Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 728x90

London Olympics 2012 - Hair-raising racing in the Finn class

by Bob Fisher on 4 Aug 2012
Ben Ainslie (GBR) just after finishing Race 9 in the Finn class and dropping a vital point to overall leader Hogh-Christensen (DEN) © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
As if the older members of the Fourth Estate need hair-greying experiences like those the Finn class racing caused today in the London Olympic Sailing Competition. Those with any left were tearing them out as Ben Ainslie played a tactical game - one for which he is well renowned - in the tenth race of the series in order that he could realistically leave his final effort for his fourth gold medal to the double-points scoring and tie-breaking medal race on Sunday.

'Ben is an animal,' declared his great friend, the British Star crew, Andrew Simpson, two days earlier when asked what he thought of his chances of winning the Finn class, 'He will dispose of his opponents.' Ben is leaving it late, but he was working out the maths as he sailed the tenth race. Earlier he had finished one place behind Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark in the morning race and that had extended the Dane's overall lead to four points - a figure that Ben realised might be beyond his control in the Medal race. It led to a marvellous strategic battle in the afternoon.


And what a battle it was! It was Ben at his very best - those who saw him destroy Robert Scheidt's gold medal chances in Sydney will remember just how ruthless the British single-handed sailor can be. But sailing Scheidt down into the twenties in the Laser fleet was kids' stuff compared to this. Ben rounded the first mark hard on the stern of the leader, Pieter-Jan Postma of Holland and passed him on the short reach to begin the run, Hogh-Christensen had been sixth, but he too flew down the reach, gaining two places and was second, a minute behind the leader at the end of the run.


That's when Ben took charge of the race. He slowed so that he could affect the wind on the Danish sailor's rig. He did so to allow Postma to get between them, but he had to do it more than once. It was nail-biting as well as hair-tearing for those who watched, more so for those who understood what it was all about (reducing the Dane's overall lead to two points). At the weather mark the second time the Dutchman was a mere five seconds ahead of the Dane, but Postma didn't seem keen to allow his immediate rival the opportunity to pass him - after all there was just sixteen points between them.

While that may sound a big margin, but with the aid of double points, P-J knows the form the medal race will take - Ben will hunt Jonas from the off and if they finish in eighth and ninth the gold medal would go to the Dutchman. Ben knows it too, but his aim will be to finish seventh or better and ahead of Jonas. Seats on the slopes of the Nothe gardens will be at a premium on Sunday for the culmination of the Finn racing and it will be every bit as exciting as the last two races.

Some of the writers are seeking the aid of the tonsorial artists - either those who can restore the darker tints or even the trans London 2012 website

North Technology - Southern SparsT Clewring AC72InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge - the retrospective -Part III
In Part III, the Question and Answer session, we will discover why Nathan’s nick name is George and why Tom is so fast Interview with Nathan Outteridge and Tom Slingsby. In Part III, the Question and Answer session, we will discover why Nathan’s nick name is George and why Tom is so fast at post capsize recovery.
Posted on 9 Nov 2015
Blast from the past, do you remember this? Great Video!!
One particular race in the 2012 London Olympic Laser Radial regatta in Weymouth was one of most watched sailing events One particular race in the 2012 London Olympic Laser Radial regatta in Weymouth was one of the most watched sailing events of 2012. Watch it again to remember exactly why.
Posted on 8 Nov 2015
Lijia Xu ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 - THAT Speech
Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland: Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. If you have not heard it, you can catch it now.
Posted on 3 Nov 2013
Mat Belcher – 17 in a row - 'The harder I work, the luckier I get'
The harder I work the luckier I get, is a quotation attributed variously to Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain The harder I work the luckier I get, is a quotation attributed variously to Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain but perhaps of Amish origin, but regardless the sentiment is well understood. And it’s something that one of Australia´s most successful Olympic class regatta sailors and his coach understands very well.
Posted on 20 Aug 2013
2012 Olympic Games - Stevie Morrison one year on
This week, as we approach the anniversary of the 2012 Olympic Games we’ll hear from members of the British Sailing Team This week, as we approach the anniversary of the 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July, we’ll hear from members of the 2012 British Sailing Team who reflect on their own Games experiences
Posted on 22 Jul 2013
2012 Olympic Games - Lucy Macgregor one year on
Lucy Macgregor one year on from the 2012 Olympic Games All this week, as we approach the anniversary of the 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July, we’ll hear from members of the 2012 British Sailing Team who reflect on their own Games experiences
Posted on 22 Jul 2013
Ainslie- Close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death
I came close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death, says Sir Ben Ainslie. British sailing great, Sir Ben Ainslie writes in The Daily Telegraph on after the funeral service for his close friend, Andrew Simpson, killed in San Francisco as a result of an AC72 break up, during a training session.
Posted on 3 Jun 2013
A Tribute to Bart
This video pays tribute to Andrew Simpson's many sailing achievements, His Service is to held on May 31, in England Andrew 'Bart' Simpson died in the capsize of the Artemis Racing AC72 on May 9, 2013. His service will be held on Friday May 31 in Sherborne Abbey, UK, followed by a celebration of his life at Sherborne Castle. This video pays tribute to Bart's many sailing achievements
Posted on 31 May 2013
Ainslie knighted in New Year Honours, five others recognised
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has been Knighted in the New Year Honours list. British sailor and four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has capped a triumphant year of sailing with a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list. British Sailing has more cause for celebration, with honours also going to Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas, and to Ainslie’s coach David Howlett, who were both named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Posted on 29 Dec 2012
2012 Paralympic Games a winner in global TV ratings
The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before. The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before and attracted their biggest ever international audience according to new figures published by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Posted on 28 Nov 2012