Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops 2022 May LEADERBOARD

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - Day 6

by Andy Rice, World Sailing 30 Jul 2021 04:39 PDT 25 July - 4 August 2021

Wearn secures sailing gold, Rindom wishing she'd done the same

Matt Wearn has wrapped up the gold medal in the Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition, making him the third consecutive Australian to have achieved the feat.

Denmarks' Anne-Marie Rindom could have done the same in the Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial, but for a big misunderstanding.

It was very light and fluky conditions, not for the faint hearted. Some adapted to the new breeze and others have suffered as the breeze got harder to read.

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser

Even light and fluky winds couldn't hold up the relentless march of Matt Wearn who secured the gold medal for Australia this afternoon. With a 22-point advantage, Sunday's Medal Race will be a formality for the jubilant Australian, who was met by his girlfriend still in contention for a Laser Radial medal, Emma Plasschaert from Belgium.

"It's an amazing feeling, and thanks to a great training group that we've had back in Australia for a while now," said Wearn. "It probably won't be until I've had a bit of solitude in my room that it will all hit me, all the emotions. After the start of the week there was a little bit of doubt I'd be able to get back to here. I put myself in a pretty big deficit. These guys out here are amazing sailors and they're not going to relinquish a lead if they've got one. So I knew I had to fight. And yeah, that's what we did."

After leading for much of the week, Pavlos Kontides' ability to climb back from bad situations eluded him in the final race this afternoon. Instead, one poor downwind run - which plummeted the Cypriot from seventh to 23rd - dropped him out of the medals but not out of contention.

The points are very close between Hermann Tomasgaard of Norway in second, Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) in third, and Kontides now in fourth. Germany's Philipp Buhl and Brazilian legend Robert Scheidt still have an outside shot at the podium.

Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial

If Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) doesn't win gold after Sunday's Medal Race, the mistakes of today will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Much lighter wind conditions make for a lot more jeopardy in the Laser Radial. Not only is the wind hard to read when it's in short supply, but the risk of being penalised for propelling the boat forward illegally through excessive body movement, fanning the sails or wagging the tiller to promote forward motion increases. The result can be a yellow flag from the on-water-jury. A first offence is a 720-degree penalty turn during the race and a second offence requires the sailor to retire from the race.

Rindom explained the nightmare scenario for her in the final race of the Laser Radial Opening Series, "I got a yellow flag in the first one for pumping up the downwind and then in the second start, I got the second yellow flag, which means that you have to retire from the race. And so I did.

"But then there was a general recall so there was a new start. I didn't have enough time to talk to my coach if I could start or not. I simply didn't know the rule that I could start in that race. I decided to start but then I decided to retire because I wasn't sure and I didn't want to get a DNE [non-discardable disqualification].

"Obviously that was wrong and I can only blame myself. I guess I should have known the rule. But I've never been in this situation in my whole career."

For all that, Rindom still holds a seven-point advantage over arch-rival Marit Bouwmeester going into Sunday's Medal Race. But today could have been the day that the Dane had put a padlock on the gold medal, just as Kiran Badloe (NED) did 24 hours before on his RS:X Windsurfer.

"I'm just devastated right now, it's hard to be in my own body with so many emotions. But yeah, I just have to rise again and be ready for Sunday because nothing is over yet."

Yesterday Bouwmeester's hopes of the gold medal looked dead and buried, but Rindom's pain is the defending Olympic Champion's opportunity. It's a huge momentum swing in favour of the Netherlands.

This is not as simple as a two-horse race, however. Josefin Olsson holds bronze medal position and the Swede, along with Canada, Belgium, Italy and Finland all have a shot at the podium this Sunday.

Men's Skiff - 49er

It's neck and neck at the top of the Men's Skiff - 49er with Great Britain still holding the golden spot but now with New Zealand level on the same points. Just one point behind the leaders is Spain, with Denmark four points further back in fourth overall.

Pete Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) had the most consistent day in a minefield of a race course, the only team to keep all their scores inside the top six.

"We always knew it was going to be a challenging day for us in those kind of conditions," said Tuke. "To come back with three low ones is pretty pleasing. It was a heck of a fight."

Women's Skiff - 49erFX

Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) took a tumble down the leaderboard from first to fourth place, although their points advantage from the windier days still has them well in touch with the front three.

Taking charge for the first time this week are double World Champions Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED), who hold top spot by just a point from the reigning World Champions from Spain, Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo.

The reigning Olympic Champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) moved into the top three for the first time this week.

Bekkering was pleased with their boat speed and tactics, commenting, "We got good starts, the boat was going fast and we managed to find some good lanes in the tricky breeze. It's a different style of sailing from what we have done the last days in the big wind, and I think we adapted well."

Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470

Even in today's patchy, unreadable breeze Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) succeeded in stretching further ahead of their rivals in the Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470 fleet. Scores of 4,3 extend the Australian advantage to 11 points ahead of Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) who continue to hold second place. A good outing for Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox moves the New Zealanders into the bronze medal position.

Belcher looks so relaxed, as well he could be the way the double Olympic medallist is sailing. "We feel like we've got a really good rhythm and we're out there having fun, just trying to keep that momentum going as long as we can."

Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470

The lighter breeze brought out the best from local heroes Ai Kondo and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) who scored two second places in the 470 Women. It moves the Japanese up to fourth overall and makes them the likeliest bet for an Olympic medal for the host nation.

It's still an 11-point gap to third place, held by France's Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz (FRA), who are three points behind Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) in second overall.

Given the choice of the physical stress of pushing her body to the max in the stronger conditions of the previous days, or the mental torture of a lighter day like today, McIntyre says there's no contest, "Today you feel like you have so little control, it could go either way on some of those beats. It's much easier when you can apply some physicality to the boat and really help make the boat go faster in stronger winds. It's a big change of mentality from one condition to another."

Currently able to discard their 13th place from the earlier race of the day, a race win for Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Jolanta Ogar (POL) keeps the Polish in the lead with a four-point buffer to the British.

Future Programme

The top ten in the Men's and Women's Windsurfer - RS:X will enjoy a day of rest on Friday ahead of their Medal Races on Saturday 31 July.

Friday's action will see the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghies conclude their Opening Series. The 49erFX return to action with the 49er fleet continuing and the Men's and Women's Two Person Dinghy will pick up where they left off.

Related Articles

Steering the Course 2022 kicks off
A week-long festival of women's sailing Hundreds of sailors across the world will take to the water over the next 10 days as World Sailing's Steering the Course global women's sailing festival gets under way. Posted on 21 May
World Sailing official Paris 2024 Olympic website
The new website will be the central hub for official information World Sailing has launched its dedicated Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition website with just 800 days to go to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Posted on 18 May
U25 Para Sailing World Championship announced
Set to debut in Dutch waters this summer World Sailing has announced the creation of a brand new event, the U25 Para Sailing World Championship, as part of the governing body's commitment to increase participation and inclusivity throughout the sport. Posted on 26 Apr
Tita & Banti overall winners at 51 Princesa Sofía
One of the largest Olympic regattas in the world Palma Bay witnessed 10 gold medal winning performances on Saturday 9 April, the concluding day of the Trofeo Sofía Mallorca. With 1,015 competitors, this regatta made for a glorious start to the Hempel Sailing World Cup Circuit of 2022. Posted on 10 Apr
Paralympic fever in San Francisco
Leading figures get behind World Sailing's #BacktheBid Inspiring stories of athletic ability, perseverance, and skill were the order of the day at the St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco on 25 March 2022 Posted on 2 Apr
Hempel World Cup Series at Trofeo Princesa Sofía
New high-speed era of Olympic sailing about to kick off in Palma Hempel World Cup Series at the 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca Regatta is bringing together more than 1,000 sailing athletes from every corner of the world to compete at the first Hempel World Cup Series of the new Olympic cycle. Posted on 31 Mar
Hempel World Cup headlines at Dutch Water Week
Marina Muiderzand in Almere and Batavia Beach in Lelystad will welcome the world's best sailors The Dutch cities of Almere and Lelystad, on the banks of Markermeer lake, will host the 2022 edition of Hempel World Cup Series Allianz Regatta, 27 May - 5 June, as part of Dutch Water Week. Posted on 9 Mar
Steering the Course 2022 set for record year
The global women's sailing festival is aiming to break records World Sailing is aiming to break records this year with Steering the Course - the global women's sailing festival - after taking the world by storm in its début year in 2021. Posted on 3 Mar
World Sailing updated statement on Ukraine
Suspending participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials Today World Sailing joined the IOC and global sports organisations in taking the decision to suspend participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in World Sailing owned and sanctioned competitions and events until further notice. Posted on 1 Mar
World Sailing statement on the Ukraine situation
Joining many international sports organisations calling for an immediate end to all hostilities World Sailing is very concerned about the situation in Ukraine and we are troubled about the safety of our friends in the Ukrainian sailing community. Posted on 28 Feb
SOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomSelden 2020 - FOOTERJ Composites 2020 - FOOTER