Olympic News - Tornado and Star Medal Races

21 Aug 2008

Editorial: Qingdao finishes in the wind and rain

Qingdao did not live up to its reputation as a light air venue for the 2008 Olympics  Richard Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.Com's Olympic newsletter for Day 13 of the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

The 2008 Olympic Regatta ended today on Fushan Bay with the Medal Races being sailed in the Tornado and Star classes.

The outcome of the latter was another Gold Medal for Great Britain, their fourth of this Olympics, and their medal total now stands at six. They also leave the Olympic venue for the third time in a row as the most medalled nation.

Australia picked up another medal today in the Tornado class – with world champions Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby – taking the Silver medal, and the Lucky Country clearly has their Olympic sailing program back on track after Athens.

It is apparent from this regatta that there is a relationship between money and medals, and the two best funded Olympic programs leave with the most medals.

The Star medallists from Qingdao, Star class Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA); Andrew (Bart) Simpson and Iain Percy (GBR); Fredrik Loof and Andres Ekstrom (SWE)  Ingrid Abery © Copyright

Quite where that leaves other nations is their business. One option is to increase the funding and let the bureaucrats expect a better 'return on investment'. The other is to continue at current funding levels, take the success as it comes and be grateful. There are no certainties with the Olympics, as we have seen many times this regatta.

For the 49er class the Olympics are not over. Word came through a late this afternoon, that the two redress claims, lodged after the controversial decision by the Measurer, have been taken onto the Court for Arbitration in Sport. This arises from the decision to permit the current Gold Medallists from Denmark, to race in the medal race in a borrowed boat.

The CAS claims will be heard in Beijing tomorrow morning at 1100hrs.

Today's Medal races were sailed off the breakwater to the Olympic harbour. The fresh 15 knot seabreeze and big seas made the normally pedestrian Star class come to life. They turned on a spectacular display of physically tough, hard sailing, combined with spectacular surfing and good hard tactical racing.

Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher (AUT) over Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis- 2008 Olympic Regatta - Medal Race - Tornado  Richard Gladwell

For the Tornado it was equally spectacular racing, and every bit as tactical as the Star, but also very reminiscent of the 49er Medal race earlier in the regatta – without the capsizing and carnage.

Conditions, today, were described by French yachting photographer, Francois Richard, as 'nicely awful' with the wind, confused seas and steady rain combined to produce a hard and challenging end to the 2008 Olympics Regatta.

It is too early to determine this regatta's place in history. However thing is certain, Qingdao showed that it was not the light air, fairy puff venue that it has been mis-labelled for the past four or more years.

In fact, was probably one of the windiest Olympics, and on a par with Korea – not too far away, in 1988.
Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Star medal race. Percy and Simpson (GBR) gold medallists in the middle of the pack.  Guy Nowell ©

The facilities in Qingdao were magnificent. The organisation suffered from the lack of experience of the Chinese in running a yachting regatta of this type, coupled with a determination to do it their way.

Most will leave this regatta with very mixed feelings, and probably with quite a different impression to their expectations prior to arriving in Qingdao.

Nothing can take away the fact that for the Olympic medallists, at least, and particularly those who have won Olympic medals for the first time, Qingdao was a life changing experience, and one they will never forget.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby (AUS).   Guy Nowell ©

Although the Olympic Regatta is over, this Olympic newsletter will continue for a further five issues (across a number of weeks), as we work through the material that Sail-World has built up over the regatta, but not had the ability to publish due to tight deadlines.

We'll also be bringing you some of the sailors', managers and coaches perspectives on the regatta, and their Olympic campaigns generally.

Tomorrow, the Sail-World team will be having our first break in over 15 days, and then flying home over the next two days, along with many of the crews from this event.

Our next edition will be published early next week.

Good Sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Sail-World Olympic Editor

The last Tornado gold??
Rob Kothe,
Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz won gold in the Tornado class today on Fushan Bay, Qingdao China. Australia's Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby won silver and Argentina's Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola took the bronze.... [more]

Images of Qingdao: Star class Medal Race
Richard Gladwell and Guy Nowell, Sail-World,
Images from the Star class Medal Race, final event in the 2008 Olympic Regatta... [more]

Percy-Simpson clinch Star sailing Gold
Lindsey Bell,
Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson have won Star class gold on a thrilling final day of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Regatta today, leaving Britain's sailors with their best Olympic medal haul for 100 years. Britain's 6th sailing medal of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - Ben Ainslie - Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson - Paul Goodison gold - Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield silver - Bryony Shaw bronze... [more]

Ingrid's Images – Star Medal Race
Ingrid Albery was on the 2008 Beijing Olympics Star course today, pursued media drivers in the nicest possible way that they show GO NOW!!! Here is a selection of her images. You will find lots and lots more at www.hotcapers.com... [more]

Olympic Sailing Team NZL Daily Wrap 21 August
Jodie Bakewell-White,
The 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta has concluded today with the Star class medal race – New Zealand's Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams have finished 9th.... [more]

Britain add final Star Gold
The Star class Medal race produced one of the great classic Olympic races on the final day of the Olympic sailing events at Qingdao, China. And the final result was another Gold for Britain. Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson winning a nerve racking final run to clinch Britain's fourth Gold and with a silver and a bronze, their sixth sailing medal of the 2008 Games... [more]

Final day at Qingdao completed
Final day of the Olympic sailing events at Qingdao, China. Two Medal races to complete the programme, the Tornado and the Star classes, first up were the Tornado. The Spanish crew of Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz won the Gold, Australia second and Argentina the Bronze - Then the Star, Gold to Ian Percy and Bart Simpson, Silver to Sweden and Bronze to Brazil... [more]

Shining Stars
Bob Fisher,
An off-the-cuff prediction on this website yesterday read: 'With decent breeze the Star medal race could be the thriller of this Olympic regatta.' The facts bore this out completely. There could not have been a better thriller and it all hung on the last leg with medal places changing all the while.... [more]

Final day at Qingdao completed
Final day of the Olympic sailing events at Qingdao, China. Two Medal races to complete the programme, the Tornado and the Star classes, first up were the Tornado. The Spanish crew of Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz won the Gold, Australia second and Argentina the Bronze - Then the Star, Gold to Ian Percy and Bart Simpson, Silver to Sweden and Bronze to Brazil... [more]

Brits sail away with Qingdao medals
Rob Kothe,
The British Sailing Team won four Beijing Olympic Gold medals, a silver and bronze to sail away the Qingdao regatta. This is the best overall medasl result for one nation since the United States won one gold, six silver, and two bronze in Barcelona in 1992.... [more]

Why kill the cat?
Bob Fisher,
Thirty-two years of Olympic sailing history came to an unsatisfactory conclusion when the ten Tornado catamarans sailed the medal race at the 25th Olympic Games. Not that the race was unsatisfactory, far from it, but that it was the last ever Olympic multihull race.... [more]

Olympics Aussie Tornado Team wins Silver
Australian Sailing Team Media,
Australia's Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby have won a Silver medal in the Tornado class in Qingdao.... [more]

Wind favours Australians in Tornado Battle
Rob Kothe,
Winds of 16-18 knots are sweeping across Course A ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Tornado class medal round on Fushan Bay, Qingdao.... [more]

Olympics: Proud, disappointed and exhausted
Dean Brenner Chairman and Team Leader US Olympic S,
The racing for Team USA is done. We ended yesterday, and are now in China for another couple of days. We'll walk in the Closing Ceremony and then head on home. I'm sure I speak for everyone on the team when I say we're equal parts proud of what we did accomplish, disappointed by what we did not accomplish, and exhausted from the entire experience.... [more]

Qingdao has a new sailing emblem
Rob Kothe,
As an Olympic regatta draws to a close, there is a frenzy of badge swapping and memorabilia collection and buying. Today in the Qingdao media centre we've all been given a key ring. Yeah! Yeah!... [more]

2008 Olympics Qingdao
Welcome to Sail-World.Com's coverage of the 2008 Sailing Olympics in Qingdao, China...
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