sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : London Olympics 2012 - Ainslie, who else?
London Olympics 2012 - Ainslie, who else?

'Ben Ainslie’s Golden Flares - 2012 London Olympics'    Sail-World.com ©    Click Here to view large photo

It's been a very long week for Ben Ainslie at the London Olympic 2012 Sailing Competition, his challenge to take Paul Elvstrom's title as the greatest ever Olympic sailor has been a nail-biting, frustration-filled epic.

It will be the story of these Games and it ended today in about as tense a fashion as was possible. Ask any group of sailors whether the medal race concept is a good idea and there will be marmite responses - people either love it, or hate it. Put the medal race very close to a shoreline, tucked into a corner with land on two sides and the marmite effect is amplified ten-fold.


On the pro-side, the 10,000 or so people who watched from the shoreline got a great show, as did anyone watching on television. Two medal races with the prizes changing hands in the last couple of hundred metres. On the anti-side, these intense, short races with big shifts of breeze are a lot more random than almost everything that goes before it. Should it really all come down to this?

Ben Ainslie watched the first victims in the Star medal race - his friends Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson. They've been dominant on the offshore course all week in big breeze and waves. Now, in the lighter air and flat water of the Nothe Course, they had to defend an eight point lead from Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA), with Sweden's Freddy Loof and Max Salminen only another four points behind.

Unsurprisingly, they focused on the Brazilian pair, and for two and a half of three laps it was going swimmingly. They were solidly fourth or fifth with Scheidt and Prada behind them. But the Swedes crept into the lead and Simpson and Percy slipped back on their approach to the final top mark and went around sixth - lose one more place and they would lose gold to the pair that had been in bronze. By the end of an agonising downwind, they were eighth - gold went to Sweden, silver to Britain and bronze to Brazil.

August 5, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Ben Ainslie lets off two smoke flares to acknowledge the crowd after his Gold Medal win -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

It cannot have been much fun for the Finn sailors to watch - a reminder of what their fate might have in store. The irony was underlined not long afterwards. Jonas Hogh-Christensen and Ben Ainslie went into the race winner-takes-gold - so long as they didn't end up so far back that Pieter-Jan Postma closed the points gap from third. It would be a match race, but there could be consequences if Postma won or got second.

Hogh-Christensen did a good job of giving Ainslie the slip in the pre-start, but the Brit had much the better first beat. Ainslie went round in fifth with both Postma and Hogh-Christensen behind him, then gybed away from the pack and went to second place using the same side of the run that had lost Percy and Simpson the gold medal half an hour earlier - oh, the irony. Oh, the shifts.

Ainslie's game plan went more or less as he hoped for another lap. He had his foot on Hogh-Christensen's throat at the back of the fleet, and Postma was unable to make any progress towards the second place he needed to take advantage of Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen's high scores. Until the last lap, when Postma got a shift and pulled into the leading bunch.

I'm not going to pretend to anything other than partisan support for Ben, and the last run was desperate to watch. Postma drew level with second placed Dan Slater of New Zealand as they approached the final mark. Postma took an all-or-nothing approach, went for the pass and fouled Slater. By the time he had done the penalty, second place was gone but so was the bronze medal, as France's Jonathan Lobert won the race to take it from the Dutchman. More to the point - that fourth historic gold medal was finally Ainslie's.

It would be hard to write a more dramatic script. It was an extraordinary way to end a great story, and it will be told over and over again. Nevertheless, I'm not sure I'd stake four years, never mind the twenty it's taken Ainslie to rack up his medal tally, and all the money, time and energy that goes with it on a race like that - but then, maybe I'm just getting old.


by Mark Chisnell

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100634

7:02 PM Sun 5 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:

06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Tense day for Team Canada
06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Day 8 for the U.S. Sailing Team
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 – The Finn Medal race: Here is what they said
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Two bullets for Outteridge and Jensen
06 Aug 2012  London Olumpics 2012 - Mixed bag for the Canadian Sailing Team
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Nail biting finale in Finn medal race
06 Aug 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Mixed bag for Irish sailors
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth, Day 8 - Gold on line in Stars
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Swedes claim Star gold in thrilling finale
06 Aug 2012  London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Day 8 - Ainslie wins more Gold
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Team GBR’s Sparky on the Road to Rio (Part Two) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,


Team GBR’s Sparky on the Road to Rio (Part Two) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
















Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
















































ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Sailors tweet about opening day
49er Blog: Glorious racing to kick start Hyeres World Cup
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Continuous close racing
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Fluttering flags whet sailors appetite
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 4 images by Jude Robertson
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Nacra 17 images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Laser images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Ioannis Mitakis leads Finns after day 1
RC44 Cascais Cup - Fresh faces join the line-up
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Excellent racing on opening day
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Images by Yvan Zedda and Franck Socha
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 images by Franck Socha
Hyeres World Cup: Kiwis lead but Outteridge Jensen back in 49er fray
Belcher and Ryan lead from the start in Hyeres
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Race day 1 ready for lift off
Clipper Round the World Race 11 - Tense match downwind racing on Day 2
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Day 3 an absolute gem
Quantum Key West 2015 dates confirmed
Flying Tigers 'Psych' - on Lake Lanier they pronounce it Zhik
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Anticipation intensifies as start nears   
Clipper Round the World Race - Race 11 start images by Chuck Lantz   
27th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2014 - Big breeze on the butterfly   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - Pryde and Joy for Hi Fi   
Clipper Round The World Race - A flying start on Day 1 of Race 11   
Cammas on Caudrelier – different styles, same objective   
Clipper Race - Californian crew member continues fundraising journey   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 2 images by Jude Robertson   
Les Voiles de St Barth - Images by Christophe Jouany   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Fleet sets sail in race 11   
Congressional Cup - Canfield and Team US One best star-studded field   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 11 to get underway to Panama   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Rolex China Sea Race - Hi Fi collects the coveted IRC Overall title   
Rolex China Sea Race - First arrivals in Subic Bay   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - a sniff of a hat-trick for Neil Pryde   
America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: Switzerland drops trou for charity   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - 27th edition underway   


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.
X6XL WAS US