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London Olympics 2012: Sailing Olympics News - Day 8
Often described as the 'Lucky Country' because of its abundance of resources, Australia added more Gold to its already ample reserves – this courtesy of a sailing regatta being staged off Weymouth England.
Today the Australian sailing team officially won its first Gold medal of the 2012 Olympics – by Tom Slingsby in the Mens Singlehander , sailing in the Laser class.
A couple of hours later, his fellow team members Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen repeated his feat – winning the Mens Skiff, without needing points from the Medal Race to be sailed on Wednesday.
Lijia Xu tastes Gold - day 9 Medal race - Laser Radial. London Olympics 2012 Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright
Two Gold medals boosted a lack-lustre performance from the Australian Olympic team on which the British media have been merciless
Slingsby won Australia's first individual medal, doubling their count of Gold medals.
Outteridge and Jensen, although not having been formally awarded their Gold, have tripled the team's count, and bought it up to the level of New Zealand.
Medal race - Laser Radial. London Olympics 2012 Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright
As the points stand, Australia leads in another two sailing events, which taking the most generous view, could see the team from the Lucky Country catch the plane home with four Gold medals in their kit bags.
That would also bring in a new World Order in Olympic sailing, with dominance of Great Britain broken.
Another mark was set today, with the young New Zealand crew of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, winning New Zealand's first Olympic medal outside of windsurfing in 20 years.
Although the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is best described, in polite circles as 'intense'. A pragmatic approach based on the premise that the 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' has seen the New Zealand and Australian 49er crews train and practice as a pair against each other.
August 6, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke racing in the 49er Richard Gladwell
Weird as it may seem the thinking is that it is better for them both to come out with a Gold and Silver medal each, rather than go alone and maybe both miss out to the British machine.
The Anzac approach has worked well in the 49ers – whether it transfers to other classes remains to be seen.
Another milestone for sailing today, with the winning of the Silver medal in the Mens Singlehander (Laser) by Pavlos Kontides (Cyprus). This marked the pinnacle of an eight year campaign by the sailor from one of the world's smaller sailing nations.
August 6, 2012 - Weymouth, England - 49ers head for the Portland shore Richard Gladwell
Finally it was announced at the media conference this morning that the estimated number for the crowd watching the Finn Medal race had been out at 30,000 - that is a hell of a number for a sailing event - and comparable with many gate sports.
In this edition of Sail-World's Olympic newsletter we have all the background and reports on today's racing, including the two Medal Races, along with some great images from some of the world's top photographers.