Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

London Olympics 2012 - Stars shine in perfect conditions

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 30 Jul 2012
July 29, 2012 Star Start Race 1 © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
The wind gods blessed the Star Class with fantastic conditions for their first official day of Olympic competition during this summer’s Games with a steady 12-15 knots (with stronger puffs) out of the west-southwest. Seas followed the angle of the air, delivering the Star class with superb racing on the Weymouth Bay West course (situated just outside of the protected Nothe area, where the Women’s Match Racing will take place, and where the first of today’s two Finn races will be fought-out). According to Weymouth locals, the strange glowing yellow glowing thing in the sky (read: the sun) will be out today, but the cloudy veil is expected to return later this week.

The RC made great use of the splendid weather, firing off two races once a rainsquall passed over the course, necessitating a short postponement. This small wait did nothing to distract the fleet, many of whom have previous Olympic experience. An impressive starting-line Samba ensued, with elbows being tossed to create starting-line options. The breeze held steady after the squall passed, but the fleet certainly proved to be dynamic, with the pole position changing hands several times throughout the first few legs. For example, Germany’s Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen rounded the first and second windward marks in first place, only to see their lead evaporate once the sheets were eased on the final run.

Off the breeze, French sailors Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot proved the boat to beat, sliding past Stanjek and Kleen to take line honors in race one. The two French sailors enjoyed a double-handed high-five for their victory lap, huge grins telegraphing their mood. Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows took second place, followed by Greece’s Emilios Papathanasiou and Adonis Tsotras in third place.

'We missed a pretty important shift in the first race,' reported Great Brittain’s ace Star sailor, Ian Percy. 'It was pretty nerve-wracking on the starting line.'

Race two proved—once again—that the Star class can be won or lost by any team in any given race. By the top of the first beat, Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows followed by Norway’s Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen in second and Brazil’s always-fast Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. Come the second lap around the weather mark, however, the cards had shuffled substantially, with Scheidt and Prada taking the lead, followed by Percy and Simpson and then Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki.

A final leeward leg followed, with sailors pumping their sails and working each wave with plenty of 'body language' being used throughout the fleet to 'row the boat downhill'. Scheidt and Prada commanded this final off-the-wind leg to take the bullet, immediately followed by Great Britain’s Ian Percy and Andrew Simpson (via a photo finish) and Kusznierewicz and Zycki. 'I’m happy about it,' reported Scheidt. 'That is how the Olympics should be—a high level of competition…. We will try our best and play our cards and see how it goes later in the week.'


For their part, the British team put up a great fight, especially on the second race. 'It was a tricky race and a good battle up front,' reported Simpson. 'We’re going well and we fought back. Our speed is good. We’re much better in the waves. We’re faster than [the Brazilians] downwind, which is great. We’ve just got to keep chipping away, taking advantage of [the Brazilians] on the downwind and catching them on the upwind. It’s going to be a long regatta and a good fight.'

Racing in the Star class resumes tomorrow and continues throughout the week, with the class' medal race taking place on Sunday. Stay tuned for more, as it unfurls.

Results:

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZSouthern Spars - 100

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
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
London Paralympic Games debrief to start in Rio
Paralympic Games committee will share their knowledge and experiences of London 2012 with future organising committees. The organising committee of what International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven defined as the best ever Paralympic Games, will share their knowledge and experiences of London 2012 with future organising committees and the 2020 candidate cities this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Posted on 21 Nov 2012
2012 Olympics- The Medalists thoughts on Kites and Windsurfers
The new Olympic Medalists were asked their thoughts on the decision to change the event from Windsurfing to Kiteboarding At the Medal Winners Media Conference held after the Medal Ceremony for the Mens and Womens Windsurfing Event at the 2012 Olympics, the new Olympic Medalists were asked their thoughts on the decision to change the event from Windsurfing to Kiteboarding the 2016 Olympics.
Posted on 2 Nov 2012