Please select your home edition
Edition
Beneteau SAIL Sense 51-57 728x90

Pleasing surprises on the Road to Rio

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 3 Feb 2014
Oli Tweddell - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
As the Australian Sailing Team reviews its path towards Rio, some very pleasing progress has been made.

Last year ahead of the Palma regatta in April, we wrote that for the first time in a very long time it appeared that Australia could be a serious player in the Finn class, which in spite of some good sailors working hard over the decades has not produced medals since John Bertrand's bronze in Montreal in 1976.

And it’s certainly coming to pass, with a rapidly growing racing fleet in Australia, with experienced American coach, John Bertrand (the other one who won silver in 1984 behind Russell Coutts) progress for the Australian Fin squad has been very encouraging.

With Brendan Casey so generously passing on his experience to Oliver Tweddell and the still growing Jake Lilley, the results are coming. After his injury last year, Oliver has shown rapid improvement and it’s clear he will be a force to be reckoned with on the road to Rio.

Tweddell went into the medal race with a solid lead but emerged second overall, while Lilley and Casey were just out of the medal race with a 12 and 13th place.

Last night Oli commented, 'While I'm devastated with losing the Gold medal, I’m still pleased with how I've sailed all week. My performance was very good throughout the week, so to lose it the way I did is pretty hard to take. The positive is, I've learned a lot throughout the regatta and highlighted some key areas I need to improve on in the light winds.'

Two World Cup silver medals in a row, we look forward to seeing him and the entire Finn squad in Palma.


Late starters in the Nacra 17, the old fox Darren Bundock, one of the most successful multihull campaigners in the class, with 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nina Curtis, won their first up Nacra 17 regatta, in Melbourne and then backed up in Miami with a sixth.

Today Darren said, 'Good regatta for us as we identified light air as a weakness and area we wanted to work on, as this week has only been light and shifty we got plenty of practise and made big improvements.

‘Really looking forward to Palma now. Palma was always my favourite regatta. By the sounds of it everyone will be there. We arrive 20 March (all AUS Nacra squad). We will be spending quite a lot of time in Spain this year. We will be Santander from 15 Aug straight after RIO test event ahead of the World championships which start on September 8th.’


Of course, the easiest headline today was the break in Mat Belcher's 470 winning streak. The shortened regatta obviously played a part in that.

Matt commented, 'We are a little bit sad that the winning streak is finished. It’s been over a year we had not lost and to get this silver medal is a little bit different.

'The goal is Rio and our aim has always been to not worry about the streak so much. We did learn a lot about ourselves during that process though and how we handle the pressure and expectation and that type of pressure it puts on our performance. It was a great learning curve, which I’m sure will help us a lot going into Rio.'

Expectations for Matt and Will Ryan are very high, as super-coach Victor Kovalenko commented.

‘For Matt a bad regatta like Sail Melbourne 2011, was when they came third.‘

Victor is right, this time the world has almost ended with a second.


World number one ranked Tom Burton in the Laser, was a close second going into the Miami medal race in second place and slid to fourth overall after a bad medal race first beat

Tom Burton said afterwards: 'I have been sailing well at times and not so great at others. Today was one of the latter. I have a load of tiny things to work on heading into the year, which is good as I am still near the front of the fleet at the moment.’

Looking ahead, the London 49er Gold Medallists Outteridge and Jensen will hit the circuit in Palma as will the big squad of 49er FX crews.

Interesting time ahead on the Road to Rio

Henri Lloyd 50 YearsAbell Point Marina Splash 660x82Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Men and Women at Work
It is hard not to whistle Greg Ham’s little flute ditty from, ‘I come from a land Downunder', when you see those words It is hard not to whistle Greg Ham’s little flute ditty from, ‘I come from a land Downunder’, whenever you see those words. And yes, we’re moving straight past the legal matter of the origination of that melody. So then, we’ll note that the irony was that the band members were effectively unemployed when they formed the group.
Posted on 27 Feb
Super Series Sailing Spectacular
News arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to entertain Beau Geste and SMB During the week, news arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to keep Beau Geste and SMB entertained at the sharp end of the 52 bracket. Two other camps were linked to other former 52 Super Series craft, Phoenix and Spookie, but the one touted as going after Phoenix has denied it, saying that Hasso (SAP) Plattner of Germany has bought her.
Posted on 20 Feb
The Armourer
Q is not about to appear right now. There’ll be no images of Desmond Llewelyn wiping his brow in some exotic location Q is not about to appear right now. There’ll be no images of Desmond Llewelyn wiping his brow in some exotic location, wearing long socks and desert boots, with those Harry High Pants khaki shorts, and a barrage of one-liner quips for a terribly chipper, and always appreciative 007.
Posted on 13 Feb
The price of legacy
Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist (470) with Nathan Wilmot in 2008 and Mat Belcher in 2012, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 this year. In and of itself it is hardly the freshest news, and well and truly yesterday’s fish wrapper. It was also a wise choice on behalf of Team USA, for he has succeeded in both the physical and commercial arms of our sport.
Posted on 5 Feb
Big Yellow Taxi
“Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you've got, ‘Til it's gone. They paved paradise... Unabashedly, this is all about utilising a few lines from the famous Joni Mitchell song. “Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you've got, ‘Til it's gone. They paved paradise, And put up a parking lot.” So it all stemmed from the wonderful news that the mighty Volvo Ocean Race will once again have an Australian stopover at the end of this year, beginning of 2018.
Posted on 30 Jan
You spin me right round
Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Recently, we have had unbelievable records set by Thomas Coville and then Armel Le Cléac’h. Soon (with over 1200nm in the bank as it were), it would seem to be the turn of the crew on board IDEC Sport for a record after their spin right round, as well. This is quite simply, terrific stuff.
Posted on 23 Jan
Lounge Music
What a groovy time that all was. Very sophisticated, and was the world so much simpler back then or what? What a groovy time that all was. Very sophisticated, and was the world so much simpler back then or what? It even managed it’s own parody with Jerry Lewis and the über-cool Purple Pit in the original Nutty Professor. I’ll just have an Alaskan Polar Bear Heater right now, thank you… Some will get their noses all twisted up about now saying it is all elevator music, but it was so well orchestrated
Posted on 15 Jan
The race begins, or is that ends?
At this time of year it is great, for somewhere, some class is getting on with it, just as another is winding up. At this time of year it is great, for somewhere, some class is getting on with it, just as another is winding up. We have already had the likes of Javelins, Couta Boats, Sabres, Cherubs, and A-Class cats. Then boats like 13’ and 16’ skiffs on Lake Illawarra, along with the Moths in Hobart, are still underway, too. The Etchells are about to kick off, and soon thereafter it will be F18s, as well.
Posted on 9 Jan
Utterly Speechless
As he screamed across the Pacific it felt like Thomas Coville’s efforts on the maxi-tri, Sodebo Ultim, were just visual Back a while ago, probably as he screamed across the Pacific, it felt like Thomas Coville’s efforts on the maxi-tri, Sodebo Ultim, were just visual. Here he was on a nice little graphic that showed how far a few thousand nautical miles ahead of the record he was, and how much further he had to run.
Posted on 2 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016