sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : London Olympics 2012: Finn class - Preparing for the final push
London Olympics 2012: Finn class - Preparing for the final push

'Ainslie and Christensen, Finn - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition'    Francois Richard ©

London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition: Only three weeks ago, Jonas Høgh-Christensen said in an interview with Robert Deaves, '…we did push the bar and I can say we found some magic on the way. What it is will show at the Games.'

How true those words have become. [Real the full interview here.] He has become the big story of the sailing events so far, grabbing headline news across the UK and the World while he has humbled the three-time Olympic Champion Ben Ainslie. In the first six races Ainslie has yet to beat the newly tagged 'Great Dane'. Wednesday is a day off and while most of the sailors are just resting and rebuilding their energy, Ainslie will surely be working out a plan as to how he will approach the final four races of the opening series to overcome his Danish nemesis.

Apart from the hint of prescience in Christensen’s words, nobody would have ever believed that Ainslie would be so far behind at the half way stage in the regatta. The next four races will set the scene for Sunday's medal race and on current form it is quite believable that the gold will be nearly settled by then.

However, Ainslie is never more dangerous than when he is down. He has proven that time and time again over the years. They say, never make him angry, you won't like him when he is angry. He was really angry after Monday's showing of a sixth and a 12th, but his response on Tuesday, of a fourth and a third, and both behind Høgh-Christensen is not exactly the kind of response that everyone expected, and definitely not the response that will drag him back into contention.

Thursday's races will therefore be crucial to see whether he possesses the arsenal to respond in a useful way. He doesn't just need to start beating the Dane, he needs to put boats between them as well to reduce the points deficit. While early weather predictions forecast lighter conditions – which could play in Ainslie's favour - it now looks like it will be just as windy as the races so far and maybe more. Questions have already been asked about Ainslie's fitness and his gear selection, but he knows the only way to answer that is on the water. The battle continues Thursday at 12.00.

Sixth overall Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) was spending his day off with his family, and is optimistic on his chances, despite suffering several setbacks so far. He is currently in sixth place, and 12 points outside the medals. He said, 'I feel good. The first day I was a little bit tense. I have had to play some catch up a few times, and I missed a few shifts. But I am looking forward to five more races. It's a nice fight. I really like the Games. It's a good fight.'

'It's great to see Jonas sailing so well. This is really good. And I hope he keeps on doing it like this. He's the best sailor here. Jonas sails better, he sails consistently, has good speed, is smart on the downwind, he always does the right thing.

Finn Class - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition -  Francois Richard ©  

Jonathan Lobert (FRA) is in the bronze medal place, one down from his silver at the test event. 'I was expecting to be a little bit more nervous actually, but I have been having a lot of fun, and I am just seeing it as a normal regatta, so I'll just do my job as always.' On his day off, 'I will relax in Weymouth, maybe find a good place to eat. No sailing or training. Just relax and build energy for the coming days.'

Greg Douglas (CAN) is in 15th place and 32 points off the medal race, which was his goal here. This is his second Olympics after sailing the Laser in 2008. 'It's hard and it's tough. The level is just so high. We're fighting for inches and millimetres out there. The racing has been great though, with great waves and wind. It's been perfect, everything you could ask for.'

How did he get into Finns? 'I had out grown the Laser and I was struggling to keep my weight under 190lbs. I stopped racing Lasers and started coaching in 2008. I first stepped in a Finn in 2009. Chris Cook invited myself Brendan Wilton and Paul Brikis to try out the Finn and since then I haven’t looked back. My first event was at the Miami OCR in 2010.'

Douglas famously beat his coach, Cook, in the Canadian trials after Cook got sick, but he said, 'The trials were very tough and I would like to thank Chris for everything he has done for me.'

'I know I can do a lot better than I am going so I am not that happy with my performance so far. It has been a bit of a one way track at times with the left paying. But getting a lane to go left has been tough. And then my downwind speed hasn't been as great as it normally is so that's been tough. I've been in the fight but I think there are a few races where I could have been a few places higher. We have two more days of racing and if I sail well enough I'll get into the medal race.'

'I was very young in China, now I am a little older and wiser I hope. But the experience has been great. Being at the Olympics is always fun and I'm learning so much for next time. There will be a lot more to come from me.'

A bit further down the field is Florian Raudaschl (AUT), one of the oldest sailors here, but at his first Olympics. He is currently in 20th place, though he showed some clear potential by briefly leading race one. 'I am completely tired. It's not my conditions. Too windy, too big waves. First day was OK with flat water and that's what I prefer and I am just waiting for light winds, but it never seems to happen in Weymouth.'

He has been sailing the Finn since 1999. 'No sailing before that, only a lot of windsurfing. So no Optimist or Laser time for me. The main reason was that there was not enough wind on our lakes for windsurfing. So I jumped into a Finn for fun and immediately liked it. When my father heard this, he bought me a Finn and that was my start.' His father is of course Hubert Raudaschl, winner of two Olympic medals. He also held the record for the most Olympic Games competed in by any athlete in any sport until this year.

In Austria, 'The newspapers like the 'father and son' story, so there is quite some interest there. The fact that there is no snow on the ski slopes right now and the Austrian soccer teams are bad, helps to get some interest in sailing. As nearly none of my friends are sailing at home, even they show some interest now – which feels a bit strange.'

Finn Class - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition -  Francois Richard ©  

After the Olympics? 'I will fully concentrate on the sail loft and spend more time at home. Getting more time to windsurf, playing tennis and ski in winter sounds also good. But for sure I will continue Finn sailing – sailing a regatta on Lake Garda with your sailing friends is probably still one of the best holidays you can do.'

On the remaining races. 'It's tough. I think I am just too small in these conditions. But I am really enjoying the experience. That's perfect. It is also very interesting to see the battle at the front. It's really exciting to watch Ben and Jonas and the other guys fight it out. Jonas is so fast at the moment. Upwind he is unbelievable, but still five races to go so we'll see what happens.'

Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) started the year on a high winning the light wind Europeans, but he has struggled a bit so far and lies in 13th place, but just 10 points off the medal race. He only joined the class in 2009 after becoming too big for the Laser but made fast progress, winning two European Junior titles before taking the senior title this year. His strength is upwind, and several times this week he has rounded in the front bunch. Unfortunately one of those was an OCS.

He has struggled to get much regatta time since then. 'Due to the economic problems that my country faces all athletes have to cut down our expenses. So my budget was enough to sail the Europeans, Sail for Gold and have one training camp in Weymouth. The only thing you need to train is water and wind and we have plenty of those in Greece.'

'I came to the venue three times, first time in Pre-Olympics then in Sail for Gold 2012 and finally in a training camp before Olympics. The main thing a have learned is that sometimes the local knowledge of the current is more important than wind shifts.'

However he is upbeat about his performance. 'I think it's going pretty well so far. Yesterday I had a bad start with an OCS, but otherwise so far it is going OK. I am happy with my speed upwind, though I am losing places on the downwind.'

Finn sailing is in the family for Jorge Zarif (BRA). His late father competed in the Finn in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. 'I feel happy to be here because it is something that would make him proud of me. All the work I have done over the last 15 years is paying off, so it's an honour for me and my family to sail in the Olympics.'

Zarif, Finn Class - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition -  Francois Richard ©  

Zarif, who was junior Finn world champion in 2009 is the youngest Finn sailor here at just 19. 'In September 2006 I was a Laser sailor and my father had a Finn. There was a race in Sao Paulo, my home town, and he was injured and asked if wanted to go in his boat. I said yes.'

Zarif is lying in 19th place, with a lot of work to do to make the medal race. His real goal however is his home Olympics in Rio in 2016 and he is treating this year as a learning exercise. 'I want finish top 10. It's hard but possible. But it's also a good experience for the next Olympics.'

Racing for Finns continues on Thursday with races seven and eight scheduled for 12.00 Thursday, on Weymouth Bay South course. The final two opening series races are on Friday at the same time and place before Sunday's medal race on the Nothe course at 14.00.

Click here for results

Finn class website


by Robert Deaves

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100458

5:39 PM Wed 1 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:

02 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - Results after day 4
02 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Price remains undefeated in the WMR event
02 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Australians doing swimmingly
01 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Mills and Clark begin quest for glory
01 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Day four unfurling
01 Aug 2012  London Olympics day 3 - Action packed for Canadian Team
01 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics Day 3 - Star images by Thom Touw
01 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Carlo Borlenghi images
01 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: Canadian Team has decent day and disappointments
01 Aug 2012  London 2012 – Laser champion Tom Slingsby tracks towards Gold
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
With the front runners over halfway to Hobart, this year’s race is turning out to be quite a page turner already; and that’s just the big boats. So let’s start with them. Wind back to the start, first honours to Comanche in the shoot out to the first mark. To be fair it was akin to pitting a brand new Bugatti Veyron against some classy and quick Ferraris and Porsches. The result in those ... [more]  

There is absolutely no way anyone can predict these before the vast majority of the still 109 vessels racing actually get home to Hobart Town. One can, however, talk about the very things that do go into making these results that so many chase and to do so, we have to work through a myriad of vessel designs, ages and types. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Given the weather models for the race, Crosbie Lorimer did the rounds of the CYCA dock just prior to the start of the race to find out who the various skippers, navigators and tacticians believed might take out the overall Handicap win on IRC. Here are some of their predictions, how they are panning out for some and an update on the position at the front of the fleet. ... [more]  

Sydney Hobart 2014 - A ridge too far for Comanche by Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - That’s the conclusion that one might well draw from the huge difference in the performance of the Hamilton Island super maxi Wild Oats XI and her main challenger, the US boat Comanche. ... [more]  

Photographer Daniel Forster was in the air again for the Sydney Hobart 2014, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The chase for line honours at the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is intensifying with the leading boats approaching the halfway mark of the 628-nm race. ... [more]  

By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - After 24 hours the Hamilton Island supermaxi Wild Oats XI has taken the lead for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 70th sailing of the event. ... [more]  

Looking back it is not so long ago that sailors making long trips had to make the key choice between light weight and taste. But now, thankfully, technology and demand means that there is more and better choice in freeze dried foods. But the lack of fresh food and the limited choice of diet does mean eating remains a chore, part of the daily routine during the three months ... [more]  

2015 Fireball World Championship - The event offers two weeks of unrivalled sailing in the beautiful waters of North Wales. Situated on the Llyn peninsular, just 10 miles from the Snowdonia National Park, racing will take place in Cardigan Bay within easy reach of the sandy beach from where the fleet will launch. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Sydney
The start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw the five 100 foot super maxis up against each other for the first time. ... [more]  

The Australian supermaxi Perpetual Loyal has been forced to retire from the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, with hull damage. The news came in a regular radio sked with race organisers, little detail was available, however it is understood that she has some hull delamination, probably arising from pounding though big seas and 25-30kt winds for the first day and night of the race. ... [more]  

Clouds outlines what he is expecting to see in the race, and says that while the big boats will take all the attention in the early stages of the race, the weather is against them as the race progresses. The smaller boats will come surfing in a fresh northerly, while the front-runners cope with light winds on their final approach to the finish on the Derwent. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Replay of the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. The fleet is expected to experience fresh to strong headwinds for the start and first 24 hours, although winds will moderate towards the end of this period. ... [more]  

For the last 18 hours, there has been never more than three nautical miles between the new kids on the block, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's Comanche with Ken Read skippering the boat with distinction and the Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI. Mark Richard's who was blown away by Comanche's reaching speed inside the harbour has been hunting the race leader relentlessly as the two boats beat south. ... [more]  

Will Comanche take a scalp? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
After blasting off the startline earlier today, Jim Clark's Comanche continues to hold the lead in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart race eight hours into the race. ... [more]  

A stiff southerly is testing the boats and sailors on the first afternoon of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and by late afternoon, four yachts had retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual race. The first casualties of the race were Tina of Melbourne, forced out because of hull damage and Bear Necessity with a damaged rudder, just two hours into the race. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The US supermaxi Comanche (Jim & Kirsty Clark) continues to enjoy a small lead at the head of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. As the race enters its second day, organisers told Sail-World at 6.00am local time that the fleet was experiencing SW winds of 12-13kts and that these would ease further during the day. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The 117 competing yachts, including five 100-foot Maxis, represents the race’s largest number of starters since 1994. Of the five Maxis, Jim Clark’s Comanche (USA) made the early gains in the race’s 70th edition, reaching the first mark in record time and setting a blistering pace. Seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI was in close pursuit. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: A memorable edition of the 628-nm race appears certain, with the contest between the fleet’s five Maxi yachts living up to the pre-race hype. At 8:00pm local time, Comanche leads seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI by one nautical mile, with Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal and Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 just a few miles behind the leading duo. ... [more]  

Top international photographers, Carlo Borlenghi and Daniel Forster were on the water, and in the air, for the start of the 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Here is a selection of their images of the day. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Start photos by Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

Comanche skipper Ken Read was in fine form in this video interview. He says On the first night, will there will be too much upwind to be able to send it? It absolutey plays on my mind as the skipper this boat is untested. We’re completely cutting edge, and when it's cutting edge it’s a Formula 1 race car that blows up its engine on the first lap. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Brad Kellett, Brindabella’s sailing master, reported that while he was doing his regular checks this evening he discovered larger than normal quantities of water in the bottom of the boat, found to be coming from damaged rudder bearings. 'We were just coming into our own after a risky tactical decision to go offshore paid off,' a disappointed Kellett said. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by photographer Carlo Borlenghi ... [more]  

One of the largest fleets in many years started the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race today in a building southerly and in bright sunshine. There seemed to be some mind games going on amongst the super maxis during the pre race dry runs as each in turn put in a single reef in the 30 minutes before the start. Possibly there was some tossing of the coin as to whether it was ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Clipper Ventures 10 has started Australian classic offshore the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Australia in a warm, 15 knot plus breeze. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Tony Cable just keeps going on. Last year he finished his 48th Sydney Hobart, setting a record for the number of races by an individual - this year it is number 49 - 49 not out, just one off the half ton! ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Designed for fast broad reaching, the 15 knot plus south-easterly breeze on the harbour was made to order for the big red and black hulled yacht owned by American Jim Clark and his Australian wife, Kristy. After a brilliant start slightly ahead and to leeward of Wild Oats XI, Comanche swiftly unfurled her giant spinnaker and took off, quickly ‘rolling the Oats’. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *Feature
Yankees at the Gate - A pre Sydney-Hobart conversation with Ken Read *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Line Honours Skippers Press Conference - Video
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 -A different Christmas
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Everyone's in with a chance
Comanche Designers talk before Sydney Hobart   
Olympic Sailing Waters - Rio de Janeiro   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - To Hobart in Style   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Ken Read's notes on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Rio 100 - A supermaxi is reborn + Video *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Video of Team Vestas Wind being removed from reef   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!   
Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events   
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Levelling the playing field   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race video preview   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It's a Woman’s world too   
Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature   
Miami Winter Series - M32 racing gets underway   
Rio 2016 - Super-bugs found in Rio sailing waters   
Building the bridge from Optimist to Laser and beyond – with Byte C1 *Feature   
Kieler Woche - Notices of Race published – entry systems are now open   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 22 show   
RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada - Overall report   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind images from the reef recovery   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT