Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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 www.photosport.co.nz
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:

Helm Events 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Wicked
ather and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery Father and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery, but Mark is out on the water, approaching Hobart. From on board he said, 'Amazing race. Barely any windward work. Just does not get better than this. Bit of gear damage cost us early, and we had to sail a little conservatively.'
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Accepting the Challenge
When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South at Christmas time. Luckily this has not been a problem for Chris Mrakas and his new crew, which includes Bruce Reidy
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – 67 out of 70
It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite in the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race so far, then it is more than A+++. Anto Sweetapple from on board the Jones 40, Quetzalcoatl, reports in from at sea for us.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 - The 60 Hour report card
60 hours into the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race. 16 boats finished,five boats retired and 67 boats at sea. The state of play 60 hours into the 72nd running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At 0100hrs Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time this morning, 16 boats had finished the 2016 race. Five boats had retired, and 67 boats were still on the water.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016