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

































































Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead by Tink Chambers, San Francisco


2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing
Extreme Sailing Series: Physically demanding racing for BAR on Day 2
Emirates Team NZ: Holding second overall after Day 2 in Istanbul
Extreme Sailing Series: A force to be reckoned with in Istanbul +Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Day 1 images by Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez
Marseille One Design: GC32's Armin Strom storms ahead on day 2 + Video
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Racing underway in Santander +Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Erika Reineke claims Radial race win
Santander Worlds 2014 Mat Belcher (Part II) *Feature
Rolex Swan Cup - Mistral keeps fleet shoreside
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup rescued by wave of local support
ISAF Sailing World Championship, Santander - Opening ceremony images
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Team Alvimedica geared up for Leg Zero   
J/70 World Championship 2014 - Healy surfs into lead   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 1   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Gripping first day on the Bay   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 1 images by Erik Simonson   
2014 Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship - Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Familiar conditions on day 1   
Extreme Sailing Series: Team NZ share lead after Day 1 in Istanbul   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Thousands attend Santander opening   
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
GC32: Great Cup: Day 1, Foils, flying and an unstoppable Flavio   
Rolex Swan Cup - Classic day of racing on the Costa Smeralda   
Extreme Sailing Series - Pushed to the limit and dismasted on Day 1   
Volvo Ocean Race - A profile of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing   
J/70 World Championship - Day 2 images by Chris Howell   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Lego Zero crisis scenarios loom   
America's Cup: Bob Fisher on the state of the Cup   
Interview with West Coast International Canoe pioneer Del Olsen: Video   
2015 RC44 Championship Tour announced   
Extreme Sailing Series: Precious practice time put to good use   


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