London Olympics 2012 - Weymouth 2012 Last Chance
by Mark Chisnell on 29 Jul 2012
London Olympics 2012. It was practice day at the Olympic venue and everyone was at it.
July 28, 2012 Mens Heavyweight Singlehander (Finn) Ben Ainslie © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
We cranked up the live blog on the ISAF website
to get used to the set-up and the software.
The television broadcast crews were also doing their thing and occasionally some great pictures of the Finn practice race flicked up on the television monitors dotted around the media centre. The sailors were hard at it too - there was a practice session for the Women's Match Racing and the Stars, as well as the Finns.
I imagine you want to know who won what... and I wish I could give you the full run-down, but the other people that were practicing today were providers of all the information that will, when the real thing gets going, pour into the media centre. However, since you were asking... none of the Finns finished the practice race, bailing out at the top mark before the final downwind.
It was the last chance for everyone, tomorrow it's for real, and it's very real for one man in particular - Ben Ainslie. The Finns open the racing on the Nothe spectator course tomorrow, and Ainslie stands on the brink of sailing and Olympic history. Favourite for gold, if he brings it home he will finally beat Paul Elvstrom's 52 year record of four consecutive gold medals. It goes without saying that all eyes will be on Ainslie not just tomorrow, but right through to the medal race on the 5th August.
Is he going to do it? Well, after dominating Finn racing through the last twelve months, with a win in Weymouth at the 2011 Olympic Test Event and the 2012 Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth, it would be kinda foolish to bet against him.
The weather is setting up to be pretty breezy through the next week, racing should open tomorrow with 15-20 knots from the west, stay about the same for Monday, shift to the south for Tuesday before kicking in properly for a 'Big Wednesday'.
It's then forecast to ease back to 15-20 knots again for the next three or four days, but it's all coming out of the south and west. That's the prevailing wind direction and ideal for all the Weymouth race courses.
It's setting up to be a fantastic first week of sailing and we have every chance of seeing racing every day in great conditions. Giles Scott did beat Ben Ainslie during a very breezy week at Skandia Sail for Gold in Weymouth in June, but Scott isn't at the Olympics. And Ben Ainslie dominated the big day at the Gold Cup against the competition that is at the Games.
So, go ahead, sue me - but I think Ainslie will make history.
The Finns are not the only class at these Games, but I suspect it will feel like it for the next eight days.