Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Olympics- The State of unrest at Qingdao

by Bob Fisher on 18 Aug 2008
Jonas Warrer and Martin Ibsen (DEN). 49er.Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
Stability is hardly a word to be used about anything at the Olympic regatta at Qingdao, whether it is the weather, the organisation or the performance of the sailors compared to the form book, all are haywire.

The weather has dealt a mixed hand with painfully light winds comparing unfavourably with the pain of rain and lumpy seas of Sunday when the medal races for three classes were held in poor visibility and arguably, for the 49ers, winds that were too strong, or how is it that all the top ten sailors in the class were unable to keep their boats upright around a course that lasted, or should have done, half an hour.

But the pressures are on the organisation and when the 49ers were started on the very last minute before the time limit for starting ran out, even that most perfect of PROs, Peter Reggio, must have felt uneasy at the directive. Nine boats – the series leaders were absent as they had broken their mast before the race – set off in marginal visibility and gave a demonstration of fallibility – cartwheels and nose dives were mixed with wild broaches. Not particularly good for the sport but the television viewers, who thrive on crash and burn, would have possibly stayed with the racing when they could detect anything on their screens.

And then there is the case of the two Danes, Jonas Warrer and Martin Ibsen, who led the series into the medal race. Having rushed ashore with a broken mast, they received the cooperation of the Croatian sailors, Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac, who lent thee Danes their boat.

Hurrying out from the harbour, the Danes made the start line almost four and a half minutes after the start but just inside the time limit.

What looked like a hopeless chase became a possibility as many of their rivals swam close to their overturned boats and their tail-chase suddenly seemed capable of producing a medal. Marvellously, they stayed upright longer than most up to eighth at the last mark and when the Austrian race leaders took the final plunge on the second run; it had cleared the way for their earlier steady consistency to be rewarded. And a final place gain to seventh confirmed them as the 49er class winners by three points.

But then all hell let loose and they found themselves in the most bitter and twisted protest of the regatta. The Race Committee lodged a protest, one involving the measurer, by 1830, that the boat they sailed was ineligible. By noon the following day the protest had not been resolved. (Their gold medal was confirmed at 1215, but there was no summary of the protest decision for another hour).

This is not the only class where the accepted favourites have failed. The Finn class has a long list of comparative failures by the generally acknowledged top performers. The 2007 world champion Pieter Jan Postma of Holland failed to make the medal race, as did Emilios Papathanasiou of Greece who won the opening race. And what has happened to the Australian Laser world champion, Tom Slingsby? A string of 22nd places is hardly befitting a man of his calibre.

Stability at Qingdao? Give me the San Andreas Fault anytime!
upffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Qingdao might spell the Future of Sailing
’The explosion of sailing in Asia is both a joyous and a sad time for this European dominated sport.’ As Kjell Borking, the Vice President of EUROSAF, the peak European sailing body commented today at the 2010 International Sailing Forum in Qingdao ‘’The explosion of sailing in Asia is both a joyous and a sad time for this European dominated sport.’
Posted on 22 Aug 2010
Elliott 6 metre selected for 2012 Olympics
The ISAF Council followed its usual conservative approach today when it opted for the same classes The ISAF Council followed a conservative approach today when it opted for the same classes to contest the same events in the 2012 Olympic as they had done in the 2008 Olympics. The only addition is the introduction of the Elliott 6 metre in the Womens Match Racing event, which will make its debut at the 2012 Olympics.
Posted on 15 Nov 2008
Ainslie and Sensini win ISAF Rolex Sailor Awards
Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Alessandra Sensini (ITA) winners of the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Alessandra Sensini (ITA) have just been announced as the winners of the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards at a dinner in Madrid, Spain
Posted on 12 Nov 2008
Not time to change Olympic windsurfer says Pryde
A proposal to switch windsurfing boards for 2012 Games from existing Neil Pryde RS:X to a new Formula board. At this weeks ISAF meeting amongst the agenda items is a proposal to switch windsurfing boards for the 2012 London Olympic Games from the existing Neil Pryde RS:X to a new Starboard built Formula board.
Posted on 3 Nov 2008
Tornado moots one design for 11th Olympic medal
discussions were underway within the IOC with regards to a submission submitted by Paul Henderson The structure of the Tornado class has gone through many changes over the past 11 months. The Tornado Class/Multihull community became to complacent believing that multihull was safe and would always be part of the Olympic program, this lead to a major shock to us all at the 2007 Annual ISAF meeting in November.
Posted on 21 Oct 2008
ISAF Working Party support NZ design for Olympics
ISAF working party supports Elliott 6m be chosen as the equipment for the 2012 Olympics in the new Womens Match Racing A Working Party from the International Sailing Federation has made a submission to the International Sailing Federation supporting the previous submission from Yachting New Zealand that the Elliott 6m be chosen as the equipment for the 2012 Olympics in the new Womens Match Racing Event.
Posted on 6 Oct 2008
Slingsby stumbled in Qingdao. What Happened?
Tom Slingsby was a gold medal favourite going into the Olympic regatta. Tom talks about what happened and the future. Australia's Laser sailor Tom Slingsby was the gold medal favourite going into the Olympic regatta. But he had a shocker, finishing 22nd overall. Now Tom talks about what happened and the road ahead.
Posted on 25 Sep 2008
Balboa Yacht Club welcomes Paralympic sailing hero
United Airlines delivered precious cargo to Orange County's John Wayne Airport this afternoon. United Airlines delivered precious cargo to Orange County's John Wayne Airport this afternoon. Over 100 Balboa Yacht Club members, friends and family welcomed home Paralympic Gold Medallist, Nick Scandone; his wife, Mary Kate; his loyal friend and coach, Mike Pinckney and his devoted brother, Vince (Rock).
Posted on 19 Sep 2008
If Everyone could have seen them dance .....
If everyone could have seen them dance like no one was watching Spending the last two weeks with the sailors, coaches, assistants, friends, families, care givers and International Association of Disabled Sailors (IFDS) officials during the 2008 Paralympics Sailing Regatta in Qingdao, China was the most rewarding experience of my career as a sailing journalist. These people are amazing!
Posted on 17 Sep 2008
An exciting finale to the 2008 Paralympic Sailing
An exciting finale to the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao An exciting finale to the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao ended with gold medals going to Canada's Paul Tingley in the 2.4 Metre, US pair Nick Scandone and Maureen Mckinnon-Tucker in the SKUD18 and German trio Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka in the Sonar.
Posted on 15 Sep 2008