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Tokyo2020: Dutch win third successive Gold medal in Mens RS:X

by Richard Gladwell/ 31 Jul 2021 08:47 PDT 1 August 2021
Kiran Badloe and Aaron Mcintosh - RS;X Medal Race - Tokyo2020 - Day 7- July, 31, - - Enoshima, Japan. © Richard Gladwell - / Photosport

The focus of Day 7 was on the Medal races and how the final stanzas of the qualifying phase of the Tokyo2020 would play out.

However it went largely unnoticed in Kiran Badloe's (NED) Gold medal win in the RS:X - that it was a third Gold medal for his coach Aaron McIntosh (NZL), and sits well alongside his 2000 Olympic Bronze medal, in the Mens windsurfer.

McIntosh coached Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) to win a Gold medal in Weymouth at the London Olympics, and again in Rio.

Badloe and van Rijsselberghe, both coached by McIntosh fought out the selection for the Netherlands, with Badloe winning the nomination, and with the inside running for the Gold Medal - which played out on Sagami Bay this afternoon.

Few make the transition from being a top sailor to being a top coach, and McIntosh has certainly cemented his place in that elite group, having coached two competitors to Gold medal wins in the same event.

While the racing was dramatic, the result was never in doubt. Badloe had so dominated the event he only had to sail the course, and finish cleanly, to win the Gold medal.

The Mens and Womens Medals in the RS:X class were sailed on the stadium course off the sea wall at Enoshima - and drew but a handful of spectators, due to COVID restrictions.

On the horizon the final qualifying races for the 49er skiff were being sailed. The pre-series favorites and defending Olympic champions, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were chasing the overall lead ahead of Monday's Medal Race - and if they could be wearing the series leader's yellow bib - then the obvious move was to build a points buffer. They achieved both objectives, but probably not with the buffer they desired.

"Not too bad, but it could have been better as a lot of our days have been, this week," was how crew member Blair Tuke described the day.

"The racing is tight, we had to get ourselves up after a bad one, and it is nice to be able to come ashore with a 4pt lead going into the Medal Race. "

"The Medal Race will be a straight out boat race - It's been like this all week, where no-one has really been able to get ahead in the 49er, we are just excited to be having a crack at it.

Helmsman Peter Burling says that windshifts on Sagami Bay have played a big part in the racing. -

"It's definitely tricky," he told Sail-World in a Mixed Zone interview late this afternoon. "It wobbles around a fair bit, and the margins are very small in the 49er at the moment. If you wind up on the wrong side of it at the top mark, you can drop ten boats or similar."

After scoring a countable 5th and 2nd places, the Kiwi's dopped back into the peloton in the final race of the day.

"We did a good start but just couldn't get a lane up the first beat," Blair Tuke explained." When we tacked onto port we werre looking good for a while. When we closed in at the top mark, we just couldn't get a shift to get us in, and wound up dropping ten boats and went back into the pack and almost out the back.

"It was a shame not to be able to do it again in that race after two really good ones before it."

"But there are only small margins out there and if you don't get it right, you get punished."

Over on the Finn Course, Josh Junior was shoring up his Medal Race prospects, turning in the best score-card of the day with a first and 4th placing in the two races sailed.

"It's always going to be close in the Finn fleet," he told YNZ's Michael Brown. "Everyone has ebbs and flows over the whole event, and now is the really important time to lock in some good ones and to go into the Medal Race with a good chance of winning a medal."

Junior has two more races in the Finn class before the Medal Race, his objective is to win both of them.

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