Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

London Olympics 2012 - All on a Summer's Day

by Bob Fisher on 3 Aug 2012
July 31, 2012 Heavyweight Mens Singlehander - Ben Ainslie GBR - approaching Mark 1 on today’s first race © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com
A British-born mate in Hong Kong had been communicating about the performance of the Olympic champion, Ben Ainslie, in the first six races relative to that of Jonas Hogh-Christensen, who was becoming dubbed: 'the Great Dane,' a title formerly reserved for fellow Finn sailor Paul Elvstrom. The friend in that district of China with national autonomy is not a man of little faith, but like many others, his belief in Ben was being stretched almost to breaking point.

Come Thursday and there is a change in the weather. Despite a bleak morning, the sun came out to shine and its effect was noticeable throughout Team GBR. There was a couple more knots of breeze, but that should have given the Danish sailor even more advantage as he is 12 kilos (27lbs) heavier than his British rival. Ben had his best start of this regatta in the first race of the day and led throughout. The pressure was relieved somewhat when Jonas capsized early on the run and went from fourth to tenth. But those are the factors that make yacht racing the sport that it is.

Jonas went for broke (old English expression) at the start of the eighth race by nailing the pin end of the line. He was a trifle slow away and Rafa Trujillo of Spain was to windward of the Dane. Watching the two was enlightening - Jonas went for speed while Rafa went for height. At the first mark it was one-two in favour of the Spaniard, but not far behind, in fifth place, was Ben. His downwind technique was called into play and he moved up to third as Jonas slipped to fourth.

On the day, Ben had improved seven points on Jonas and now trails him by three with two races and the double-pointed medal race to come. The telling reply from Hong Kong read: 'No lack of faith here, believe me. Jonas had to have a result worse than Ben's worst, which was that eighth today that forces him to count the seventh from day 2, and Ben's worst now is a 6. Damn, I could get into this maths stuff! My money says Ben in the lead before the medal race. Am equally excited about Iain and Bart (in the Star), Goodison (Laser), Stevie and Ben (49er), and the 470 boys.' It would seem he knows where to put his money - his bets would have paid handsomely on this day.

A 1,2 by Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star, extended their lead by five points over Robert Scheidt of Brazil. This was aided at the finish of the first of the day's races when it appeared that the Brazilians would take the second place, but Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki's boat lifted on a wave and surged past the hapless Brazilians to snatch the place from them. Then finishing second in the next race helped the British pair to a nine point lead after eight races.

The extra breeze was obviously what Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes wanted for the 49er races. They led the first from start to finish - just nine seconds ahead of the Finish pair, Lauri Lehtinen and Kalle Bask. The same two had a close battle with places changing three times before the result was exactly as before. The much-vaunted Australian duo of Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen had, for them, a bad day with a tenth and a sixth, so that the British pair are within eleven points in second place.

Goodison and his fellow Laser sailors had the day off, but the '470 boys' began their campaign in style, emulating the British Star sailors by putting only three points on the board to lead the Austrian pair by two points and the Australian pre-series favourites, Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page, who lie fifth, by nine points.

If the sun continues to shine and the winds to blow, who knows what the next days will bring? The maths will be brought into constant use (and the rusty cogs of the calculator will be heard whirring) before this regatta is over. Faith persists.
North Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearZhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Does the America's Cup really need a Star Chamber?
The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London in the past week or so. Officially the date hasn't been publicly announced. The venue hasn't been publicly named, and the parties have appeared before a Panel that is publicly nameless.
Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's road to Bermuda
Part 2 of the interview with Emirates Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby. In this part of the interview we look at what is going to happen once Emirates Team NZ get their 'AC49.5' sailing in Auckland, and how the campaign may shape up before they leave for Bermuda. Ashby wouldn’t be drawn on whether Team New Zealand had started their AC50 build, with July being the usual start of what is usually a five-month build and commissioning period for an end of December launch.
Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's new AC49.5
Sail-World talks with Emirates Team NZ skipper, Glenn Ashby on what is different about the team's new test boat Just under 11 months out from the 35th America’s Cup, Team New Zealand does not seem to be in its customary place at the front of the starting grid to be the first to launch their Challenger, or are they? Although they will be one of the last of the six teams to launch an AC45 Surrogate, Emirates Team New Zealand may have stolen a march with a boat that is as close as you can get to an AC50.
Posted on 9 Jul
Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates TNZ NZ and Oracle capsize in Chicago Practice
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA capsized in Practice Racing at the Louis Vuitton ACWS Chicago There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day. Team NZ's skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury.
Posted on 11 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 construction uncovered - Part 2 - Wings and Costs
Second part of a two-part series looking at the AC50 construction progress at Core Builders Composites Second part of a two-part series looking at the construction progress at Core Builders Composites, and features of the AC50 class which will be used in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Tim Smyth takes us on a tour of the CBC facility in Warkworth, and hour's drive north of Auckland. Where several AC50's, components and wingsails are under construction or have already been shipped to the teams.
Posted on 5 Jun