Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

LASER MEDALS RESOLVED IN PROTEST ROOM.

by Ian Grant on 30 Sep 2000
© Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
Ben Ainslie, Englands tenacious Laser class tactician produced the performance of the sailing Olympics when he won his class Gold Medal twice, first on the course and later at a protest before the International jury.

When Ainslie faced the start for the final heat yesterday he had only one purpose in mind and that was to win Gold, he already had a Silver Medal from the 1996 Olympics at home in England.

He was totally motivated with that ambition as he prepared his race stategy to haul back the 9 penalty point lead which the defending Gold Medallist Robert Scheidt of Brazil held as he settled into his race plan to sail safely for Gold.

However Ainslie had other plans which featured a real 'dog-fight' between the best Laser sailor in the World and the sailor who was totally possessed on becoming the best sailor in the World.

The real Brittish Bulldog fighting spirit was revealed when Ainslie purposely elected to pay his total intention of setting a plan in place to show he was not prepared to just accept the Silver Medal he was focused on winning Gold.

A perfect lee bow start just underneath Scheidt was applied, then Ainslie who needed to make sure the World's best Laser class skipper was held back beyond 21st place carted him to a no win situation well off the normal sailing course.

This tactic despite Scheidt carrying a protest flag proved to be one of the most aggressive and cetainly the most effective ever witnessed in the history of sailing on Sydney Harbour.

In fact more attention was focused on Ainslie and Scheidt than the performance of eventual race winner Andreas Geritzer of Austria.

Ainslie who has finished second to Schiedt on so many occasions was not prepared to be the 'Bridesmaid' one more time and when they reached the first windward mark the Englishman had a grip on the Gold Medal.

When sails were eased Ainslie was leading Scheidt in the tail end of the fleet over three minutes behind the leaders.

As expected the 'dog fight' continued to intensify as Scheidt realised his desperate situation with Ainslie controlling the race for Gold.

He then applied some of his own highly skilled tactics but committed a rare breach at a rounding mark which fired a protest from Ainslie who at that time had Gold won on the water by the narrow margin of one point when Scheidt finished 36 th.

However the Gold Medal was only half won as the two skippers filed individual rule infringement protests, Scheidt for an incident during the start and Ainslie for not being allowed sea room at the mark rounding where Scheidt finally shook the cover of his rival.

This became a no win situation for the defending Gold Medallist and four times World champion Scheidt when the jury dismissed his protest then disqualified him on the evidence presented by Ainslie.

Ainslie's incredible fight back to win the Gold Medal has been heralded as the sailing performance of the 2000 Olympics and certainly the best tactical performance ever witnessed in an International sailing race on Sydney Harbour.

RESULTS (Official) : GOLD Ben Ainslie (GBR) 42pts, SILVER Robert Scheidt (BRA) 44pts, BRONZE Michael Blackburn (AUS) 60pts 3, NED 72pts 4, AUT 78pts 5, POR 83pts 6, POL 86pts 7, ITA 91pts 8, RSA 92pts 9, NOR 94pts 10.
Zhik Yachting 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

Strong finish for Armin Strom at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
With Norauto and Team Tilt secure in first two positions, Armin Strom headed into the last day vying for third position With Norauto and Team Tilt secure in the first two positions, Armin Strom Sailing Team headed into the last day of competition vying with Team ENGIE, Realteam and Malizia for third position
Posted on 26 Sep
Norauto foils to victory at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Racing in a light wind Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all races Racing in a light westerly Levante wind, Adam Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all three races, and he went on to win two of them.
Posted on 25 Sep
Team Tilt finish second at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Team Tilt added a second place to scoreboard this weekend at the penultimate event of what has been a successful season The seven crew members on board the 32-foot flying catamaran posted three outright wins from 15 races to finish second overall after Adam Minoprio on Norauto. Team Engie, skippered by Sebastien Rogues finished in third place.
Posted on 25 Sep
Perfect birthday for Sébastien at GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
The westerly Levante breeze was expected to blow at about 10 to 11 knots for day three of the regatta The westerly Levante breeze was expected to blow at about 10 to 11 knots for day three of the regatta, but the long white cloud hanging over the Rock of Gibraltar signified that there might be less. Even with just five or six knots the GC32s were still able to get on the foils as they launched off the start line of the first race.
Posted on 24 Sep
Door of opportunity on Day 2 of the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
It was a soft southerly breeze blowing from the northern tip of Africa a few miles across the Strait of Gibraltar. It was an afternoon of soft southerly breeze blowing from the northern tip of Africa a few miles across the Strait of Gibraltar. The four to six knots of wind made the reaching start more critical than usual, although in the final of the four races held today, the two owner/drivers took very different approaches.
Posted on 23 Sep
Norauto dominates Day 1 of GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
The warm Poniente breeze was blowing around 14 knots at the start of afternoon but later picked up to gusting 20 knots The warm Poniente westerly breeze was blowing around 14 knots at the start of the afternoon but later picked up to gusting 20 knots, with the fleet putting a reef in their mainsails after two of the five races. It didn’t matter what configuration the GC32s were racing in, however, Norauto was the master of all situations.
Posted on 22 Sep
Norauto searching for a third win at GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
For Norauto - a brand experiencing a rapid growth in Spain - the event is a great opportunity to support the team. Seven teams will compete on the GC32 Racing Tour in Sotogrande where the battle continues for the leadership between Norauto and Swiss Team Tilt. Following two victories in Riva and Palma de Mallorca and a second place in the Riva Foiling Week, Norauto holds the lead over the Swiss and will be aiming to reassert their hold and affirm their teams good performance on the circuit.
Posted on 21 Sep
GC32 Racing Tour – Team Engie heads to Act 4
The fleet of hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans will meet again in Andalusia (Spain) for the fourth stage of the circuit Sotogrande, which is located some 25 km from Gibraltar, looks to be a tricky course for the GC32s. Over four days the seven crews competing in this circuit will again provide us with a stunning and intense show.
Posted on 21 Sep
GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup sets sail tomorrow
At present on the third podium place, but hoping to rise higher is Armin Strom Sailing Team of GC32 Class President. At present on the third place of the podium, but hoping to rise higher is Armin Strom Sailing Team of GC32 Class President, Flavio Marazzi. The Swiss former Olympic Star sailor has been rotating crew this season, and this includes himself. Kiwi match racing champion, Phil Robertson, stood in for him at the last event, Copa del Rey MAPFRE, where they finished second.
Posted on 21 Sep
Diego Stefani joins Armin Strom for the 4th event in GC32 Racing Tour
Diego has been associated with the Armin Strom since 2013 and this year has seen him lend expertise from the coach boat. Diego has been associated with the Armin Strom Sailing Team since 2013 and this year has seen him lend his expertise from the coach boat as he recovers from an injury suffered last year.
Posted on 20 Sep