Sail-World.com : Editorial: First medal winners begin to emerge
Editorial: First medal winners begin to emerge
i>Welcome to Sail-World.Com's Olympic newsletter for Day 5 of the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta.
The drama continued on the Laser course today, when the overnight series leader, Andrew Murdoch sensationally finished 40th out of 43 entries in the Race 3, today.
Officials and spectators gathered at the finish line were witness to the amazing sight of the yellow-dotted sail of the series leader crossing the finish line with not too many astern.
The day dawned with the heaviest sea fog of the regatta which stayed in until around 1230hrs before starting to roll back, to the point where the offshore islands in Fushan Bay were just visible.
Light winds prevailed, again from the same direction we have had all week. The effect was for racing to be delayed. All classes managed to get some racing complete, however it was a near thing, and certainly on the Course C where Murdoch had his fall from grace, the wind struggled for two hours to get to the 7kts preferred, and looked to drop below that soon after the start of the Mens Laser.
It was a struggle to get off the start line for both the Mens and Womens fleets and that was really where the rot set in. Murdoch was forced to do several slow speed tacks to get clear of the pack, and maybe this was his undoing, being pushed out to the right early in the piece and rounding the top mark in 38th place out of a fleet of 43. He dropped back to 42nd at one point picking up a couple of places to finish 40th.
In a rerun of yesterday's race the leaders had a fairly easy run of it, with USA's Andrew Campbell taking a clear win, leading all the way around the course from Andreas Geritzer who also stayed well clear of the peleton. World Champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) did not improve on his performance yesterday, scoring another 21st placing. Not his greatest regatta.
Murdoch dropped down the points table to be 13th overall, and will be looking forward to a discard.
It is however early days in this regatta, and with PredictWind.com showing an increase in the breeze through to the end of the week, we may see some of the form players come back to the fore.
In the Womens Laser Radial event, Anna Tunicliffe enjoys a slightly reduced lead even though her best placing is a fourth in three races. She notched up a sixth place in today's race - her worst so far, but better than her initial flick around the top mark in 10th place.
On the other courses, the 470's had two races, and now have the Australian and Netherlands women crews are tied at the top of the points table on 13pts.
The Finn class got one race away with Ben Ainslie (GBR) recovering from seventh around the first mark to be second, by the next and holding that slot for the rest of the four leg track. With two races left plus the medal race, the spread of the points table means that the top three really have to fall out of their saddles to miss a place on the podium on Saturday.
It was a similar story in the Yngling class where Sarah Ayton (GBR) and friends notched up another second place, staging a good recovery after being in mid-fleet around the first mark. Like the Finn, the podium places look to be booked for Saturday, however in the fickle breezes of Qingdao, no-one can sleep walk their way through the remainder of the regatta.
49ers managed to get away three races on Course B, with the Australian crew of Outterridge and Austin holding a narrow one point margin over Warrer and Ibsen (Denmark).
Even at this relatively early stage of the regatta, many of the national authorities are running a rough tally of medal success, and matching this against the targets set by their 'moneymeisters'.
While GBR are in strong contention for the Gold Medal in the Finn and Yngling classes, Australia have a good jump in the 470 Mens and are equal points leader in the Womens 470 event. The Green and Golds are holding up well in the 49er class,leading overall still despite returning a modest scorecard in the three races held today. Although racing is at the halfway stage in these last three events, and with current world champions, Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby yet to strut their stuff in the Tornados, the Australians have certainly thrown down the gauntlet to the British, who have taken the top medal winning spot for the last two Olympiads.
With eight days left in the 2008 Sailing Olympics, medal counting is a very premature exercise.
The Qingdao breezes are still a major determinant, and what the points tables don’t show is the closeness of the racing, particularly in the peleton. A boatlength here or there at a vital time, can make a very significant difference, in this regatta, and when countbacks are applied just one place in one race could make a vital difference as to which national flags are to be raised at medal ceremonies.
Sail-World Olympic Editor
Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall
2:32 PM Wed 13 Aug 2008 GMT
Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.
Click for further information on
MORE STORIES ...
Newsletter Editorial Australia
2008 Olympics Qingdao
Related News Stories:
Our Advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them!
This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia Pty. Ltd and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.
Photographs are copyright by law. If you wish to use or buy a photograph you must contact the photographer directly (there is a hyperlink in most cases to their website, or do a Google search.) with your request.
Please do not contact
as we cannot give permission for use of other photographer’s images.
Only if the photographer named on the image is Sail-world.com, Powerboat-world.com, Marinebusiness-world.com or NZBoating-World.com.
Ph: +61 2 8006 1873
or complete our
[ Banner Advertising Specification
[Bot Archive ]
Customised news feeds -Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have their own customised version of our news feed on their website.