Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

London Olympics 2012 Laser Radial – in the mixed zone

by Rob Kothe and Jeraldine Murphy on 8 Aug 2012
Lijia Xu (CHN) who won the Gold Medal in Laser Radial onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, there was an impressive display from the Laser Radial sailor of the 2012 season, China’s Lijia Xu, who snagged the Gold Medal by winning the medal race.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist had a great season with three World Cup wins and now Olympic Gold. It’s been widely acknowledged that the big improvement in Xu’s performance has been the contribution of her British coach, who inexplicably was sacked by the Chinese just before the Games, but continued to support the Chinese sailor.

After the medal race, Xu now the 2012 Gold Medallist acknowledged that.

‘To start with, I just want to give a really huge thanks to Jon Emmett, (the Weymouth based British coach) who over the last year taught me so much about real sailing at a level which I could not have reached just with a Chinese coach and the Chinese support team.

‘Before the medal race, he analysed the sea breeze again with me. We looked at the cloud formations and how the wind would go throughout the afternoon here in Weymouth, said Xu.

‘It made a big difference as the Nothe Course is particularly shifty so you have to understand the wind pattern and follow the shifts,' Xu continued.

‘I feel very proud for myself and also very proud of my nation.’

‘This makes China’s second sailing gold medal, we had a windsurfing gold medal in Qingdao.’

‘I will let more Chinese people know about this sport and get them involved in feeling the joy of steering a boat on the sea.’

‘I am happy too for my huge support team in China.’

Belgian sailor Evi Van Acker won bronze, the first sailing medal for Belgium in 16 years.

In the mixed zone she commented, ‘So far Belgium has won three medals in this Olympics. We have won one in Judo, one in shooting and me. We have plenty of good athletes to come so I hope more will follow.


The last Olympic sailing medal for Belgium was in 1996, some 16 years ago. It has been a while and I am really happy to be the latest.’

‘I believe everyone on the team deserves credit. My coach, my mental team, my physical team, the federation, the government. Everybody has been working together in this and it has been a great cooperation between everyone.

Will Van Acker be sailing in Rio in 2016? Rio de Janeiro, it sounds better than Weymouth I have to say, it will be completely different and that is what makes it fun. I don't know about Rio yet, I am finishing my studies first and then I’ll decide what I will do.

One of the pre-event favourites US sailor Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey, disappointed with her eighth place, confessed the reasons why.

‘Ahead of the medal race, the main objective for me was to improve my downwind and my balance because they weren't that great during the Olympic series. I completed my goals and I feel happy about that. Of course I am disappointed with my overall result but I can’t do anything about it now.


‘Overall it’s pretty obvious what didn't go my way. I did not sail well on the harbour course and the Nothe Course, when we had many of our races there and that was the downfall for me.

‘It was the downwind that killed me honestly. My downwind speed was not that good. I was rounding windward marks ok but I could not get the boat to go fast downwind.

‘We were trying to work on it a little bit. We didn't think it was necessarily that big a problem until we did the racing. I just tried to take one race at a time and when it started going wrong I just didn't focus on the negatives. I had to keep focussing on what I could do at the moment.’

PredictWind.com 2014Protector - 660 x 82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016