sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : London Olympics 2012 - When seconds count
London Olympics 2012 - When seconds count

'Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE)'    onEdition ©    Click Here to view large photo


At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, however one looked at it, for the first 28 minutes the defending Olympic champions of the Star class were achieving their aim. With Freddie Loof and Max Salminem disputing the lead of the medal race with Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner of New Zealand, the sixth place in which the British pair rounded the last mark was good enough for gold.


On the final leg, the fleet - from fourth to eighth - spread across the course and as the boats narrowed their path to the finishing line, there were several overlaps and port tack boats giving way to starboard tackers. Four of those crossed the line overlapped within two seconds and as (bad) luck would have it, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson had dropped two places and their gold was devalued to silver.

The Nothe course, where the medal race was held, has been under criticism from the sailors at these Games, and many others in the past have condemned the area a 'too tricky,' and not without cause. The wind shifts close inshore are fickle and capricious and these could have been the undoing of the British pair. 'It can be cruel, it feels that way at the moment,' said Percy on coming ashore. He added; 'That's the problem when you end up racing in ridiculous conditions, but we'll have to take it on the chin.'

There is considerable irony in the Star final placing. Four years ago, in Qingdao, Loof went into the medal race with 33 points, two clear of Percy and Simpson; Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil had 47 points. In the medal race, a third for the Brazilians gave them 53 points and the silver medal; a fifth for the Brits gave them the gold medal with 45 points; while Loof who was last added 20 to his score and slumped to the bronze medal. This time it needed the first place to stake the Swedish skipper's claim to gold.


The Nothe course may work for the spectators - in the words of the Field-of-Play manager, Rod Carr: 'We hardly imagined that 4,500 people would pay (£55.00) to sit on the grass and cheer.' Not only was this crowd in the Nothe gardens, but on either side, the crowds occupied the slopes and the rocks - doubling the size of the spectator numbers. And they cheered their favourites loudly - it was a first for Olympic sailing.

The locals had another favourite to cheer when the Stars gave way to the Finns. Ben Ainslie is an acknowledged crowd favourite and this highly-partisan crowd was there to cheer him to success. All week, throughout the ten races, Ben had trailed Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark and was just two points adrift when they started the medal race. Ben had not only to beat the Dane, but if Pieter-Jan Postma of Holland won the race, Ainslie had to be seventh or better - he had to have eyes for everything.

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ben Ainslie sails away after saluting the crowd -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

As the final seconds ticked down to the start, Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen eyed each other closely but on the first windward leg, Ainslie played the shifts while the Dane went hard left. At the first mark the British defending Olympic champion was fifth and the Dane ninth. Postma was sixth and all appeared comfortable, particularly when Ben, using his 'pumping' technique moved up to second on the run.

The second beat was the tricky one particularly as Ainslie had opted to put a loose cover on the Dane and the two of them had gone to the right when there was a big shift on the left. They rounded the windward mark the second time in the last two places. As Jonathan Lobert of France and Dan Slater of New Zealand were clear at the front of the fleet, the gold medal would be resolved between the two at the back of the medal race fleet.

The wind had lightened so much that the dynamic sailing (pumping and ooching) was banned downwind and this further hampered Ben's progress - he is the best in the world at this. Starting the third and final beat, Ainslie was 10 seconds ahead and his cover became tighter. There was simply no way that Hogh-Christensen was going to get past. It was Ben, the former World Match Racing champion at his best.

The crowd on the Nothe (and around) cheered him as he crossed the finishing line. A new Olympic sailing record was established. Ben Ainslie had equalled the 'Great Dane' Paul Elvstrom's four consecutive gold medals, but his silver medal in the Laser class in 1996 puts him in a class of his own.

London 2012 website


by Bob Fisher

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100632

6:35 PM Sun 5 Aug 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

06 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth, Day 8 - Gold on line in Stars
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: Star - Swedes claim gold in thrilling finale
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Day 8 - Ainslie wins more Gold
06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Ben Ainslie secures golden place in history
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Ben Ainslie wins Finn gold - Images by Ingrid Abery
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Day 8 - Kiwis second in both Medal Races
06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Iain Percy's parents react to silver medal win
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics - Roddy Ainslie, dad of the greatest Olympic sailor
06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Ainslie, who else?
06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Ben Ainslie greatest sailing Olympian to date
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,














America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,














































2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii






BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video   
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead   
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video   
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2   
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video   
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice   
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs   
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off   
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario   
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events   
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT