Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40

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.’

KZRaceFurlersRS Sailing 660x82C-Tech Emirates TNZ

Related Articles

A Q&A with Kimball Livingston about San Francisco high school sailing
I emailed with my friend and colleague Kimball Livingtston to learn about San Francisco’s latest sailing revolution. I started hearing whispers of shifts in the San Francisco Bay high school sailing scene a couple of months ago. A few inquiries led me to my good friend and colleague Kimball Livingston, a world-class sailor, scribe, and StFYC staff commodore who isn’t one to keep his seaboots dry when the topic turns to opportunities for the next sailing generation. I caught up with KL via email to learn more.
Posted on 13 Jun
A Q&A with Andrew Howe about winning the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race
I interviewed Andrew Howe, the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race’s winning co-navigator, to learn more about their race. In 2015, skipper Greg Marston and the crew of Ti, a 1967 Alden Mistral, racing under celestial rules, were the overall winners of the Marion Bermuda Race Founders Division, beating boats that were enjoying GPS accuracy. On the eve of the 2017 edition of the race, I reached out to Andrew Howe, the team’s co-navigator, to gain perspective on this impressive win and hear about his 2017 plans.
Posted on 7 Jun
An interview with Allan McLean about the 2017 Marion to Bermuda Race
I interviewed Allan McLean, the Marion to Bermuda Race’s executive director, to learn more about this biennial event. The 2017 Marion to Bermuda Race is set to kick off on Friday, June 9, so I caught up with Allan McLean, the race’s executive director, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the special America’s Cup experience that awaits Marion to Bermuda sailors upon reaching the Onion Patch.
Posted on 5 Jun
An interview with Ray Redniss about the STC’s annual Block Island Race
I caught up with Ray Redniss, the Block Island Race’s longtime PRO, via email to learn more about this classic event. I caught up with Ray Redniss, who has served as the PRO for the Block Island Race and the Vineyard Race (September 1, 2017) for the past twenty-plus years, via email to learn more about the state of this classic, early season New England event.
Posted on 22 May
An Q&A with Jeremy Pochman about 11th Hour Racing’s impressive efforts
I interviewed Jeremy Pochman of 11th Hour Racing to learn more about this forward-thinking environmental non-profit. 11th Hour Racing is doing some of the most forward-leaning environmental work in the entire marine sphere, and I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing’s Strategic Director and Co-founder, to ask a few questions. All sailors are strongly encouraged to give this interview the time it deserves.
Posted on 15 May
A Q&A with Don Adams about Sail Canada’s plan to win Olympic medals
I caught up with Sail Canada CEO Don Adams to hear about Team Canada’s High Performance Plan for winning Olympic medals. Sail Canada, Canada’s national sailing authority, is implementing a new High Performance Plan with the aim of improving on their recent Olympic sailing performances. I caught up with Don Adams, CEO of Sail Canada, to learn more about this ambition plan for helping Canadian sailors win Olympic medals while also helping to inspire younger generations to pursue the Olympic-sailing dream.
Posted on 8 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr