by John Curtis
On day 4 of the London Olympics 2012 Sailing competition in Weymouth, the wind was not as strong as predicted. It probably tooled out at 17 rather than the 25-30 knots that was predicted. It did rain but it was also not as hard as expected. This all resulted in a lighter shiftier wind than expected which offered a good challenge for the sailors today.
David Wright (CAN) competing yesterday in the Men’s Lase event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
RSX - Men
The big news today was Zachary Plavsic. Zac sails the RSX Windsurfer. He had a 12 and 6 today and is currently sitting sixth overall. Zac is sailing a solid regatta. His starts are a little inconsistent but wow is he fast! I watched him sail on the Nothe Course today so the fleet was quite close to shore. He sailed with incredible confidence. There was no hesitation in any thing he did. You could tell he was having a blast, just doing his thing. Keep an eye on this fellow. Zac is on Fire!
Nikola Girke had another solid day with a 10th and a sixth to put her in ninth overall. We were hoping for stronger wind today which would have favoured Nikola, but she did very well in the lighter shiftier wind showing that here preparation has been successful. I am expecting some even better results from Nikola tomorrow as she settles in and the stronger winds return.
David Wright had a decent first race finishing 14th after rounding the first mark in 11th. Race two was looking like in might be a shocker for David, rounding the first mark in 41st. He showed true metal pulling off a 24th by the end of the race. David is sitting in 18th overall which is very respectable
Danielle Dube has demonstrated some excellent speed downwind. The upwind legs have not been kind to her. Int the end she had a 31 in race 5 and 32 in race 6. Danielle is sitting in 31st overall.
The Radials and Lasers have a day off.
Tomorrow the 470 fleets will have their first race. The Canadian team of Luke Ramsay and Mike Leigh of Vancouver will be the ones to watch. This team has an absolutely incredible story. Both of these athletes were National Team athletes in the Laser Class until January 2010. Mike had a chronic back injury that was getting aggravated by 'hiking' (a miserable thing that that Laser sailors have to do when they are sailing up wind). Luke was also a very good Laser sailor but naturally too small to be competitive in all conditions in the Laser. They decided to team team up in the 470, a double handed boat. Mike was the taller one and was having trouble with hiking so he was the natural choice as crew, because they get to go on the trapeze.
Tomorrow the Stars and Finn's are back on the water.
I had dinner with the Star team tonight. They had the day off today and had put things in perspective. What a class act. They know their medal hopes have disappeared, but they were still being guided by their hearts and using their heads to get there. This is what it takes to dare to dream the Olympic Dream. One has to dream BIG and be willing to face utter defeat and be willing to take on the project anyway. This is another one of the most meaningful things the Olympics is about for me. It is about having the courage to risk failure. This is how we move forward as a species. There are only a few who lead the way.
Rather than licking their wounds or making excuses, Richard and Tyler were thinking about bold plans to help the development of the sport in Canada. I am not saying they are saints but that they dare to think big even in the face of failure. It is more than optimism. Its Olympism. These two guys are living proof that the glory we seek from victory can be just as present in defeat. The way they have handled their disappointment is just as glorious as any victory and maybe more so, because it is even harder to deal with. I also know this from personal experience.
July 31, 2012 Mens Two Handed Keelboat - Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn caught in a bad sea at Mark 1 Race 1
Don't get me wrong - they were not distracted from the task at hand. I am sure they will be back out their tomorrow ready to play their A Game. Even if it is not good enough they will be putting it all on the line again. They could do nothing less.
Stay tuned from more excitement tomorrow.