Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

NOT A LUCKY STAR

by Ian Grant on 1 Oct 2000
© Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
The American World title winning Star class crew of Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl won the Sydney 2000 Olympic Gold Medal with a gifted sailing science.

Skipper Reynolds has done the 'hard yards' and achieved the results winning the Olympic Silver in Seoul, then Gold four years later in Barcelona.

This high standard of success combined with their World title win earlier this year simply blows away the common opinion that the Reynolds/Liljedahl should thank their lucky stars for the result in the Gold Medal final on Sydney Harbour yesterday.

The ALL STAR team were not the best performers in the first six races of the regatta scoring a 14-3-10-5-6-10 while the defending Savannah Gold Medallists Torben Grael and Mercelo Ferreira of Brazil seemed poised to record a successful title defence with their 3-13-1-2-1-6.

As the results indicated the American crew who know how to fight hard to protect their respected reputation as master Star class sailors were not in real good shape.

However a clever tactical win in race 7 combined with a 2-4-1 which was by far the best four race aggregate leading into the final put them back in the hunt for an Olympic Medal.

But Grael/Ferreira who scored a 7-4-12-3 in the same four races enjoyed a 5 point lead with a total of 27 penalty points lost while the impressive English crew of Ian Walker and Mark Covell held second on countback over the Americans as the trio faced up to the final.

It is now history how Grael and Ferreira 'blew' their chance with a premature start which cost them the chance of winning successive Gold Medals and how Reynolds and Liljedahl won the title after an absorbing tactical battle in the final with the English.

Important wins of this highly technical and tactical nature don't just happen they are made to happen and in this case they were placed in Olympic Medal mode well before the battle lines were drawn on the race course.

Reynolds a perfectionist in the art of preparation had tested all of his sails with extensive evaluation well before the series began and then personally fine tuned them for the ultimate performance.

He and Liljedahl spent several hours in a Sydney sail-loft where Reynolds 'drove' the sewing machine while his 117kg crew mate Liljedahl neatly folded the sails and quietly packed them in the sail bags.

"It's all the small things that add up in Star class racing , get them right then you are in with a chance". Remarked Reynolds.

Those small things added up in a big way during the 1 hour 14 minute final yesterday when they claimed a deserved Gold Medal win over Walker/Covell (GBR) by 1 point with Grael/Ferreira winning the Bronze another 4 points away.
InSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Full focus on board Oman Air for Extreme Sailing Series St Petersburg
With a lead on the overall scoreboard following their last gasp win in Hamburg the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus With a five-point lead on the overall scoreboard, following their last gasp win in Hamburg, the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus to make sure they perform to their maximum capabilities right up until the final race in Sydney in December.
Posted on 30 Aug
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted on 26 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Extreme Sailing Series– Gazprom Team Russia to stage wildcard comeback
The team will return to the waters of the Neva River as the wildcard entry for Act five, St Petersburg With a crew of familiar faces, Robertson is joined by his World Match Racing Tour teammate, and former GAC Pindar Extreme 40 skipper, Will Tiller. Shane Diviney, who competed onboard CHINA One for three Acts of the 2016 season, and accomplished Russian RC44 sailors Alex Kulakov and Victor Serezhkin, will also join the team.
Posted on 18 Aug
Copa del Ray MAPFRE – Armin Strom Team hungry for success in Palma
The event which signals the half way mark on the GC32 Racing Tour will see a fresh crew combination hit the start line With skipper Flavio Marazzi stepping off the boat to sail onboard a Maxi 72, team manager Sharon Ferris-Choat will lead the crew of Phil Robertson, Shane Diviney, Luke Payne and Andrew Murdoch.
Posted on 2 Aug
GC32 Racing Tour at 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE - Preview
During the event, the ten GC32s will moored immediately adjacent to the Real Club Nautico de Palma. During the event, the ten GC32s will moored immediately adjacent to the Real Club Nautico de Palma and during the day will be competing on their own course on the Bay of Palma – one of yacht racing’s most famous venues.
Posted on 1 Aug
Extreme Sailing Series Hamburg – Oman Air sneak narrowest of victories
Second place in the race for the Austrians and fourth for the Danes leaves the teams tied on points. A nail biting match race to the finish line between Larson and Land Rover BAR Academy saw the young Brits almost outwit the experienced Stadium Racers.
Posted on 31 Jul
Oman Air wins Extreme Sailing Series Hamburg in a cliff hanger finale
When Alinghi crossed the finish line in third place, Morgan Larson and his crew were trailing in fifth place. When Alinghi crossed the finish line in third place, Morgan Larson and his crew were trailing in fifth place needing to make sure they held that position to the end to earn the Hamburg win.
Posted on 31 Jul
Thousands watch as Alinghi give a masterclass in Hamburg
Hamburg lived up to its reputation for delivering edge of the seat Stadium Racing today 2016 Extreme Sailing Series - Hamburg lived up to its reputation for delivering edge of the seat Stadium Racing today as it played host to some of the most exciting action of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ so far. Series stalwarts Alinghi were untouchable taking victory in six of the day’s seven races and edging ever closer to the top of the Act leaderboard with one day of racing left.
Posted on 31 Jul