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London Olympics 2012: Sailing Olympics Newsletter - Day 6

Flavio Marazzi and Enricon de Maria (SUI) sailing the Star class keelboat sail an extreme course and run into the Finn fleet coming the other way on Weymouth Bay.  Richard Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.com's 2012 Olympic Newsletter for Day 6, August 3, 2012

The fresh westerly breezes that have dominated this Olympic Regatta continued today – the sixth straight day of moderate to fresh winds.

While normally this would be an issue in most regatta venues, here at Weymouth the three course locations offer a variety of sailing conditions – with flat waters in the Portland Harbour. The horse-show shaped bay that is the Nothe course seems to have reasonably straight winds, that certainly don't lack for strength.

The eastern side of the Nothe forms a natural stadium for the capacity crowd of six thousand. Quite what would happen on this course if the wind swung east remains to be seen.

The Nothe is the venue for the Medal racing which starts on Sunday.

Iain Percy and Andrews Simpson - seemingly secure at the top of the Star class   Richard Langdon /Ocean Images ©

Two events being contested on the Nothe coiurse on Sunday are the Two man Keelboat (Star) and Heavyweight Single Hander (Finn).

In the Finn class, Ben Ainslie (GBR) stumbled on the first leg of the day, rounding the first mark in 11th place with his rival Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) in fourth – had those placings remained at the finish – the climb for a fourth Gold Medal for Ainslie would have become very steep indeed.

But it was not to be, and once again Ainslie dug deep and pulled his way back into fifth place – conceding one more point. That was damage control. Ainslie got his foot back on the throat of the Dane in the tenth race, with a win, while Hogh-Christensen was third. Your one and up one. The deficit is now just two points with two single point scoring races left to sail plus the double points scoring medal race.

Ainslie pulls through in the Finn - London 2012 Olympic Games  Richard Langdon /Ocean Images ©

By scoring a race win today in Race 9, Pieter-Jan Postma entered the Gold Medal equation for the Finn class, and according to the very learned gentleman who sits across the other side of the Sail-World bench at the Media Centre, the Gold Medal will now be decided in the Medal Race.

The three way tussle means there will be no more playing silly buggers at the back of the Medal Race fleet, as the two competitors in contention try and matchrace each other into last place.

If correct it will have also saved the Live TV commentators trying to explain to the watching public, why the two Medal contenders are deliberately sailing around at the back of the fleet.

Team GBR is currently leading the Star class going into the medal race  Richard Langdon /Ocean Images ©

In the Two Man Keelboat, the British crew of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, look to have their Olympic title defence well under control. This is a brutal, crushing performance rather than one that is full of flair and flash.
Behind the British crew it is a duel for the Silver and Bronze between Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) and Fredrick Loof and Max Salminer (SWE). Just Four points separate the two crews.

For years the rest of the world has looked at the British powerhouse of sailing and wondered whether it was built on a base of unique talent – Jim Saltonstall's 'Ferrets'. Or, whether there is a genuine talent development program that can take kids from Optimists and turn them into Olympic champions.

We had the answer to that, today with the Womens 470 event, which got underway on Weymouth Bay. Two former Optimist sailors, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, pulled through to the top of the leaderboard after the first day, to lead from the New Zealand pair of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie.

August 3, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) lead the Womens 470 Race 1 at the end of the second leg, They led the 20 boat fleet at the end of the first day.  Richard Gladwell

In this edition of Sail-World's Olympic newsletter we have all the background and reports on the day's racing, along with some great images from some of the world's top photographers.

Different patterns and stories are developing through all the classes contesting this Olympic regatta.

Read about how they are unfolding in this edition of Sail-World.com's Olympic newsletter

We'll all be back in action tomorrow – stay tuned to www.sail-world.com

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Olympic Editor

The Womens 470 fleet starts Race 1 on Weymouth Bay  Richard Gladwell




London 2012 Olympics - Winner takes all
Bob Fisher,
Ben Ainslie v Jonas Hogh-Christensen; Big Ben v The Great Dane in the title fight for the greatest Olympic sailor ever. It's a cliché packed delight, a smorgasbord of sporting archetypes. It's particularly tasty when you throw in the angle that a fourth gold medal for Ainslie will rip the title out of the hands of the original (and still the best) Great Dane, Paul Elvstrom.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012—Similar conditions, tougher competition
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
Today's press briefing here at the Sailing Media Center at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, situated in Portland, UK, delivered news that sailors and spectators alike appreciated hearing, namely, an expected repeat performance of yesterday's windy, lumpy racing conditions that tested sailor's endurance levels almost as much as it pushed their on-the-water acumen. Perfect!... [more]
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London Olympics 2012—Starlight but not bright on North America tonight
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
Today was a day of reckoning for Star sailors, with the top ten teams in this hyper-competitive class progressing to Sunday's medal race. Sadly, today was also the day that some sailors flaked their sails for the last time of this Olympiad. Given the Star's exclusion from the 2016 Games, this could well be the last day of serious Olympic competition that some of these athletes will experience.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Singapore stunner
Philip Goh,
Singapore's Colin Cheng came close to winning Race 8 of the men's Laser competition at the London Games, finishing just eight seconds behind Australian Tom Slingsby, the five-time world champion who is also the overall leader.... [more]
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London Olympics: Richard Langdon's view of Day 6
Richard Langdon,
Top British photographer, Richard Langdon, was moving between courses on Day 6 of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta. Here's his view on the day's sailing on Weymouth Bay... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Images by Carlo Borlenghi of Day 6 at Weymouth
Carlo Borlenghi images,
Carlo Borlenghi, the lens-maestro, regarded by many as being the top sailing photographer in the world was on the water again at Weymouth. Here are his magical images from Day 6 of sailing competition at the London Olympics 2012 in Weymouth. Sailing as you have never seen it before.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - High Drama ahead for Finn class
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
The television ratings are set to soar this Sunday when Britain's favourite sailor, Ben Ainslie attempts to win his fifth Olympic Gold Medal.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 – Laser Class returns to natural order
Rob Kothe,
Australia's Tom Slingsby, the five times Laser World Champion and short priced Olympic Gold medal favourite, is back in the lead of the London 2012 Laser competition.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 images by Rick Tomlinson
Rick Tomlinson images,
London Olympics 2012 sailing competition at Weymouth, UK images by photographer Rick Tomlinson.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 – 470 Champions return to top
Rob Kothe,
Australia's Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page have dominated the Mens 470 Class. Yesterday they made a costly error, today they bounced back.... [more]
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London 2012 Olympics - Brits ready to battle for gold
Matt Carter,
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, Ben Ainslie and the British Star pairing of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, maneuvered themselves to within striking distance of gold, as they head into Sunday's showdown medal races following a thrilling day at Weymouth and Portland today.... [more]
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London 2012 Olympics - Finns prepare for medal race brawl
Robert Deaves,
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) has led the Finn from the very first mark. He will go into the medal race on Sunday with a two point lead over defending Olympic champion Ben Ainslie (GBR). After the best showing on Friday, Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) moves up to the bronze medal position. The gold medal will come from one of these three.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Mixed results for US Team
Dana Paxton,
Today was the debut of Women's 470 team Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan, who are in fourth overall. Star sailors Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih reached the medal race, however it was also the end of the regatta for Finn sailor Zach Railey... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 day 6 for Canadian Sailing Team
John Curtis,
London Olympics 2012, Weymouth and Portland. Sailing competition day 6. Today Canada finished up in the Star Class and the Finn Class with some respectable results but not good enough to qualify for Race 11 - the Medal race. The star team of Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn were predicted to be Canada's top medal hope in sailing.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Australian sailing preview day 7
Craig Heydon,
London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, Weymouth. Australian preview for day 7 of competition.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - The Stars battle in the Pack
Richard Gladwell,
British crew of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson look set to defend their Olympic Star title after posting a first and second place today. They enjoy a nine point margin over the second and third placed crews, who will probably now focus on winning the Silver medal instead of chasing the Gold, which seems to be well within the grasp of a very strong British crew.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Hair-raising racing in the Finn class
Bob Fisher,
As if the older members of the Fourth Estate need hair-greying experiences like those the Finn class racing caused today in the London Olympics. Those with any left were tearing them out as Ben Ainslie played a tactical game - one for which he is well renowned - in the tenth race of the series.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - The Finn Slugfest
Richard Gladwell,
The two man battle in the singlehanded Finn class for the Gold medal, became a three way slugfest today, after Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) scored first and second placings in the two races sailed today, and has a better than mathematical chance of winning the Gold Medal, on Sunday. Either way the Gold will be decided in the Medal Race.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Australians pursue Brits in 470
Richard Gladwell,
The World Champion Australian crew of Mathew Belcher and Malcom Page, set out in hot pursuit of the overnight leader in the Mens 470 class, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR), after the Australians got away to a slow start in the opening race.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images of Weymouth - Womens 470 gets underway
Richard Gladwell,
Racing started in the Womens 470 class today, sailing in big seas and fresh winds on Weymouth Bay. This was the last event of the 2012 Sailing Olympics to get underway. Sail-World's camera was there to capture the action... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - Australians enjoy race wins
Craig Heydon,
Tom Slingsby has retaken first in the Laser class, opening up a five point lead ahead of overnight leader Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus, while Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen continue to lead the way in the 49ers following a consistent three races on Friday.... [more]
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London 2012 Olympics - Battle continues for Irish sailors
ISA,
At the London Olympics, today was the final day of fleet racing for Peter O'Leary and David Burrow in the Star class. Qualification to Sunday's medal race hinged on the two races. O'Leary and Burrows began the day in ninth and thanks to an 11th and a seventh; they remained ninth overall entitling them to compete in the medal race.... [more]
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London Olympics: Images from Weymouth - 49ers at the Nothe
Richard Gladwell,
The 49er's raced on the Nothe course today, in front of a big crowd of spectators. The natural stadium will be used for the medal racing and offers a spectacular vantage point. New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were the best performed today taking first and second places, bringing them closer to the Gold Medal than the Bronze.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012: Star - Swedes rise to medal contention
ISAF,
Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson of Great Britain have taken a nine-point overall lead into Friday's racing with only two more races plus the Medal Race on Sunday remaining. Percy and Simpson are on 13 points, nine points clear of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA), who made life difficult for themselves by sailing into third place in the first race and fifth in the later race.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012: 470 Women - Early lead for Team GBR
ISAF,
The Women's 470 class were the final fleet to commence racing at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) have taken an early lead. Very little separates the top five but the Brits end the opening day of fleet racing on seven points after a sixth in Race 1 and a bullet in Race 2.... [more]
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London Olympic 2012 Sailing Competition - Results after day 6
Anna Parker, Sail-World.com,
The London Olympic 2012 Sailing Competition is currently underway in Weymouth and after day six, we see the latest results from the 49er Men's, Elliott 6m - Women's (Women's Match Racing), Finn, Laser Men's, Laser Radial Women's, RS:X Men's, RS:X Women's, 470 Men's, 470 Women's and Star Men's classes.... [more]
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