero4031                         7171
37TURMustafa Cakir4329                         7272
38LTURokas Milevicius3737                         7474
39USARob Crane3542                         7777
40TUNYoussef Akrout4136                         7777
41MEXRicardo Montemayor3941                         8080
42IRLJames Espey3844                         8282
43UKRValeriy KUDRYASHOV4838                         8686
44MASKhairulnizam Mohd Afendy4247                         8989
45TRIAndrew Lewis4643                         8989
46MONDamien desprat4445                         8989
47VENJose Miguel Ruiz4546                         9191
48THAKeerati Bualong4748                         9595
49KGZIlia Ignatev4949                         9898
( ) - Excluded ScoreDPI - Discretionary penalty imposed
BFD - Black flag, disqualification under rule 30.3DSQ - Disqualification
DGM - Disqualification under rule 69.1(b)(2); not excludableOCS - On the course side of the starting line
DNC - Did not start; did not come to starting areaRAF - Retired after finishing
DNE - Disqualification (other than DGM) not excludable under rule 89.3(b)RDG - Redress given
DNF - Did not finishSCP - Took a scoring penalty under rule 44.3
DNS - Did not start (other than DNC and OCS)ZFP - 20% penalty under rule 30.2
Updated: Monday 30 July 2012, 20:05:38 GMT