London Olympics 2012 - It’s all happening at the zoo
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 31 Jul 2012
This morning’s press briefing summed it up perfectly: Today was the busiest day of racing during the entire 2012 Olympiad, with racing starting at 1200 hours, local time. No doubt, the various race committees had their hands more than full, as eight classes engaged in starting-line tangos on four different courses.
Paige Railey (USA), Laser Radial - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
The breeze was once again from the west-southwest at 14 to 16 knots, with puffs tickling the lower 20s on anemometers. Visibility took a hitch south today compared to the first two days of racing, with a big front expected to sweep over Weymouth tomorrow (between noon and 1300 hours), delivering lashing winds before relenting and (hopefully) delivering more user-friendly conditions for the competing athletes.
On the Weymouth Bay West course, the RS:X Men’s and RS:X Women’s classes answered their starting guns, with the Men being the first to cross the starting line. This is the first day of racing for both windsurfing classes, so the intensity level (and first-day butterflies) crackled from this track throughout both 30-minute, 'L'-shaped races that each class contested.
The Finns and Stars both raced today on the Weymouth Bay South course. The Stars sailed a series of long Windward-Leewards, while the singlehanded Finns sailed a trapezoid-shaped course within the confines of their racing circle.
On the Nothe course, which can be viewed from ashore, the Laser Radial class and the Women’s Match Racing (WMR) sailors went through their paces. The Radials sailed a Windward-Leeward race (several times around with a more animated final mark before blasting across the finishing line) before migrating inshore, while the WMR sailors rifled off four flights of hotly contested racing.
And closest to shore, on the Portland Harbor course, the 49ers pierced their starting line at 1200 hours, local time, quickly powering through two races. At 1400 hours, the Lasers and the Laser Radials assumed control over this course, sailing their second race of the day on these flatter, more-protected waters.
Please stay tuned for more updates as the afternoon’s racing progresses, and for wrap-up results, once the scorecards are populated.