by Bob Fisher
Top international yachting journalist, Bob Fisher, who has covered every Olympics since 1976 is in Weymouth for the 2012 Olympic Regatta. He writes:
USA’s Robert Willis is a handy seventh place after two races in the Mens Windsurfer
Elsewhere one reads of the Team USA being parodied as: 'under-performing sailors of America,' because of the lower-than-expected results so far in the Olympic regatta.
It's true that they are not what might have been expected but when I asked the opinion of an veteran American journalist who works for a non-sailing international news agency how he felt about the situation, he replied: 'I couldn't give a rat's arse, the only time I am concerned with the US's position is in war!' One had to refrain from commenting that he had plenty to concern him.
But the US situation should not go without some comment at this stage. Qingdao silver medallist, Zach Railey lies 12th after six races and the Star pair of Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih are sixth at the same stage. In the Laser, Rob Crane is not exactly covering himself in glory at 36th, but Paige Railey is ninth in the Laser Radial class.
In the windsurfers (a class the USA has voted to be dropped in 2016) after two races, Robert Willis is seventh and Farrah Hall 21st while the much vaunted and Doncaster, Yorkshire-born Anna Tunnicliff, who won gold in the Laser Radial in 2008, lies fifth in the match-racing at the halfway stage. Maybe Team USA is under-performing.
On the other hand, consider the position of the Irish, or more particularly its representative in the Laser Radial class. Annalise Murphy, whose six foot one inch frame was described by my eye-candy spotting colleague as 'statuesque,' not only tops the overall standings after four races with a perfect scoreline, but examination of her races reveals that she has only been headed around two marks (the first two in the second race) at any time during the racing.
That stunning performance may go unrecorded elsewhere as there appears to be an almost total absence of the Irish press in the Media Centre at Weymouth. Shame. Annalise is stealing our hearts.