Olympics, 420 Worlds, and a little bit more

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 08 Aug 2012

Looking at the sailing results so far from Weymouth, the Asian nations haven't done so well. In fact, the only Asian sailor to get into the top ten of their class – and, therefore, the medal race – is Xu Lijia (CHN) in the Laser Radial who converted that to a gold medal-winning performance. Congratulations, Ms Xu! So what has happened to the oft-quoted optimism about sailing being one of the sports in which ‘the Asian physique' can genuinely compete?

Asian nations such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have enjoyed recent success at the junior levels – just look at Singapore's recent medal haul at the Optimist Worlds, and remember that Thailand produced a World Champ Oppie sailor in Noppakao Poonpat the year before last.

But the gap between the junior level sailing and Olympics is huge – the raw material is there, but getting enough young sailors to commit to two Olympic cycles of training plans is a big challenge in most countries where sailing has yet to gain traction as a culture or a pathway towards a career. Singapore has the added complication of young people being conscripted for a two-year term in military training, with no exemptions. It's a very tough call to carry over to the senior level.

Here are the numbers:

Chang Hao, RS:X Men 35th/38

Hong Kong
Leung Ho Tsun, RS:X Men 13th/38
Hayley Chan, RS:X Women 12th/26

Tomizawa Makoto, RS:X Men 28th/38
Sunaga Yuki, RS:X Women 21st/26
Doi Manami, Laser Radial 31st/41
Ryunosuke/Yungo, 470 Men 18th/27 (2 races to go)
Ai/Wakako, 470 Women 11th/20 (4 races to go)
Kenji/Makino, 49er 18th/20 (1 race to go)

Lee Tae Hon, RS:X men 15th/38
He Jeemin, Laser 24th/49
Cho/Park, 470 Men 18th/27 (2 races to go)

Mohd Afendy, Laser 47th/49

Wang Aichen, RS:X Men 18th/38
Li Ling, RS:X Women 14th/26
Shi Jian, Laser 43rd/49
Xu Lijia, Laser Radial 1st/41
Gong Lei, Finn 24th/24
Deng/Wang, 470 Men 22nd/27 (2 races to go)
Huang/Wang, 470 Women 19th/20 (4 races to go)

Colin Cheung, Laser 15th/49
Elizabeth Yin, Laser Radial 24th/41

Boonsawad Ek, RS:X Men 33rd/38
Napalai Tansai, RS:X Women 24th/26
Bualong Keerati, Laser 48th/49

And another thing. What would you rather win – a gold medal at the Olympics, or a Class World Championship? Or Wimbledon (if you are a tennis player)? Or Henley (for the rowers out there)? This has always puzzled me – since there is only one sailor allowed from any one country in any one class in the Olympic regatta, that means that many of the best sailors just aren't there. Giles Scott in the Finn class, for example. But somehow the Olympics have some sort of extra magic, don't they?

Guy Nowell, Editor

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The water was flat but the action was hot on the Nothe course today as the Men's RS:X class put on their final Olympic performance. As earlier reported, Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) had already secured Gold prior to today's medal race. Team Great Britain's Nick Dempsey racked up an impressive Silver, while Poland's Przemyslaw Miarczynski rouded-out the podium with a well-earned Bronze.... [more]
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420 Worlds - another title for Singapore
Singapore Sailing,
Going into the final day of racing yesterday, the Singapore team featured prominently in the Ladies standings, in second, third and fifth positions. Rachel Lee and Cecilia Low snatched victory from Chilean pair of Nadja Horwitz/Sofi. Middleton who had been leading the event throughout the week, by finishing ahead in the final race and securing victory by a single point!... [more]
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Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
Dockside yesterday before the medal ceremony the 27 year old Australian, five times Laser World Champion and now Olympic Gold medallist, talked about his success.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - A tale of two Medal races
Mark Chisnell,
When the medal race was introduced at the Olympic Sailing Competition, the hope was that it would bring heart-stopping action for spectators. Yesterday it delivered plenty, with the Star and Finn. And today, we saw a couple more classic medal race stories play out in the two Laser classes. There was the all-but unassailable lead that dissolves into a match race at the back of the fleet.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012: 470 Men - Aussies and Brits blitz the field
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia and Great Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell are neck and neck in the Men's 470 with only a single point separating them at the top of the leader board.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012: Laser Radial - China's Lijia Xu snags gold
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, China's Lijia Xu sailed her way to the Laser Radial gold medal by claiming the bullet in a winner takes all Medal Race. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) took silver and Evi Van Acker (BEL) claimed bronze in winds up to 14 knots on the Nothe course, close to a large crowd which cheered sailors around every mark.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ put caution ahead of valuable testing
Warren Douglas,
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 went sailing for the second time Friday August 3, taking advantage of a stronger breeze on the Hauraki Gulf. The cat left the dock under tow about 9.30am, headed north towards Tiritiri Matangi Island and the Noises 30km north of Auckland.... [more]
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New Record fleet for Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012
Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week media,
Since entries opened in April with a flood of applications, it has been clear that there would be a big fleet for Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012.... [more]
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UK-Halsey Sailmakers,
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London Olympics 2012 – The Finn Medal race: Here is what they said
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
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London Olympics 2012 - Swedes claim Star gold in thrilling finale
Sweden's Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen claimed victory in the Star Medal Race to upset the favourites at the London 2012 Olympics Games and snag the gold medal in a thrilling finale. Having trailed overnight leaders Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) by 12 points ahead of the Medal Race the Swedes won by four seconds over Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner to overcome the Brits who finished eighth.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 - When seconds count
Bob Fisher,
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, however one looked at it, for the first 28 minutes the defending Olympic champions of the Star class were achieving their aim. With Freddie Loof and Max Salminem disputing the lead of the medal race with the Kiwi crew, the sixth place in which the British pair rounded the last mark was good enough for gold.... [more]
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420 World and Ladies World Championships 2012 - Sunday showdown
International 420 Class Association,
Race day 5 at the 2012 420 Junior World Championships. After waiting for around an hour on the race course, teams were eventually sent ashore in the hope of more breeze in the afternoon. This failed to materialize and racing was called off for the day at around 1630 hours.... [more]
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London Olympics 2012 day 7 - Carlo Borlenghi images
Carlo Borlenghi images,
Carlo Borlenghi images from day 7 of the London Olympic 2012 Sailing competition... [more]
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Bob Fisher,
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London Olympics 2012 - The Dominant, The Dream and The Desperate
Mark Chisnell,
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