by Matt Carter
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, windsurfer Nick Dempsey climbed into the RS:X Men’s medal positions courtesy of a thrilling photo finish on day four. Dempsey, who impressed downwind on the spectator Nothe course all day, powered past race leader Byron Kokalanis (GRE) on the line in his second race of the day – race four overall – to end his day with a fifth and his first race win of the regatta.
Nick Dempsey (GBR)
He said: 'I didn’t know I had won [the last race] until I got ashore about half an hour later. It was so close on the line, I was like ‘Oh, ah, well, that was close’. I even had a chat with him [the Greek sailor] coming in and he said he didn’t know. Those photo finishes are always good, I’m just glad it was the right way around.
'It was pretty difficult [today] so it was nice to come out with a nice couple of solid races. It’s the first four races of the Olympic Games and there are a few people who have already come unstuck and that’s their Games over. It’s just about being in it, ready to turn it on in the second half of the week.'
Bryony Shaw continued her solid start to her Women’s RS:X campaign, scoring a fourth and a ninth to maintain her position in sixth overall after four races.
'It was a bit of a shame not to be in the top three,' she admitted, 'But it was a solid day though. A couple of my close rivals had some high scores in the first race but I’m trying to stick to my game and hoping that I get a few races inside the top three.'
Stevie Morrison declared 'It ain’t over yet!' after the British 49er boys got their London 2012 medal quest back on track with a superb display.
Morrison and crewman Ben Rhodes showed extreme composure to score fourth and second places today. With the 49ers having completed six races all boats are able to discount their biggest score of the series, an event that catapulted the Brits up the leaderboard from 12th to fifth place overall, just three points off the medal spots.
Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) competing in the London Olympics 2012
Morrison said: 'Obviously the results are much better [today] and results are what count. Today I don’t think we necessarily sailed any better [than yesterday], we just didn’t make a big mistake. We knew we were sailing well, and it’s just a case of making sure we were good enough to do that. We’ve not had a great start but if we can keep getting better and better, then you know it ain’t over yet!'
Paul Goodison admitted he was looking forward to tomorrow’s rest day after keeping himself in the hunt for a medal. The reigning Laser class champion, who yesterday revealed a back injury was hampering his title defence, sits sixth overall after six races, following hard fought fourth and ninth place finishes today.
He said: 'I can’t feel much at the moment so that’s much better than yesterday. I guess that’s why I’m smiling! It is a much better feeling and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow’s rest day. We still have got a chance at the halfway stage of the regatta so it’s not so bad. There’s still plenty of fighting to be done.'
Alison Young continues to breathe down the neck of her Laser Radial rivals in the medal positions after a mixed day. Ali enjoyed an awesome opener, scoring her third consecutive second place finish. But an 11th in race two prevented her from making any greater inroads into the leaders’ advantage and she remains in fourth spot overall after six races heading into their rest day.
Alison Young (GBR) competing today, 31.07.12, in the Women's One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Young said: 'I made a bit if a hash of the second race. It was pretty shifty out there so you just need to stay in place. It’s difficult when you’re buried in the fleet, the fleet is tight all the way round so you have to find your lanes and keep chipping away.
'All the races are tough; you just have to get a handle on the conditions and do the best job you can with what you’re getting. Just keep building and keep moving forwards.'
The British Match Racing Girls admitted they were 'disappointed' after suffering two losses on day four of the Olympic Regatta at Weymouth and Portland today (Wednesday 1 August).
The Poole trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor slipped to defeat against New Zealand (Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt) and Russia (Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Syuzeva and Elena Oblova) to leave them tied fifth overall in the round robin phase of the competition, with a 50% win ratio.
Racing is scheduled to resume at 12pm tomorrow. The British 470 Men duo of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell get their London 2012 campaign underway while the Finns and Stars return to action after their rest day. Tomorrow it is the turn of the Lasers and Laser Radials to sit out the day.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August.