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Southern Spars

London Olympics 2012 - Australians doing swimmingly

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 2 Aug 2012
Nathan Outerridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) competing today, 01.08.12, in the Men’s Skiff (49er) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
The 49er World Champions and red hot Olympic 49er Gold Medal favourites Nathan Outteridge and Iain (Goobs) Jensen have opened up a nice lead after six races into the Olympic series. After racing today they provided a window into their regatta.

At the bottom of this story you will discover the story of the lead photo.

Iain Jensen was first to comment. ‘Today was really good. We came away with a two and a one. We had good starts in both of them and got the first shift in both of them and didn't round the top mark in first in either of them but I think in the first we were around in seventh and the second one we rounded in third and we just ground away from there and waited for the other boats to make a mistake. That was our plan; to sail with a little bit less risk.’

Nathan Outteridge: - ‘‘Today conditions were good for us, not too much wind. It has to be over 22knots for it to be quite hairy in these boats these days and in the harbour probably the hardest thing is the gybes. Just because it is quite choppy at the bottom and if you jump a wave and it bounces on the nose it can throw the boat one way or another and gets some big helm loads and then if we are outside with the big waves just trying to go down them in a straight line in 22knots is quite difficult. Today was pretty similar to yesterday and it was relatively easy sailing - perfect conditions for a 49er.

‘Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) and ourselves have done a lot of training together over the last three or four years and we have done, I don't know how many times, we have gone up and down this harbour, neck and neck the whole way and sometimes they are a tad quicker and sometimes we are a tad quicker. The 49er is quite dependent on having the rigs set up properly, like the turnbuckles.

‘We have a chat after each day and work out who was in what and help each other out with that so they were a little quick on the first race, we were a little quick in the second race yesterday and today we were again neck and neck. I wouldn't say there was a whole lot in it but these boats are very tweaky that's for sure.

‘The Kiwis are sailing very well. We have been a little bit ahead of them in both races and we made a good pass move in the second bit of the first race but they are sailing excellently. It is exactly what we expected of them. We have got to keep on our game because the moment we make a little slip up they are going to be there to capitalise on it so we have just to keep doing our thing.

‘We are not really keeping an eye on any of the boats we are racing. We are just looking at the shifts and the general fleet and where they are and just trying to get around the first mark in the top five. ‘If we can do that in every race it probably won’t matter what everyone else does. As the days goes on they are definitely the guys to watch for sure.
‘It’s good to see Steve Morrison and Ben Rhodes on a charge today. They have got plenty of potential and we were a little shocked that they weren’t doing so well initially but today is what I expect of those guys and as we keep saying we are only six races into it. It is a long way to go and we wouldn't be surprised if they are going to be right behind us in a couple of days.


Peter Burling chimed in ‘We have the same boat speeds as Nath and Goobs. (Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen) They’ve just been better at positioning themselves in a slightly better place on the course and we kind of screwed up there on the first beat of the last race.

‘We just missed a few shifts up the first beat and went round behind a big pack in about 12 or something. Lots of guys just riding on our tail and right in front of us but had a really good run and got ourselves in a good position again.
‘It is a really long regatta and we sailed well for the first couple of days but there is still plenty more work to do but we are really happy. We haven’t had a discard yet and just knocking out some pretty low scores which has been good.’

And the reason why Outteridge was photographed with a snorkel??

The answer from the horse’s mouth: ‘ My mate Jody (Shiels from Wangi Wangi Sailing Club) has come over here to watch us race. He is probably one of our biggest supporters. Last night at dinner he said here you are, this is for you for capsizing yesterday so today you have got to wear it out there in case you swim you have got your snorkel and your goggles, so I wore it out to the start line today just trying to keep it a bit light hearted.

But we were pretty safe today. We had one little wave on one of the runs where we launched completely out of the water. We both went back and Goobs fell against me and then I went round the back of the boat but then he grabbed at me, got me high in the crutch and pulled me back on. He grinned and said ‘you are not going anywhere today.’

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