Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

London Olympics 2012 Laser Radial – in the mixed zone

by Rob Kothe and Jeraldine Murphy on 8 Aug 2012
Lijia Xu (CHN) who won the Gold Medal in Laser Radial onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, there was an impressive display from the Laser Radial sailor of the 2012 season, China’s Lijia Xu, who snagged the Gold Medal by winning the medal race.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist had a great season with three World Cup wins and now Olympic Gold. It’s been widely acknowledged that the big improvement in Xu’s performance has been the contribution of her British coach, who inexplicably was sacked by the Chinese just before the Games, but continued to support the Chinese sailor.

After the medal race, Xu now the 2012 Gold Medallist acknowledged that.

‘To start with, I just want to give a really huge thanks to Jon Emmett, (the Weymouth based British coach) who over the last year taught me so much about real sailing at a level which I could not have reached just with a Chinese coach and the Chinese support team.

‘Before the medal race, he analysed the sea breeze again with me. We looked at the cloud formations and how the wind would go throughout the afternoon here in Weymouth, said Xu.

‘It made a big difference as the Nothe Course is particularly shifty so you have to understand the wind pattern and follow the shifts,' Xu continued.

‘I feel very proud for myself and also very proud of my nation.’

‘This makes China’s second sailing gold medal, we had a windsurfing gold medal in Qingdao.’

‘I will let more Chinese people know about this sport and get them involved in feeling the joy of steering a boat on the sea.’

‘I am happy too for my huge support team in China.’

Belgian sailor Evi Van Acker won bronze, the first sailing medal for Belgium in 16 years.

In the mixed zone she commented, ‘So far Belgium has won three medals in this Olympics. We have won one in Judo, one in shooting and me. We have plenty of good athletes to come so I hope more will follow.


The last Olympic sailing medal for Belgium was in 1996, some 16 years ago. It has been a while and I am really happy to be the latest.’

‘I believe everyone on the team deserves credit. My coach, my mental team, my physical team, the federation, the government. Everybody has been working together in this and it has been a great cooperation between everyone.

Will Van Acker be sailing in Rio in 2016? Rio de Janeiro, it sounds better than Weymouth I have to say, it will be completely different and that is what makes it fun. I don't know about Rio yet, I am finishing my studies first and then I’ll decide what I will do.

One of the pre-event favourites US sailor Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey, disappointed with her eighth place, confessed the reasons why.

‘Ahead of the medal race, the main objective for me was to improve my downwind and my balance because they weren't that great during the Olympic series. I completed my goals and I feel happy about that. Of course I am disappointed with my overall result but I can’t do anything about it now.


‘Overall it’s pretty obvious what didn't go my way. I did not sail well on the harbour course and the Nothe Course, when we had many of our races there and that was the downfall for me.

‘It was the downwind that killed me honestly. My downwind speed was not that good. I was rounding windward marks ok but I could not get the boat to go fast downwind.

‘We were trying to work on it a little bit. We didn't think it was necessarily that big a problem until we did the racing. I just tried to take one race at a time and when it started going wrong I just didn't focus on the negatives. I had to keep focussing on what I could do at the moment.’

upffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
An Q&A with regatta chair Sara Filbee about Canada's Chester Race Week
Sail-World.com recently talked with regatta chair Sara Filbee about Chester Race Week, Canada’s largest keelboat regatta Chester Race Week (CRW) traces it roots back to 1856, when an Annual Fishermen’s Regatta was created and sailors competed for bragging rights. WWI, the Great Depression and WWII took their toll, but by 1955 the regatta was again on the rise. Today CRW draws more keelboats than any other Canadian regatta. I caught up with Sara Filbee, CRW’s Regatta Chair, to learn more about this historical event.
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug