With Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen having won Olympic Gold in the 49er class and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke Silver, conditional upon both teams starting in the medal race and making an effort to sail the course, the pressure was completely off for the ANZAC teams today.
Gold-medal winners Nathan Outteridge and Iain "Goobs" Jensen (AUS) kick-up spray at the London Olympics 2012
We talked to both crews today pre-race.
Nathan Outteridge: ‘The secret to our success has been consistency. We fight hard to make sure we don't have bad races. When we are at the front of the pack we are able to be in the top three. When we are at the back of the pack we will either be tenth and if we are tenth we are able to be fifth.
Iain Jensen: ‘There are just very small differences in how we sail and how the guys who are tenth and eleventh sails. There is not much in it is just when you get to this level. Every little bit you can squeeze out of the boat, every little edge you can get is worth a lot.'
Outteridge continued ‘Now the realisation that we’ve achieved our goal has begun to sink in.
‘It has been a long journey and it is just massive relief for us that we have done the job that we have been working so hard to do.
‘We come from Lake Macquarie, the largest saltwater lake in Australia just north of Sydney. As seven and nine years we sailed against each other than joined up as a team when I was 13 and Goobs was 11. We watched another local Chris Nicholson sailing the 49ers as we were growing up there. He won worlds but he never got to win an Olympic medal and I got an email from him the other day saying we can go further than he ever did.
‘There are more than 50 family and friends from our home town of Wangi Wangi up on the Nothe today. But we are looking forward to going home and spending time with everyone who has supported us throughout Lake Macquarie and rest assured that they feel like a part of it because where we are from is a huge sailing area and it is great to finally bring a gold medal. ‘
‘I am sure the emotions will start to kick in throughout the race when the crowds are out there cheering us on. We are in a great position and we are just going to enjoy today.'
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were looking very relaxed. Peter Burling said ‘Down under we’ve had a big training group actually, there has been a few more in it that just the two of us. There are other young Kiwis and the other Australians. It has been really good to have such good racing and such fast people to sail against all day every day. It has really helped us along. We are looking forward to Rio.’
In the medal race Austrians Nico Delle Karth won from Burling and Tuke NZL, and then third were Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang Denmark, then the Australians Outteridge and Jensen, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR).
Australian Gold Medal confirmed, Silver to New Zealand and Bronze to Denmark.