London Olympics: Day 8 - Kiwis second in both Medal Races

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Finns charge at the finish line at the end of the Medal Race

NZ’s first medal race competitors finished their 2012 Olympic Sailing regattas on a high note today, with both Dan Slater in the Finn and Hamish Pepper with Jim Turner in the Star crossing the final finish line in second.

Both also found improved final standings with these results, Hamish and Jim jumped up from eighth to fifth overall, and Dan moved from ninth to seventh.

'It was nice to finish on a high note, for sure' Hamish Pepper said after returning to shore. 'I’m pretty proud to represent New Zealand four times and to sail with Jim and to get where we did in the time given.'

This result was Hamish Pepper’s best ever Olympic result. He continued: 'I firmly believe we were a prospect and it could have been any of three colours. Had it been different conditions it could have been a different result, but that’s sailing.'

Dan Slater’s second place finish was one for his history books, as he is known to tell the kids he coaches 'you’re only as good as your last race'.

'I’ve prepared four years for that race; I gave it my best shot and I’ve got no regrets.'

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - New Zealand leads the fleet on the final leg of the Medal Race

'I’ll retire now on that one. It would have been nice to be further up the ladder but 20 years of Olympic sailing is enough I think. I can hold my head up and say I gave it my best shot and had a really good ride getting there.'

Again Dan raced in front of his family and many other kiwi spectators amongst the near 5000 people watching from the Nothe spectator venue and shorelines nearby.

'The support I’ve had from everybody that’s been involved has been fantastic, and it’s not always easy' he said.

After the medal races were done and dusted there was still racing for the kiwis sailing 49er, Women’s 470 and Men’s RS:X .

JP Tobin has qualified for Tuesday’s final double point medal race ranked seventh overall. The gold medallist has already been decided based on the overall points score – JP’s training partner and friend Dorian Van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands. Dorian is coached by New Zealand’s Sydney 2000 Bronze Medallist Aaron McIntosh.

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Start of the Finn medal race in front of a large spectator crowd, who crammed every vantage point.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie had a mixed day with a 10th and fourth and although their Women’s 470 standing has dropped to second, there is only one point keeping them from the lead, and four opening series races are yet to be sailed.

49er sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have held on to their second place standing, and they will attempt to narrow the gap on the leading Australian team in tomorrow’s last two series races.

Today was a rest day for the Men’s 470 and Andrew Murdoch. Andrew Murdoch will sail in tomorrow’s Laser Medal race while the 470 Women enjoy a day off.

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ben Ainslie's reaction at the moments he crosses the finish line to win his fourth Gold Medal

Current Standings- Day 8 – August 5th, 2012

2nd Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (470 W) after 6 of 11 races (2, 6, 2, 5, 10, 4)
2nd Peter Burling/Blair Tuke (49er) after 13 of 16 races (9, 7, 1, 7, 3, 5, 9, 11, 7, 2, 1, 2, 15)
3rd Paul Snow Hansen/ Jason Saunders (470 M) after 6 of 11 races (28DSQ, 3, 5, 4, 16, 3)
5th Andrew Murdoch (Laser) after 10 of 11 races (12, 8, 17, 18, 1, 7, 13, 15, 3, 3)
7th JP Tobin (RS:X) after 10 of 11 races (15, 4, 3, 7, 8, 8, 12, 6, 17, 17)

Final Standings

5th Hamish Pepper/ Jim Turner (Star)
7th Dan Slater (Finn)
9th Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt (Match Racing)
20th Sara Winther (Laser Radial)

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Dan Slater (NZL) in second place in the Medal race for the Finn class

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Dan Slater (NZL) in second place in the Medal race for the Finn class

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Dan Slater (NZL) runs downwind in second place under the eye of the Jury

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Part of the crowd celebrating Ben Ainslie's win in the medal race.

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ben Ainslie leaves the Nothe folowed by his long-time coach, David Howlett

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ben Ainslie leaves the Nothe folowed by his long-time coach, David Howlett

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ben Ainslie lets off two smoke flares to acknowledge the crowd after his Gold Medal win

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ainslie celebrates moments after winning the Gold Medal in the Finn class

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) Silver Medalist in the Finn class