Olympic Sailing Day 8

16 Aug 2008

Editorial: First Gold medal to Australia

Tornado catamarans heading for home after a long day - 2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 7  Richard Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.Com's Olympic newsletter for Day 8 of the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

Today should have seen the first two Medal Races in the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta. The fickle breezes off Qingdao ensured that it wasn't.

This morning we received the following forecast from Jon Bilger of PredictWind: "The stronger winds predicted for today stay further offshore and so another light forecast. Both models show Northerly winds of 10knots but dying out by start time to less than 5 knots. By late afternoon an Easterly breeze builds to 10knots, but possibly to late for racing."

And that is precisely what did happen.

In spite of the fickle winds on the westernmost courses (nearest the Olympic marina), racing did take place on the outer courses.

The Brit-Pack were well pumped this morning expecting to finish the day with two Gold medals. However today's Medal races in the Finn and Yngling did not eventuate, due to fickle winds off Qingdao on Course A.

In the Finn, a race did get underway. USA's Zach Railey, second place overall, believed that he was over the startline and returned (incorrectly) to restart. His rival Ben Ainslie pounced on the error and established a tight cover on the American, sailing him down the fleet into last place with Ainslie content to pad around the course in ninth.

However the Qingdao breeze, such as it was, did not come to the party and crumped out completely forcing officials to abandon the race, and all other racing on Cource Alpha for the day.

While Ainslie is widely tipped to take the Gold Medal tomorrow (Medal Race or not), the Womens Yngling is a very close run thing with Sarah Ayton and friends, just one point ahead of the second placed Dutch crew led by Mandy Mulder

In theory, a number of crews could take the Bronze medal, and the Yngling will be the first class under the Medal Race system to actually have its medals determined in the final round.

The British sailing thunder was stolen by their sporting nemesis Australia today. They did that in front of their vocal Australian supporters and their very pretty Australian Government Sports Minister, good timing for improved funding for London 2012.

Australian supporters - - 2008 Qingdao sailing  David Minnis-Bell

Australia effectively won the first Gold Medal of the 2008 Sailing Olympics, when Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page finished the Fleet series with a 22 point margin over the second placed competitor, meaning that they have won the regatta, and the Gold Medal without needing to points from the final Medal Race.

The Australian media pack asked the five times world champions, 'How does it feel winning the first Gold Medal for Australia and beating the Brits? 'It does not get any better than that does it laughed Malcolm Page.

Australia is assured of a second Gold Medal this time in the Womens 470 class, with Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson holding an 18point advantage going into the medal race.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Malcolm Page (l) and Nathan Wilmot with Australian Sports Minister Kate Ellis, shortly after securing their gold medal in the 470 Men's class.  Guy Nowell ©

The only scenario where the second placed crew of Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkout (NED) can overtake the Australian crew is is the Dutch won and the Australian's were last. That would tie the points which are broken in favour of the crew who performs best in the Medal race.

With the racing in various states of advancement in all classes, one thing the regatta has proven is that to succeed, you have to get at least two good days racing behind you to win medals. No-one has really comeback from being seriously down the mine after the second day. No-one is putting together long strings of winning performances. All are being conservative and consistent and just waiting for their competitors to fall over.

It's a regatta that is lost rather than won.

Jo Aleh (NZL) currently leading the Laser Radial fleet, summed it up saying "On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the greatest, this venue's luck is about an 8."

Good Sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Sail-World Olympic Editor

Beijing Olympics - Sailing Table of Results Day 8
TRW - ISAF Biography Information,
Beijing Olympics - Sailing Table of Results Day 8... [more]

Australia wins first Sailing Gold Medal
Rob Kothe,
Australian sailors Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page guaranteed a Gold Medal for Australia in the 470 Mens Class this afternoon took an unbeatable 22 point lead going into the 470 Medal Race.... [more]

Letter from Qingdao: Poor water, poor life?

One of Sir Peter Blake's mantras on the environment was: 'Earth is a water planet on which the quality of water defines the quality of life. Good water, good life. Poor Water, poor life. No water, no life.' Today, I saw the first sea bird that I have seen since arriving in Qingdao, eight days ago.... [more]

Gold Gold Gold for Australia?
AST Media,
The Australian Sailing Team is set to claim at least two medals, potentially three, after today's race results put the Men's and Women's 470 teams into emphatic leads, and the 49ers go into their final race tomorrow to challenge from third place.... [more]

The medal race that never was
Bob Fisher,
That was the goof that was – the first ever medal race in the Olympic regatta, a competition finale foisted on sailors by the IOC, who in tune were driven by the Great God Television, which produced nothing the viewing public, outside of committed sailors, would have understood or appreciated. And all because the wind failed to oblige.... [more]

Mackay Boats - towards world domination
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
Mackay's factory consists of eight fulltime staff. They build 30 to 40 49ers – a year, and the company is also the builder for the 29er, which after an initial burst of interest, stalled in New Zealand. However David Mackay, himself a former ISAF Youth World Champion, expects this to pick up.... [more]

Q: How do you spell ‘riveting'? A: Q.I.N.G.D.A.O.
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
The race eventually got under way in two-tenths of next to nothing breeze, only to be abandoned after slightly more than half of the fleet had completed half the course. Ben Ainslie (GBR) sailed a tactical race, needing only to not come last and not allow Zach Railey (USA) to win, in order to secure his own gold medal.... [more]

Images of Qingdao: An idle RS:X day
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
Images from the non-race Day 8 of the RS:X class at the 2008 Olympic Regatta at Qingdao... [more]

SailJuice Olympics Day 8, Aussies got Gold
Andy Rice - SailJuice.com,
'I feel like chicken tonight...' Olympic sailing has its first Gold Medal , without needing a Meda Race The Olympic Regatta saw the first gold medal won today, but it didn't come from a Medal Race. It was the Australian 470 sailors, Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page, who sailed a phenomenal series. All they've got to do in the Medal Race is sail around and finish the race.... [more]

Qingdao Saturday - Racing completed
Finn Medal race adandoned after second mark with Ainslie in Gold position - medal races postponed to Sunday - Racing has started for other events in the sailing at Qingdao Saturday. In the two Medal races to decide the winners of the Finn and Yngling events, the race for the Finn class started after four postponements while the course was reset due to wind direction changes... [more]

Olympic Sailing Day 8: Mixed Bag for Team USA
Derby Anderson,
Qingdao offered a mixed bag of breezes for today's packed schedule. 470 Men and Women were able to fully catch up to their ten-race program, with eight knots in their first races dying to a subsequent five or six knots. However, all nine other events were unable to keep up with their allotted races.... [more]

Chupacabra stirs up Olympic Tornado fleet
Derby Anderson,
Tornado sailors Johnny Lovell and Charlie Ogletree have developed a smaller, flatter gennaker to be used for light-air sailing in Qingdao. Competitors have accused them of leading the “dark side” with this unconventional design... [more]

Olympic joy and nerves abound
Dean Brenner Team Leader US Olympic Sailing Team,
I'm torn between the polar opposite emotions of joy and stress. On one hand, I am jumping-out-of-my-skin happy for Zach Railey who yesterday sailed a brilliant 8th race in the Finn Class and put himself on the brink of an Olympic medal. But on the other hand, Sally Barkow, Debbie Capozzi and Carrie Howe are in for a full-on street brawl in the Yngling Class today.... [more]

2008 Olympics Qingdao
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