London Olympics- NZ win Silver in the 49er and assured of a second
by Richard Gladwell on 9 Aug 2012
New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were presented with the Silver Medals at a Presentation Ceremony in Weymouth this evening.
August 8, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Blair Tuke and Peter Burling (NZL) - Silver Medal winners © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
The win was confirmed after they completed the course in the Medal Race, earlier this afternoon on the Nothe course in front of a large crowd of spectators.
Although the New Zealand crew finished in second place in the race, the outcome of the Medal Race was academic given that the Australian crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen had accumulated a sufficient points lead that they could not be beaten by their New Zealand training partners.
The victory for Outteridge was double-sweet, after the promising youth champion was told several years ago that he would never walk again after a bike accident. Today he won an Olympic Gold medal in arguably the most athletic of the eight Olympic boats.
New Zealand's Womens 470 crew are tied on points with a British crew for the lead in the Womens 470, with just the Medal race left to sail on Friday.
Going into today's race, the New Zealand crew of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie are tied on 33pts with the British crew of Hannah Miles and Saskia Clark.
The Medal Race will be a match race with the winner taking the Gold Medal and the second placegetter getting the Silver Medal. Behind them it will be a tight contest between two teams from Netherlands and France with possibly Brazil having a look.
Today Aleh and Powrie put their stamp on the series with a second place in the first of two races, which would have eased them out to a useful points lead - given they won two races yesterday. However they finished in 18th place in the tenth and final race of the fleet racing section.
'We had a good first race, then we had our little stuff-up of the regatta,' explained Aleh after the race. 'We made a mistake and then made another one which makes it hard to recover', she added.
'With the exception of the last race it has been an even breeze. The last one had a bit more shift and pressure than usual. All the courses here are good, and it has been good racing. The Nothe is a bit of fun as well.'
'The fleet is a bit closer than we expected,' said Powrie. 'But we still have to keep doing the same thing and going around the course.'
Aleh claims they never look at the points table, and just sail their best. 'As long as you sail well, everyone else can do want', she laughed.
The crew revealed their secret weapon for the Medal Race, Olivia Powrie is a former New Zealand Match Racing Champion. As for suggestion that the crew and skipper might switch places for the Medal Race, Aleh claims she would not be able to handle the front of the boat - so they will stay in their current places for the last race on Friday.
The New Zealand Mens 470- crew of Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders start the Medal Race tomorrow in fifth place on the points table, but with a points differential that is such that mathematically it is possible for them to win the Bronze medal in the double points scoring race.
They would need to win and for the third placed Argentinian crew to finish 9th or worse in the 10 boat fleet and for the fourth placed Italian crew to finish in eighth place or worse.
The Gold and Silver Medals will be contested between crews from Australia and Great Britain, and with just a four point differential between them going into the Medal race, that two will effectively be a Match race, with the British needing to get one boat between them and the Australians to take the Gold Medal.