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London Olympics 2012- Sailing Olympics News - Day 10

by . on 8 Aug 2012
Dorian Van Rijsselberge 2012 - Olympic Games - Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright
Welcome to Sail-World.com's 2012 Olympic Newsletter for Day 10

Sorry we have all lost track of the days here - and got the newsletter number wrong yesterday - which the trainspotters might have picked up.

Don't worry there is no Newsletter #9 - 10 comes after 8.

Today was the 10th day in the 2012 Olympic Regatta on which the winds have blown from a westerly direction and moderate in strength.

Ideal for sailing, and despite all the jokes about British weather - this has been one out of the bag. There has hardly been a delay in the time of starts waiting for wind to settle down.


Today on the 470 course there was minor delay between races after a temporary windshift (well it flicked back and forth for time) and we got a rare view of the red and white striped postponement flag.

While the winds have been constant, the same cannot be said for the skies. There has been only one real blue skies day - and that was yesterday.

Today it is cold, and a reminder that, for the British, winter is on its way.

On the 470 course, sailing inside Portland Harbour the sailors were on fire - particularly so the New Zealand combination of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, who had two outstanding wins in the two races sailed. In fact they led around 16 of the 18 marks, and won by margins of 40 and 56 seconds - but who is counting?

On the water there was a mile of difference between them and the second boat, and one wonders what will happen on the next three races they have to sail to complete the regattas.


The New Zealand womens performance was mirrored by Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) on the Nothe course which hosted the Windsurfing Medal Races. The Flying Dutchman has dominated this regatta - probably like has never been seen in the windsurfer. His worst place (aside from a decision yesterday to sit out Race 10) is a third, and he won six of the nine races he sailed, plus the Medal Race today.

Marina Alabau (ESP) also had the Gold medal in the bag before the start of today's Medal Race. But behind her the points were very close with just one point separating second third and fourth places. An attempt at a protest over a technicality did not go down well with the Polish Bronze medalist, and reference was made to the incident at their Media Conference tonight.


Top of everyone's minds was the fact, that as matters now stand today was the end of Windsurfing as an Olympic Event - an era which started in 1984.

The vote to effectively oust Windsurfing by the ISAF, at its Mid-Year meeting is now a full-on debacle, with a judicial review being sought, revelations from many Council members or their National Authorities/Areas that they had voted incorrectly. One admitted to being confused, others were dis-owned.


Tonight that pot was kept on the boil by media and competitors at the Medalists Media Conference, when all spoke in varying degrees against the decision. It is a cheap shot to claim that they were speaking in self-interest. There is no doubt that these fine athletes could easily turn their hand to Kiteboarding and make a very good fist of it.

No, their arguments centred around the development of the sport of windsurfing, and the need to involve young people and continue the paths now in place for the sport to grow. Some very good points were made, and quite how the ISAF extricates itself from this mess remains to be seen.


Tomorrow the attention will centre on the Medal Race for the Mens Skiff, or 49er class. Two of the medals are decided - a clean race is all that is required. But for the Bronze medal, competition will be intense.

There is a good chance the winds will blow for an 11th day, the crowds on the Nothe will be as big as ever, and once again we will see a demonstration of the very best in competitive sailing.


In this edition of Sail-World’s Olympic newsletter we have all the background and reports on today's racing, including the two Medal Races, along with some great images from some of the world’s top photographers.

We’ll all be back in action tomorrow – stay tuned to www.sail-world.com

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Olympic Editor

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