Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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:

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearMackay BoatsNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep