Olympic Sailing Aussies to tussle for Tornado Gold

Start of the third Tornado race - 2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 10 -
Australia's Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby go into tomorrow's Tornado medal race in second position, just three points behind leaders Spain.  

It will be a battle of the top three placed boats tomorrow, all of whom have a chance of Gold.

The Aussies need to finish tomorrow's race two places ahead of Spain to take the Gold medal, but they also need to cover third-placed Argentina.  For Argentina to win Gold, they need to finish at least three places ahead of Australia and five places ahead of Spain.

However, Bundock and Ashby are the only crew in the Tornado fleet to cross the finish line in the top ten in every race of this regatta.  

The consistency of the world's current number one ranked team and their ability to perform in the pressure cooker environment of a medal race will be critical in determining what colour medal they win tomorrow.  Based on their medal race history over the past two years, the team has every reason to expect a positive outcome.

The wind is forecast to whip up tomorrow, with possible gusts up to 18 knots.  However, no matter the strength of the breeze, the windshifts remain the biggest challenge for competitors on Fushan Bay.

'You need to have eyes in the back of your head here, looking out for the shifts and changes,' said Ashby.

'We've proven that we go well in light, medium and heavy conditions and we're happy to sail in anything.'

The Australians are highly experienced, with 11 world titles between them.  While they are based in different states, with Bundock on the NSW Central Coast and Ashby in Victoria's Bendigo, they spend so much time travelling and competing together they are almost a single entity on the boat.

This year alone, they have won the Australian Championships, Sail Melbourne, Sail Auckland, the Holland Regatta, the SOF Heyeres Regatta in France and the World Championships. Their ability to tame the Qingdao waters has already been proven with Silver at the 2007 Olympic Sailing Test Event.

'We've been very consistent in difficult conditions and we're looking good for a medal,' said Bundock, who knows the thrill of Olympic success, having won a Silver medal with John Forbes at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

'Tomorrow's a big day - we're just going to go for it and try to win.'

Competition Completed and Australian results:
Men's 470 - Gold
Women's 470 - Gold
Laser Radial - 4th Overall
RS:X -  5th Overall after medal race today - competition finished
49ers - 5th Overall
Yngling - 10th Overall
Star - 14th Overall - competition finished
Finn - 16th Overall
Laser - 23rd Overall

Australian Team Insights:
Other sporting interests - both those I take part in and those I like to watch:
'Kite surfing, cycling and motor biking.' - Darren Bundock, Tornado
'Motor bike racing, windsurfing, mountain biking.' - Glenn Ashby, Tornado

Racing - Thursday 21 August

Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby in the Tornado medal race scheduled for 1pm Qingdao time (3pm Sydney time).


Tornado – Overall Results            
1ESPFernando Echavarri16147-1317184936
Anton Paz Blanco
2AUSDarren Bundock54315-928744839
Glenn Ashby
3ARGSantiago Lange-1311124691915744
Carlos Espinola
4GERJohannes Polgar107115615-13436552
Florian Spalteholz
5CANOskar Johansson83991-151112227257
Kevin Stittle
6NEDMitch Booth3-13831028311107158
Pim Nieuwenhuis
7ITAFrancesco Marcolini-1594284611867358
Edoardo Bianchi
8GREIordanis Paschalidis251272124106-137360
Konstantinos Trigonis
9GBRLeigh McMillan68138-147723128066
Will Howden
10AUTRoman Hagara1210-141011339558268
Hans Peter Steinacher
11FRAXavier Revil7210-169101041078569
Christophe EspagnonDNS
12BELCarolijn Brouwer11115638136-1698872
Sebastien GodefroidDNF
13UKRPavel Kalinchev4-1561315111214131111499
Andriy Shafranyuk
14CHNYoujia Luo914-16161351451214118102
Xiuke ChenOCSDNF
15USAJohn Lovell14127111214-15151415129114
Charles Ogletree