Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

London Olympics 2012 - Medal day for the 470s

by Bob Fisher on 11 Aug 2012
Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) roll tack on the third leg of the 470 Mens Medal race © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com
London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition: Was there any doubt that Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell would attack the Australian pairing of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page? It was an all-too-obviously pre-planned strategy by the British crew, one that had the influence of Ben Ainslie stamped all over it. But it was something they had to do, the Brits needed to create a situation that put another crew between them and the Aussies - a big ask against the super-fast fleet leaders.

Sure enough, their match racing put them near the back of the ten boats as the starting gun fired, but critically the Brits were ahead and to windward as they headed out to the right hand side of the course. Patience and Bithell were the first to tack on to starboard, picking up a touch more breeze as they did so. It was then that it became more apparent that there were spikes in the breeze, spikes with two knots more wind and that these were going to have a major effect on the outcome.

It was, however, all going swimmingly for the British pair, the Croatians, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic were sailing one of their best races of the series and providing the essential blocker for ultimate British success. Would that the race had finished at the first mark, where the order was Britain, Croatia and then Australia. We Poms were cheering our team on while the Okkers were telling everyone how fast Belcher and Page would be downwind.

Dammit, they got that right. Travelling noticeably deeper and faster they passed the Brits, as did the Croatians, and at the half-way stage were leading. The shifts on the upwind leg favoured the Croatians and once ahead they were never in danger. The Brits rounded fourth and started to charge. The umpires had other ideas and penalised Patience and Bithell for illegal propulsion. They took their penalty turn without hesitation and without losing a place, but the damage was done. It needed a reversal of places for a British triumph but the racecourse was running out. Dammit again. The Gold was Australia's and well deserved (It sometimes hurts to write the truth) and the Silver went to the Brits.


So, we said to ourselves, it has to be balanced by Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, the reigning world champions of the Women's 470s - they were level on points with the Kiwi duo, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie. It was bound to be a match race and doubtless Ben had been to give the champs a few tips. So it looked too, but when the gun fired the principal protagonists were heading in different directions - the Kiwis to the right and the Brits, trapped under the Australians, to the left.

As luck would have it, Mr. Sod had his say in this race. The right side paid dividends big time and as the Kiwis trotted around the windward mark with a goodly lead, the Brits were dead last, a minute and a quarter in arrears. One felt for Hannah and Saskia - all that effort dissipated in a ten minute beat - and they were to lose another minute downwind. The only compensation that the Brits had was that they could not lose the silver medal and they did get past the Yanks (but there was little consolation in the latter fact). The Kiwis deserved their victory (ouch again!)

The 470 sailors know that they will have their chances again in 2016, unless there is another rush of bad blood to the heads of the ISAF Councillors. It is a boat with which the majority can identify and is universally established, one can never be certain, given the mood swings that occur at the Annual Meetings, or even in the truth of what actually took place when voting takes place.

It would appear that the Spanish delegate, entrusted with the voting on the Boards versus Kites matter, Gerardo Seeliger, did exactly as he was bid and voted (under orders) for kiteboards; it was only the President of the National Authority, FNEV, that decided he would curry favour with the rank-and-file and say that he had made a mistake and did so because he didn't understand. Senor Pombo, I would respectfully suggest that it is time for you to resign.

North Technology - Southern SparsZhik Yachting 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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