News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Olympic Sailing and the media

Olympic Sailing and the media

'Australia on the edge of control during the 49er medal race in the Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008.'    Guy Nowell ©    Click Here to view large photo

Sailing secures the least television ratings interest of any Olympic sport according to the IOC and the Medal race was implemented in an attempt to make the sport more media friendly. Did it deliver in Qingdao?

The ISAF designed Medal race, with ten boats instead of say 15-40, proved certainly less of a spectacle than much larger fleets.

Some believe the double points field of ten Medal race, has in fact reduced the excitement and drama that a single points compulsory full field final race would have delivered.

There are other problems caused by the double points system that we hope the ISAF designers had not intended. In the Laser class Paul Goodison (GBR) could take Gold by match racing his only competitor, Sweden's Rasmus Myrgren back through the fleet to 10th and last place and Goodison could finish ninth. The Swede had gone into the Medal race in the silver medal position but came out sixth.

If Mygren had been just one point back going into the medal race that scenario would not have occurred because he would not have threatened Goodison.

Understood by sailors, but ugly television and a tragedy for a sailor who did not deserve that result.

Some ask should Match Racing be banned in that Medal round?

What about the alternatives? Expatriate Aussie Jim Champ, who sails a range of development classes in Britain, has rescored the 2008 Qingdao Olympic regatta under single points for the Medal race and it’s interesting to see the medal changes. A quick glance at the data suggests that the medal race had made little difference but looking more closely its not as simple as it seems.

To look at Jim’s full data set go to

According to his data there would have been no changes if the top ten sailors sailed a final Medal race, which had single points but was compulsory in the following classes.

470 Women, Radial Women, Tornado or Ynglings

In the 470 Mens fleet, the Koster brothers would have taken Silver instead of finishing fourth. British silver medallist Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield would have finished with a Bronze at the expense of Nic Charbonnier and Olivier Bausset (FRA).

After the drama filled 49er Medal race Australian's Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin would have taken Bronze instead of Jan-Peter and Hannes Peckott (GER),

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Julien Bontemps (FRA). Sometimes an emotional battering is just as hard as a physical one. We can only guess... -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=48484   Click Here to view large photo

In the RS: X Men’s class there would have been the major change. Julien Bontemps capsize at the top mark in the Medal race cost him the Gold Medal, which on the alternate scoring, he would have still won. Kiwi Tom Ashley, who won Gold, was the beneficiary with Bontemps would have been relegated to Silver and Great Britain's Nick Dempsey would have taken Bronze instead of the Israeli's Shahar Zubari.

In the Stars Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom would have taken Silver instead of Bronze, costing Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada their Silver medals.

In the Finns, the double points Medal race was tough on series number two sailor, Daniel Birgmark (SWE). He missed the podium but with a single point system would have been the Bronze medallist instead of Guillaume Florent (FRA).

In the Lasers, there could have been a major difference has match racing and double points not intervened. Mygren (SWE) would probably have had the Silver and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) the Bronze rather than Silver, with Gustavo Lima who received Bronze possibly missing out.

Now all this data is based on the assumption of a ten-boat final ... a full field and who knows what might have happened?

More questions than answers here, I am afraid.

It will be interesting to see if anyone in the ISAF Councils will be interested in discussing Medal race alternatives to improve television ratings or will they just be focused on defending the indefensible, their decision to take the exciting and onboard camera enabled multihull, out of the Olympic line up.

Now if ISAF can just explain how that will improve the media attractiveness of the Olympic classes, we will all be wiser.

As an aside, the Sail-World team conducted a quick poll amongst the journalists and photographers covering the Olympic regatta in Qingdao.

Just 35 of the 200+ group of television, mainstream and sailing media were asked 'Aiming to maximize the media appeal of the sailing sport, do you think the multihull should be the class disappearing from the London line up?'

The answer 35 No, Zero Yes.

Odd really.... but then they are media, so what would they know about media?

Start of the third race - 2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 10 - Tornado -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=48484   Click Here to view large photo

by Rob Kothe


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

9:45 PM Wed 3 Sep 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2008 Olympics Qingdao

Related News Stories:

22 Aug 2010  Qingdao might spell the Future of Sailing
27 Nov 2008  Inspirational Meeting of the Medallists at RQYS
15 Nov 2008  Elliott 6 metre selected for 2012 Olympics
13 Nov 2008  ISAF Specialist Committees agree Olympic Equipment
12 Nov 2008  Ainslie and Sensini win ISAF Rolex Sailor Awards
05 Nov 2008  Boost for RS:X sailing down under
03 Nov 2008  Not time to change Olympic windsurfer says Pryde
21 Oct 2008  Tornado moots one design for 11th Olympic medal
06 Oct 2008  ISAF Working Party support NZ design for Olympics
26 Sep 2008  Day 1 of Nations Cup Qualifier - AUS and NZL

News - USA and the World

Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,

470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard by 470 International Association Class,

J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing
Volvo Ocean Race - Seb Marsset joins Team Alvimedica
Fall Seamanship training opportunities at New York Yacht Club
Rolex Big Boat Series: More images from San Francisco - Final Day
AWT Hatteras Wave Jam action commences on day 3
Rolex Big Boat Series: Images from San Francisco - Final Day
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here
Hobie 16 Open North American Championships and Pan Am Games qualifier
ISAF Sailing World Championship - Videos from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds: Buckingham into Medal Race, 470's stay consistent
470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Defending champion on top
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Big breeze on day 6 + Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham into Laser Medal Race
U.S. Multihull Championship - Hobie Alter Trophy to be decided
ISAF Sailing Worlds - The kind of form most sailors only dream about
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing ahead of target
ISAF Worlds Santander - 19 Rio 2016 Laser Radial spots awarded
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - 21 broadcasters to take live coverage
Rolex Swan Cup - Looking forward to the next 30 years   
America’s Cup: The Future is foiling – AC45s to be modified   
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt   
Red Bull 49erFX: On the eve of the Worlds in Santander   
America's Cup: Ben Ainslie Racing launches partnership with Yamaha   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow   
Rio 2016 Daylight the issue for Olympic sailing regatta   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - USA 470's and Lasers battle at top   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 5 video highlights   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander images by Jesús Renedo   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - No action on day 2   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification   
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1   
A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Prizegiving images by Chuck Lantz   
ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + 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  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





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.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT