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London 2012 - A Day worth Bottling

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 29 Jul 2012
Ben Ainslie Lighting the Olympic flame in Weymouth - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition
Practice Day London 2012 Sailing Regatta. Sunshine, wind 15-18 knots from the west– perfect conditions for the Practice Day in Weymouth.

Given the weather of recent weeks, this burst of sunny weather is obviously of great relief for Britain, but is it too good to be true? It was a cliché sailing day, sailing in a postcard, champagne sailing. The white cliffs looked great, it was warm, and it seemed more like tropical sailing in the Caribbean or Australia’s Whitsundays. It was in fact a day worth bottling.

ISAF Technical Delegate David Kellett had provided some feedback this afternoon to the event meteorologist.. ‘Please take that weather report and run copies we can use right through to the 11th.’

On the serious side the day was a practice for everyone, sailors, the course officials, the marshals, the boat drivers, photographers and journalists.

In racing terms the day meant very little, but if the media boat mob on the Finn start line if nothing else it probably re-affirmed the belief that if Ben Ainslie wins his fourth Gold medal it will be the biggest British Olympic story and if he loses it will be the biggest British Olympic story.

Ben Ainslie was fast in the Finns, Robert Scheidt in the Stars, so too were the Canadians Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn, but they had flying start and retired before the rest of the fleet retired.

Late this afternoon the official Olympic Torch lighting ceremony was held overlooking Weymouth Bay, the first Olympic Torch relay runner, Big Ben was again the star and after lighting the flame and almost singeing his hair, the triple Gold Medalist stood and smiled for the crowds and photographers, then executed a perfect Royal Wave.

If the Finn practice race first upwind leg today was any guide, you’d have to believe he will be doing it again soon, but with more metal around his neck.

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