London Olympics 2012: Sailing Olympics News - Day 8


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London Olympics 2012: Sailing Olympics News - Day 8



The first Medals have been presented at the 2012 Olympics, in the Finn and Star classes, or more correctly in the Mens Heavyweight Singlehander and the Mens Keelboat.

Both had their controversies.

In the Star, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) had pretty well led the event all week. Certainly they had dominated it - as would be expected of current Olympic Champions.

The permutations were reasonably well known - the Brits had to finish within four places of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) to be sure of the title. They had to be within six places of Freddie Loof and Max Salminen (SWE), who were in third place.

Fans cheer Ben Ainslie as he tows past on the way back to Weymouth  Richard Gladwell

Not a big ask, you might think for a crew who had finished no worse than 4th in all their nine previous counting races.

Right to the end they had the medal under control, sitting in fifth place, with Loof leading. But right on the line, a shift in the breeze saw the British lose three places - just like that, and with it went their Gold Medal.

Had the race not been held on the fickle winds of the Nothe, there is a fair chance we would have seen a different result.

But sadly for the British who were poised for a double win in the Star and Finn classes, it was not to be, and instead it was the Swedish crew who sat in the centre of the table at the Media Conference tonight.

There the conversation turned to the fact that, as things stand, this will be the Star's last race in an Olympics.

Ben Ainslie wins gold - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition  Francois Richard ©

The hope was raised that there may be a way for the Star to stage its fourth comeback as an Olympic class. That seems to be by virtue of the Star's long history in the next host country, Brazil - first with the legendary Torben Grael and now with Robert Scheidt, who along with crew Bruno Prada won the Bronze medal today.

Few in the media here would argue that the Star needs to go. Numbers and popularity aside, the class has been one of the spectacles on Weymouth Bay with their shaking, shuddering tacks and towering rigs. They look a handful, and the point was made yet again, that the Star provides a way for top Olympic talent to have a second Olympic career.

But all that is an argument for another time.

Gold Medalist - Freddie Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) celebrate and line up for the ubiquitous OBS Media and a TV interview  Richard Gladwell

Right now, Freddy Loof said he was bowing out, of the class. Crew Max Slminen is looking to move across the the Finn. Iain Percy is off the the America's Cup with Artemis Racing, and the remaining three shrugged their shoulders as to what the future held. Percy and Simpson will race in the English Nationals to be held on the River Thames.

In the Finn class, the equation was a little different from the Star, which preceded it.

Ben Ainslie had been running second, and south of that mark, in the points standings all week. Yes, he was close to the Gold Medal, but the edge that he had enjoyed earlier this year and for the previous Olympiads, seemed to have been answered by Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN).

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Star class Medal race Ian Percy (GBR) trails round the leeward mark for the last time in the Medal Race  Richard Gladwell

Ainslie seemed to have matters well under control early on in the Medal Race. But then seemed to be content to rely on his considerable matchracing skills if he got into a one on one with the Dane.

A windshift that went the wrong way on the second beat, dropped Ainslie into matchracing mode, and he proceeded to deal to Hogh-Christensen for the remaining five legs, while hoping that Jan-Pieter Postma (NED) would not progress beyond seven places in front.

In the end the pressure got to J-P, who clipped the tracking device on Dan Slater's transom, near the windward mark, when lying third. He was penalised, and the turns were enough to drop him out of Gold medal contention.

Ainslie returns to dock to be greeted by members of the British team  Richard Gladwell

From there Ainslie played a calculated game through to the finish - nail-biting as it may have been for the thousands of spectators - both paying and freeloading around the Nothe. They saw sailing history created, and witnessed a race they will never forget.

In this edition of Sail-World's Olympic newsletter we have all the background and reports on today's racing, along with some great images from some of the world's top photographers.

We'll all be back in action tomorrow – stay tuned to www.sail-world.com

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Olympic Editor

Part of the crowd celebrating Ben Ainslie's win in the medal race.  Richard Gladwell




London Olympics 2012 – The Finn Medal race: Here is what they said
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
The most watched race of Olympic sailing history was sailed on the Nothe course in today's Finn race. Bob Fisher and Mark Chisnell have commented on the race... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Nail biting finale in Finn medal race
Robert Deaves,
The whole sailing world was on the edge of its seat for 30 agonising minutes as the Finn fleet duked it out for the medals. Høgh-Christensen had the advantage over Ainslie out of the start forcing the Brit to tack off to the right, the normally unfavoured side.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images of Weymouth, Day 8 - Gold on line in Stars
Richard Gladwell,
Great Britain's crack crew of Iain Percy and Andrew 'Bart' Simpson looked to have the Gold Medal for the Mens Keelboat, the Star, in the bag closing in on the finish. However in the last 10 metres, they managed to drop three places and with it the Gold Medal.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Swedes claim Star gold in thrilling finale
ISAF,
Sweden's Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen claimed victory in the Star Medal Race to upset the favourites at the London 2012 Olympics Games and snag the gold medal in a thrilling finale. Having trailed overnight leaders Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) by 12 points ahead of the Medal Race the Swedes won by four seconds over Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner to overcome the Brits who finished eighth.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Day 8 - Ainslie wins more Gold
Richard Gladwell,
England's sailing superhero, Ben Ainslie, did what had to be done in today's Medal Race for the Mens Heavyweight Singlehander (Finn). After a slow start, Ainslie climbed up into second and looked to have the Gold Medal in his grasp, before dropping back to ninth and having his usual match race for last place with close rival Jona Hogh-Christensen (DEN) who had led the even all week.... [more]
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London Olympics: Day 8 - Kiwis second in both Medal Races
Kristine Lederis, Yachting NZ,
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.... [more]
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London 2012 Olympics - Ainslie, who else?
Mark Chisnell,
It's been a very long week for Ben Ainslie at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, his challenge to take Paul Elvstrom's title as the greatest ever Olympic sailor has been a nail-biting, frustration-filled epic. It will be the story of these Games and it ended today in about as tense a fashion as was possible.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - When seconds count
Bob Fisher,
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, however one looked at it, for the first 28 minutes the defending Olympic champions of the Star class were achieving their aim. With Freddie Loof and Max Salminem disputing the lead of the medal race with the Kiwi crew, the sixth place in which the British pair rounded the last mark was good enough for gold.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Star class drama
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
The London 2012 Olympics Star Medal race sailed on Weymouth's Nothe course. Was it a fair race?... [more]
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London Olympic 2012 Sailing Competition - Results after day 8
Anna Parker, Sail-World.com,
The London Olympic 2012 Sailing Competition is currently underway in Weymouth and after day eight, here are the latest results from the 49er Men's, Elliott 6m - Women's (Women's Match Racing), Finn, Laser Men's, Laser Radial Women's, RS:X Men's, RS:X Women's, 470 Men's, 470 Women's and Star Men's classes.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012—Ainslie wins historic fourth Olympic gold
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
History was made today on the Nothe course in the Finn class as Team Great Britain's Ben Ainslie claimed his fourth Gold medal, usurping Paul Elvstrom—the Great Dane—to become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time. In addition to Ainslie's four Golds, he also has a Silver (Atlanta, 1996 in the Laser class), bringing his total portfolio up to a staggering five Olympic medals.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012—Stars fade but gold shines on
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
Olympic and sailing history was made today on the waters off of Weymouth, UK on the Nothe racecourse as the Star class contested their last Olympic race. Sweden's Frederik Loof and Max Salminen claimed Gold, sailing an impeccable, tactically brilliant race. Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson took Silver while the Brazilian team of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada will take home Bronze.... [more]
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