sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : London Olympics: That Finn Race - How the Bronze was Lost and Won
London Olympics: That Finn Race - How the Bronze was Lost and Won

'Dan Slater - Medal Race - Finn class 2012 Olympic Regatta. The offending camera mount of the stern of his Finn can be plainly seen'    Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

The Medal Race for the Mens Heavyweight Singlehander (Finn) was probably the most watched race in Olympic sailing history.

Ainslie salutes the 30,000 strong crowd after winning the Gold Medal in the Finn class -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
A crowd estimated at over 30,000 were gathered on the Nothe, a natural horse-shoe shaped amphitheatre, just outside the seawall at Weymouth.

It s often said the top level sport is a study of people under stress, and this key race in the 2012 Olympic Regatta was no exception, from a number of perspectives.

The Main Event was a bout between three times Olympic Gold medalist, and the home-town hero, Ben Ainslie, and Jonas Hogh-Christensen (Denmark) who had been top of the leaderboard all week.

Ainslie went into the double scoring Medal Race, trailing the Dane by two points – meaning he had to finish one place ahead.

Behind the Main Event, the battle was all on for the Bronze Medal, with it being mathematically possible for one of the main protagonists to drop back, but unlikely.

Just one point separated two sailors J-P Postma (NED) and Ivan Gaspic (CRO) with Jonathan Lobert (FRA) in with an outside chance, but five points or three places in double points scoring Medal race terms. Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) was another place adrift.

After the penalty turn, J-P Postma dropped back to 5th place overall in the Finn class Medal Race, 2012 Olympic Regatta. Third placegetter in the race, Rafael Trujillo (ESP) is just out of the picture to the right -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
Dan Slater (NZL) was at the front of the next bracket, and mathematically was an option for seventh at best. A position he wanted to retain.

In the end Slater became something of an unintended King-Maker for the Bronze medal.

In the Mixed Zone after the Medal Race had concluded, Slater reflected on a three Olympics career in the 49ers and two in Finns. A former ISAF Youth Champion in the Laser, Slater has campaigned a Finn since 2004.

'I made a lot of friends in the fleet and probably lost a couple as well,' was his opening line in the Mixed Zone, after probably sailing his last serious race in the 50 year old classic.

'The last thing I wanted to was to get involved in the race. I just wanted to be clear and let them do their own thing', he said referring to the duel between Ainslie and Hogh-Christensen.

Then he switched to the Battle for the Bronze. Slater was in second place approaching the sixth mark of the race, sailing downwind, with just a mark rounding to be done, and then head on a short reach to the finish line. P-J Postma was in third place with the Bronze Medal secure by one point – even with the Jonathan Lobert (FRA) gone for all money.

Jonathan Lobert (FRA) won the Bronze Medal - Finn class 2012 Olympic Regatta -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
But the Medal race is about placings not margins.

All Jan-Pieter Postma, Silver Medalist at the 2011 ISAF Worlds had to do was protect his third place position, and let Slater go.

'What P-J did was super high-risk for very little gain,' explained Slater.

'He had a Bronze medal sewn up and he tossed away.'

'I knew the French had to win the race – he was gone - I couldn’t catch him. We could close up a bit but I couldn’t catch him.

'I just wanted to cross the line in second place. I had Rafa (Rafael Trujillo (ESP) ) just behind me. I had to beat him as we were on equal points. Daniel Birgmark (SWE) was close as well, and I had to beat him by a boat as well.

'We were in a race for second, and that was my goal.'

A few boatlengths from the final mark, the Bronze looked to be J-P’s.

'I had protected the starboard rights on him, and stayed on the inside of the mark, and he dived down the outside,' says Slater.

J-P Postma (NED) rounds the leeward mark in chasing the Bronze Medal 2012 Olympic Regatta -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
'I said to him 'Don’t have a go up at the mark, because I will take you out. Don’t do it because you have got a Medal.'

'He was red in the face, and it was going through his head as to what he was going to do, but he didn’t execute it properly. I didn’t luff him at all, I went up, but I didn’t do a hard luff at all. His boom hit the back of my camera mount. The whole world saw it.

'He did a penalty turn. We were well outside the three boat length circle. He went up to get inside me, by the mark.

'I pushed him up so I could gybe back into the three boats lengths and protect my position from there.

'He is a very, very good friend, and I am sorry for him.'

Postma’s error and subsequent penalty dropped him back to fifth place, with Lobert (FRA) winning and taking the Bronze medal, for the 2012 Olympics, by three points.


by Richard Gladwell

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100812

12:29 PM Thu 9 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:

09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Surprise ending for Women's match racers
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Women's Match Racing images by Carlo Borlenghi
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: Closing on gravy strokes - Thursday at Weymouth
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - 49er Medal Race images by Carlo Borlenghi
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Mills and Clark guaranteed medals
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics: NZ win Silver in the 49er and assured of a second
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Match racers out at quarter-final stage
09 Aug 2012  US Sailing Team's worst Olympic result since 1936
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012: 49er - Danes claim bronze in Weymouth
09 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Massive upsets in the Women’s Elliot 6M class
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


























2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii






































Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario   
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events   
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 3   
Sailing through STEM Night at California YC   
Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes   
International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Unsatisfactory conditions on day 4   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1   
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac   
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video   
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up   
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany   
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2   
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23   
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT