London Olympics 2012 - Star class drama
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 6 Aug 2012
The London 2012 Olympics Star Medal race sailed on Weymouth’s Nothe course with a crowd of thousands, dozens of media boats and with the constant throb of helicopters. It produced an unexpected result.
Percy and Simpson - close but a silver cigar - 2012 London Olympics - Weymouth Day 7 Sail-World.com © http://www.sail-world.com
Perhaps it was the pressure of the occasion, the winners thought it was a fair course the losers not.
Here we publish the words of the major players and pictures of the action and the reactions and you can decide.
Fredrik Loof and Max Salninen from Sweden won the race and won Gold.
Freddy Loof said ‘Until we were circling below the starting vessel and saw the board and we saw that ercy and Simpson were placed eighth and we knew they had to be better than seven and that's when we realised we had won Gold.
‘Percy had a lot of pressure. We were first around the top mark and you have nine hungry boats behind you on the first round as well. We lost one boat and it is not easy and everyone wanted to finish off this regatta with a good race. No one is giving an inch.
'The course was good. Of course I am saying that, what can I say. It was an oscillating breeze but I thought the course was quite fair. You could read the water quite well. The crowd was unbelievable.
'And the results? It was the same top three boats as in Beijing, just in a different order.'
The losers Iain Percy and Andrew (Bart) Simpson were subdued.
Iain started the conversation. ‘We sailed ten good races and then you sail a bit of a dice thrower at the end.
‘We can’t blame anyone but ourselves but at the same time we are also really proud of the performances we have put in this week. Normally that would be enough - it wasn't this week. These guys are two nice guys and that makes it a little less painful but only a little.
‘We missed a major shift. It takes nothing away from how great we have sailed all week but that's the nature of this sport.
'When we discovered the result I think I said a few words that weren't addressed to Andrew but they were more general... probably wouldn't run on Television before 9pm.'
Andrew said 'All I would say is it not the way I would run an Olympic Games. It was a great viewing experience for everyone on the Nothe. It doesn’t help us but that's what it is about.
'Because of that they run in a medal race which is half the time right underneath a wall and double the points. At the moment I feel that that is a bit of a bad format but look let’s not concentrate on that. We are proud of having a silver medal. It doesn’t feel good yet but I am sure it will in a week’s time.
'I feel we have sailed really well this week. We have been beaten by two guys, especially Freddie, who we have known and both of us have sailed against for twenty years. One of the nicest gentlemen and best sailors you will ever race against. For him to finish his career today is something that, a tiny bit of happiness for both of us.
'The silver medal will obviously help with a career but we are not thinking about that at the moment. I am off to sail in the America's Cup with Artemis and I need to think about that in the next few days but let’s give us a week for us to put it together.
'At the moment the Star is not in the Olympics and there is not an option to go to another class. Unless that changes then that is it for us. But the Brazilians are keen for it to stay in. Hopefully things will change.'
Iain concluded 'It is fantastic having the supporters there, enjoying it, watching it and it is great to see people obviously enjoying the sailing and that’s is why they are racing so close to shore and it makes for trickier conditions but the support is fantastic. I hope that Great Britain has had a great time watching it.'
Star - Men - Overall Results
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