Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

London Olympics 2012- Closing on gravy strokes - Thursday at Weymouth

by Bob Fisher on 9 Aug 2012
Powrie and Aleh, 470 - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
London Olympics 2012 - One of the most logical of all sailors has corresponded regarding the illogicality of the scoring system used at the Olympic regatta. He points out that, quite rightly, the ten-race system allows for one discard because the sailors' performances can best be measured on an average system. Then this deep-sea sailor points to the contradiction in deciding the medals with a shorter, double-points-counting, mandatory race that is non-discardable.

The grand old man of the sea chipped in also that kiteboarding was more expensive than windsurfing, at least according to all the evidence presented to him. That, he says, 'flies in the face of the objective of keeping the costs down.' He added that while a senior member of the Establishment had made an unfortunate remark about the television crews being of greater importance than the competitors at the Olympic regatta, it will have to be decided whether sailing is a sport or a music hall turn!

There are those racing at Weymouth who have laid claim to not paying attention to the scoreline of the preliminary races. This is totally unbelievable. How would they know who and what they had to watch as the series progressed? Jo Aleh, the Kiwi leader of the Women's 470s, says that she only goes out to race to do as well as she can. So, it has worked for her as she is joint leader at the completion of ten races; or was she telling the truth?

Would she have been totally happy with her position in the tenth race (at 18th)? Or is her claim one of bravado? Doubtless she has now worked out that only she and her crew Olivia Powrie can battle it out for the gold medal with Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, who are level on points, or is Kiwi an acronym for keen interested without intelligence? The rest will race for the bronze medal on Friday.

The Men's 470 medal race promises much with the Viktor Kovalenko-coached Australians, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, with a four point lead over Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, and the rest nowhere. Shades of the Finn gold medal battle perhaps?


Gut-wrenching is the best description of the Women's Match Racing quarter finals, particularly if you were either British or American. Spare a thought for the Yanks' team manager, Dean Brenner. Not one of his team had appeared among the medallists and his hopes lay heavy with the Doncaster-born Anna Tunnicliffe and her crew as they met Finland's Silja Lehtinen in their match.

Starting 2-0 down, the American girls hit back in the third, but sagged behind the flying Finns in the fourth race. It is the first time since 1936 (in non-boycott years) that the United States has not won a sailing medal. Wow!


The same sensation was in evidence when the MacGregor sisters, Lucy and Kate, together with Annie Lush met their Russian opponents on a 1-1 scoreline. The Brits led Ekaterina Skudina. Elena Siuzeva and Elena Oblova for the majority of the next race but were out-manoeuvred at the finish line to be 2-1 behind.


In the next race, British hopes were raised as team MacGregor rounded the final mark in the lead, but it was then that things went awry. Abandoning the KISS principle, they went for a gybe-set around the windward mark and the spinnaker didn't draw immediately as it was fouled by the jib coming down. The Russians pounced as they did a bear-away set cleanly and sped away. It was all over for the British women. One fears tears before bedtime.

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNaiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht Design

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