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Olympics- all over bar the shouting (for another four years anyway)


The latest sailing news from Asia and the world.
 24 Aug 2016

Olympics- all over bar the shouting (for another four years anyway)

We here at Sail-World Asia would like to congratulate every single sailor that took part in the 2016 Olympic Regatta. Not just the medal winners, but every single one of them who trained, fought, sacrificed, ate and slept sailing for anything up to four years. Now, go out and have a pie and a pint, or whatever your national equivalent may be, and bask in the glory of having become an Olympian. Well done one and all. As Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, reminds us, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

The Rio regatta was not without its critics, and certainly not without some glitches – from a collapsed launching pontoon to windless days to others when it blew the oysters off the rocks. Water quality was the hot topic before the event, with well-substantiated reports or raw sewage and massive pollution in the headlines. “Something must be done” was the cry, and self-evidently something was done, because - as very nicely put by Reuters - “the 2016 Olympic regatta began with concerns about polluted waters and ended with medal winners jumping into Guanabara Bay to celebrate.”

We didn't hear of anyone getting a plastic bag around their daggerboard, and nobody got sent off to hospital with either the Guanabara trots or a case of zika virus. Sailors described the collection of racecourses as providing the most challenging Olympic regatta, ever.

Of the Asian nations, Japan had the biggest representation in the Olympic regatta, with a total of 11 sailors. Close behind was Singapore with 10. Best ‘Asian' score was a silver medal for China's Peina Chen in the Women's RS:X. Japan scored a fifth place overall in the Women's 470, and Hong Kong collected an eighth in Men's RS:X. The remaining 26 entries didn't place in the top ten of their respective classes.

Why don't the Asian nations fare better in the results table? Quoted in Singapore's Today Online (, SGP's high performance manager Chua Tan Ching said that it takes about 10,000 hours of full-time sailing - or roughly 10 years - to potentially medal at the Olympics, and then added “Our sailors are not full time so that has to be changed to get them on course to perform well and progress up the ranks.”

Team GBR had a spectacularly good Olympics, coming second overall in the medal table behind the USA and in front of China. A great deal of money has been spent on sports development in Great Britain in the last few years, and we understand that a lot of it came from the National Lottery. No problem there – a lottery is a voluntary tax, so the organisers are entitled to spend it however they like! Someone did the sums and estimated that each GBR medal cost about £5.5 million in funding. So if Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong et al really want to step up to the plate, persuade your sailors that becoming an accountant isn't the only thing to work towards in life, sign them up as full time athletes, and budget around US$7.25m per person. Ready, steady, go...

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor

Sugarcoated ending for Zbogar and Paine after medal race finnale
Robert Deaves,
2016 Rio Olympic Games - For the fifth Olympic Games in a row, Great Britain has won the gold medal in the Finn class, with Giles Scott (GBR) already securing gold before Tuesday's medal race. Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) crossed in sixth to claim the silver, his third Olympic medal, while the story of the final day was Caleb Paine (USA), running away with the race to take the win and the bronze medal.... [more]

Was Singapore's Road to Rio just a cul-de-sac-
Singapore's sailors and windsurfers captured the imagination in the run-up to the Olympics. In total, eight sailors and two windsurfers clinched their tickets to Rio, a feat which made the Republic's contingent the second-largest in Asia behind Japan, who had 11 qualifiers.... [more]

Great Britain is the top performing nation at Rio Olympic Sailing
Two golds for Giles Scott (Finn) and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (470 Women) plus Nick Dempsey's RS:X windsurfing silver ensured Britain has topped the best sailing nation table for four of the last five Olympics.... [more]

Rio Olympic Sailing – Croatia wins first ever gold in Men's 470
Andy Rice - World Sailing,
Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have won Croatia's first ever gold medal in Olympic sailing. The Croatians sailed a controlled race, making sure they stayed ahead of their rivals Australia and Greece.... [more]

Rio Olympic Sailing – GBR wins 470 Women's gold, New Zealand silver
Andy Rice - World Sailing,
With Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) having already won the Women's 470 gold medal, the battle for silver and bronze came down to a six-way fight between New Zealand, USA, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Slovenia.... [more]

Rio Olympic Sailing – Brits, Aussies, Germans vie for two 49er Medals
Club 49er,
No 49er gold medalists have ever repeated their feat, and that record stays in tact for Rio 2016. With Peter Burling and Blair Tuke already a lock to secure their first ever Gold medals, it's the Silver and Bronze up for grabs today.... [more]

Finn focus at Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition
Robert Deaves,
Sailing a Finn is a demanding occupation. Every one of the 23 Finn sailors who made it to Rio made huge sacrifices to be here and many will go home with unrealised goals and unfulfilled ambition. Some will be back, some won't, but all will have a unique bond with a sporting event that played out as one of the tightest, closest, and most challenging Olympic regattas ever.... [more]

Rio 2016 - The fall and rapid rise of Annalise Murphy to win Silver,
Annalise Murphy would not have been selected by countries with a 'medal capable' policy. She won the first four races of the Weymouth Olympics in the Laser Radial, and looked invincible, but she stumbled in the last half of the regatta and finished a very creditable fourth. Then the she had a three year performance slump. On Tuesday, she won the Silver Medal in the Womens Laser Radial.... [more]

Laser Gold Medal win stems from intelligent, if not percentage sailing
John Curnow,
A Gold Medal win was just one chance in 10! That was what Australia's Tom Burton gave himself going into the Rio 2016 Laser Olympic double points medal race, but that is all he needed. He won the pre-start match race with series leader, Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic, and then sailed through the bulk of the fleet to win the Gold Medal.... [more]

Finn silver medalist Vasilij Zbogar standing for Athletes' Commission
Robert Deaves,
Rio 2016 Olympians are this week electing their representatives on the Athletes' Commission. Four sailors will be elected by their peers while the World Sailing board will chose a fifth representative from a list of seven candidates. The five sailors will join Sarah Gosling (GBR), Yann Rocherieux (FRA) and Lijia Xu (CHN) who are completing their second term.... [more]

Rio 2016 - Images from the Nacra 17 medal race
Richard Gladwell, NZL,
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the start of the Nacra 17 Medal race, and filed this gallery of images... [more]

Rio 2016 - Images of the Laser Mens Medal race
Richard Gladwell, NZL,
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the start of the Laser Mens Medal race, and filed this gallery of images... [more]

Patience and Grube's pride in Rio Olympics show
Luke Patience and Chris Grube admitted their pride at even making the 470 Men's Medal Race after seeing their hopes of a podium finish ended despite enjoying their best day on the water in Rio today... [more]

Emotional Nacra gold for Argentina, first sailing medal for Croatia
Andy Rice,
2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games - After a shaky weather forecast and a fear of lack of wind, the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course delivered some excellent conditions for four nail-biting Medal Races.... [more]

Rio 2016 - Golds secured early by British 470 Women and Kiwi 49er Men
Andy Rice,
2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games - There has been plenty of drama going on across Guanabara Bay besides the four Medal Races at Rio 2016's Olympic sailing competition. Two gold medals have been decided with a day to spare and the 49erFX Medal Race is set to be a humdinger.... [more]

Oman Sail's Fahad Al Hasni voted Seahorse Sailor of the Month
Oman Sail,
He was nominated for one of the most coveted awards in world sailing for the part he played in Musandam-Oman Sail's success in setting records in recent years such as the Round Britain and Ireland and in particular the new Round Ireland record earlier this year.... [more]

Mid-week weekend at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Crosbie Lorimer and Lisa Ratcliff,
2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Layday came early for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out on the Eastern course area, in the Turtle Bay vicinity.... [more]

AHIRW - Day 2 - Ichi Ban and Concubine in the Tavern
Nic Douglass,
2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but the breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par with the off-water activities!... [more]

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Dale Lorimer - Bow Caddy Media,
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind... [more]

A mass migration to the tropics for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Rob Mundle,
2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Amid unprecedented scenes, hundreds of yachts and thousands of sailors and their supporters are descending on tropical Hamilton Island, in the Whitsundays, for the start of Australia's largest offshore regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.... [more]

Ten nations represented in the eighth Vendée Globe
Olivier Bourbon / M&M,
This is the most eclectic line-up ever for the non-stop solo round the world race. The nine foreign skippers are aged between 23 and 66 and come from a variety of backgrounds.... [more]

A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
Louay Habib,
Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.... [more]

Time and tide on Day 2 of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Crosbie Lorimer,
The Trailables Division led the vanguard at the first start gun, but it soon became apparent that plugging a strong south going current in such light breeze was going to make for a very slow and congested start to the day.... [more]

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