As the Australian Sailing Team prepared for the first races of Olympic competition this morning, Tornado skipper Darren Bundock commented on the motivational impact of being at the Opening Ceremony in Beijing last night. 'Last night was excellent and the atmosphere was awesome,' said Bundock, who is the only athlete in the Australian Sailing Team competing at this Olympic Games to have previously won a medal (Silver, Sydney 2000).
'I was in Sydney, so it's difficult to beat the atmosphere of a home games but it was incredible, especially to watch the lighting of the flame from below.
'Everyone got really pumped up and realised the scale of what we're about to undertake.'
Despite watching the ceremony on TV from Qingdao, the Australian Yngling crew of Krystal Weir, Karyn Gojnich and Angela Farrell obviously felt the same rush of adrenalin and purpose because they won the first race of the Yngling series today.
The wind blew 3.5 to 4.5 knots as racing got underway but lightened off during the afternoon, causing a delay for the start of the second race as the fleet waited to see if it had anything more in it.
The lightening conditions meant the Australian Yngling team followed up their win in the first race of the day by crossing the line 11th in the next race. They are sitting in fifth overall with 12 points. Great Britain is leading with 5 points, Canada is second (9 points) and The Netherlands are third (10 points).
'We're really pleased and we couldn't ask for anything more,' said Australia's Karyn Gojnich, who is competing at her third Olympic Games.
'I'm very happy with our boat speed and there's absolutely that we need to change.'
Australia's Finn representative, Anthony Nossiter, finished 11th and 22nd in today's races and sits in 18th position overall with 33 points at the end of day one. At the top of the Finn leaderboard is Poland (5 points), followed by USA in second (7 points) and Great Britain in third (11 points).
Australian Sailing Team Director Michael Jones, who was out on the Yngling course today, said it was good to get the first races out of the way.
'Everyone on the team has been itching to get this competition started and, with the first races complete for two classes, it's like the seal has been broken and we can all just get on with it now,' said Jones.
'It's good to have a race win already, especially in these changing conditions, but there's a long to go and a lot of races to be run yet, so we need to keep level heads and deal with each day and each race as they come.' Insight Quotes
Most influential person in your career?
'Lex Bertrand taught me how to step out of my comfort zone, push myself and to do things that might seem a little crazy.' - Krystal Weir, Yngling Racing Tomorrow - Sunday 10 August
The 49er class will begin their campaign tomorrow. Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin are the current World Champions and have been in great form during pre-event training races in Qingdao. www.australiansailingteam.com.au