Day 2 Qingdao Olympic Regatta

11 Aug 2008

Editorial: Mind games in Qingdao

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. 49er. Star spangled banner.  Guy Nowell ©
Welcome to Sail-World.Com's Olympic newsletter for Day 2 of the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

Great Britain's three shoo-ins for Gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Regatta are in fine form after two days of racing. In the 49er and Yngling classes, the 2012 Olympic Hosts are leading their class, and five times World Champion, Ben Ainslie is lying in second place in the Finn class.

Today was pretty much a slow action replay of yesterday, with the Qingdao Doctor shifting five degrees to the south and flicking the anemometer at 4-8 knots.

Many believe the wind strengths are being enthusiastically reported. Certainly we would have expected to see the crews working a little harder on Course E today, the outermost of the five courses, had there been a consistent eight knots. The 49ers sailing in Course A, outside the Media Centre were treated to a six knot breeze in the official records, but more like 3-4kts according to observers.

GBR leaves Olympic Harbour for the first race in the 49er class  Richard Gladwell

Whatever, the racing today was as close and exasperating as it was yesterday.

One who will certainly be exasperated is Greek Finn sailor Emilious Papathanasiou, who picked up his second "go-home" from the International Jury for infringing Rule 42(a), which for those not entirely familiar with the nuances of the Racing Rules of sailing, means that he pulled a little too often on his mainsheet in the light conditions, and was considered by the on the water jury to have infringed.

Emilious Papathanasiou (GRE) leads Zach Railey (USA) across the finsh line in Race 3 of the Finn class.  Richard Gladwell

Lest some consider that a particular judge has a vendetta against the 15 ISAF ranked sailor, the on the water judges are being rotated, and there is a fair chance that Papathanasiou has been yellow flagged by two different judges and possible three. So it is a fair cop.

No doubt to his chagrin, Papathanasiou has a first and a fifth placing, which without the two DNF's, he would probably be in the top three overall. Certainly the 35yr old who finished in 5th place in the 2004 Olympics has shown a remarkable comeback ability in this regatta. His most stellar performance was recovering from a 25th place around the first mark in the first race of the regatta, to take the winner's hooter three legs later.

Similarly today recovering from 25th to finish 5th overall.

Dan Slater and coach sort out the issues between Races 3 and 4  Richard Gladwell

New Zealand's Dan Slater, who just seven months ago was presented with the silver medal at the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne broke a dreadful run of late teens placings, to finish fourth in today's Race 4.

Kiwi sailors are known for their Gallows Humour in times of adversity, and their Olympic Director, Rod Davis, was running true to form when he quipped after Slater had returned to the Olympic Harbour, "I think it will be all right now, we've taken the belt and shoelaces out of his room!"

The surprise packet of this regatta, so far has been the performance of US Finn sailor Zach Railey who leads Ben Ainslie (GBR) by a healthy five point margin. Railey has three second places to his score from four races (his other score being a fifth) - a remarkably consistent record in these conditions which have ankle tapped many of the more fancied competitors.

In the Yngling class, the British crew of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson hold a seven point lead over Finland, with the Netherlands in third overall. The Canadian crew who held second place overnight, dropped back to 12th overall after placing 10th and 15th in the 15 strong fleet today.

Start of the 49er class, Race 1 2008 Olympic regatta, Qingdao  Richard Gladwell

The advent of the 49er class provided some much needed spectacle to the Olympic regatta with their sail plan designed to reflect the graphics of their national flag. However the fickleness of Qingdao was underlined on the class points table with the British crew of Ben Rhodes and Stevie Morrison, who hold a narrow one point lead after three races, having finished in the top three only once today.

The two points of contention in the event so far continued apace today. There was no change to the stand-off between on the water media and the event organisation over camera boat positioning, with photographers having to work over 100 metres away from the competition, and often being expected to take images of what is supposed to the the leading event in world sailing from behind a line of coach boats.

Where this one will end is anyone's guess, however tempers were very frayed again today.

Dutch training partners USA trialling their upwind gennaker.  Troels Lykke

As Bob Fisher 'The Fish ' writes today, deciding which spinnaker to measure has turned into game of Cold War proportions in the Tornado class. with several electing to measure in the revolutionary small spinnaker, now with the moniker of "Code Zero" after its equivalent in the America's Cup.

Use of the sail will allow crews to fly a spinnaker to windward, greatly increasing power, as reported by some on the water observers - with one Tornado crew twin wiring upwind in the 6-8kt breeze while three-sailing, while a conventionally rigged Tornado in two-sail configuration was struggling to get one crewmember on the trapeze.

With the first race in the Tornado event not due to get underway until next Saturday, there are plenty of mind games to come on this particular innovation.

Good Sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Sail-World Olympic Editor

Richard Gladwell

USA's Railey takes Olympic Finn lead
Derby Anderson,
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) came in second in both races today and now leads the Finn Class at the 2008 Olympic Regatta. With a scoreline of 2,5,2,2 in a venue that has seen finishes all over the board, his consistency has brought him to the top. More US news from 49ers and Ynglings... [more]

Results & Images from Qingdao: Finns Day 2, Races
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
Finn class racing on Day 2, Races 3 & 4 sailing on Course E.... [more]

The cat is out of the bag
Bob Fisher,
The Dutch Sailing Team announced today (Sunday) that Mitch Booth has registered his highly controversial Code O Tornado gennaker with the measurers at the Olympic regatta at Qingdao and that they have accepted it, subject to measurement, as a legitimate sail for use in the regatta. At time of press, the sail had not been measured but Booth believes this should present no problem.... [more]

Running out of excuses - more 49er pictures
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
'If you can't see the pictures, they don't exist'. 'If the pictures are there, may as well show them off'.... [more]

49ers are fun to shoot - more pictures
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
As Barry Humphries used to say - 'colour and movement, colour and movement'. He was darn right. Plenty of colour and movement in the 49er fleet, even in the light breeze at Qingdao.... [more]

Bright and breezy in Qingdao - picture time!
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
Owners of white boats with white sails and white spinnakers please note – you're never going to be on the cover again.... [more]

Ingrid Abery images from today's racing at Qingdao
Ingrid Abery images,
Ingrid Abery was out on the water following the action. Here is a selection of her images from today's racing at Qingdao.... [more]

Images from Qingdao: 49er class Races 1, 2 and 3
Richard Gladwell and Guy Nowell, Sail-World,
Images from Qingdao: 49er class Races 1, 2 and 3... [more]

'I'll be back.' Arnie the Algie's guest appearance
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
Several competitors reported a re-appearance of algae on the Qingdao race course today. Finn sailor Anthony Nossiter (AUS) said he had to clear trailing clumps of algae off his rudder four times during racing today, and there was still a small amount hanging off the rudder of his boat coming up the ramp after racing was over.... [more]

Beijing 2008 - Australian Sailing Team News
Australian Sailing Team,
It was a tough opening race for Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin today in the 49er. Anthony Nossiter in the Finn Class scored and 8th and was 8th around the last mark in race two but slipped back to 17th by the finish putting him in 13th overnight on 58 points.The Australian Yngling Team of Krystal Weir, Karyn Gojnich and Angela Farrell still sit in 5th place after day two.... [more]

Brits extend Yngling lead, Ainslie second in Finns
Team GB's Yngling trio of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson put in another solid display on Sunday to see them extend their lead at the top of the results table. Results Here... [more]

Letter from Qingdao: Behind the bamboo curtain
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
As we saw yesterday, the winds were light again today. The morning has dawned with a 3-4 kt breeze on the course. It seems that the breeze increases here very late in the day and stays in through the early part of the night. So whether the breeze we see each morning is the breeze for the day, or a left over from the night before, is only something we find out later. One who should have been a very... [more]

Team GBR 49er take overall lead on day 2 at Games
Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes continued Team GB's confident start to the Olympic sailing regatta on Sunday, taking the overall lead after first day of racing for the 49er class. The Yngling team also lead after two more races and Ben Ainslie moved into second overall, winning his second race today... [more]

Zach Railey dominates dicey conditions
Robert Deaves,
A quick glance at the Finn scoreboard after four races would seem to indicate someone is rolling the dice in Qingdao. One person who seems to have loaded dice is Zach Railey (USA), who after two awesome second places today moves into the overall lead and would have had a significant points advantage apart from a last minute charge in race four by Ben Ainslie (GBR) to move from seventh to first o... [more]

From Hero to Zero: a Greek Tragedy unfolds
Andy Rice SailJuice,
Andy Rice's Sailjuice blog cannot be found on the internet in China. However the rest of world can find it at [more]

49ers race in Qingdao
Rob Kothe,
The Spanish crew, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez signalled they will be hard to beat with a first up victory in the 15 race 49er series on Course A, just off the seawall of Qingdao Harbour today. The Australians bombed 15th but stormed back to win the second race.... [more]

2008 Olympics Qingdao
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