Note: This report
of the 1968 Olympics has been scanned in by Ed Sprague. For a collection
of Worlds' reports plus photographs contact Ed Sprague (
email@example.com ) to order his book "The San Diego Bay Star
We rounded the leeward mark about 60 feet behind Paul, and nearly even with Peder Lunde of Norway ... we elected to drive off to leeward, and half way up the beat we had driven through Paul and come back up to have him directly behind us. That was fun! The rest of the race we stayed between Paul and Peder and the mark, and won going away ... Peder was second, and appeared to have good speed in the 12-15 knot winds.
We moved up to third
on the second beat, passing Bernet of Switzerland and John Albrechtson
of Sweden on some small shifts. Peter and Henrik Tallberg of Finland had
a big lead, and Lunde of Norway was second. On the run the Tallbergs broke
their boom, and on the last beat Norway covered us pretty thoroughly ...
we covered third place Bernet of Switzerland and Franco Cavallo of Italy
came from seventh to pass us just before the finish on a well-played shift
and took second. We were discouraged at losing second, and Lowell felt
terrible. He lay in bottom of the boat all the way back to the yacht club.
Looks like it might be Lunde who will be tough.
It was discouraging to lose another second in the last minute, and Lowell again headed for the bottom of the boat and lay down as soon as we finished. Peder Lunde was sixth, but was still ahead of us with a throw-out.
Stuart Jardine of Great Britain was first at the mark from the right side, but the next six boats came from the left ... during the reaches the wind swung about 35 degrees to the right ... we were third, thanks to a nice starboard lift as we approached the mark, with Durward just ahead of us. We passed him on the reach, and started after Jardine ... during the reaches the wind swung about 35 degrees to the right (that would have put Norway at the top and us 12th had it happened during the first beat!) and the last two beats were long starboard tacks with short hitches to the right at appropriate times. Our times were most appropriate, and we passed Jardine just before the mark.
At this stage Durward
was closest to us in the series, so on the last beat we covered both but
hoped Jardine could hold second, which he did. Peder Lunde was 11th, Cavallo
8th, and Bernet 10th ... and we could finally breathe just a little bit
We spent the first beat halfway between Peder and Durward, and as it turned out Durward was right . . . he was first at the weather mark, with Franco, the Schmidt brothers from Brazil, and us. We all opened out some on the reaches, and it was a four boat from then on. With plenty of shifts to play it was fun, and we emerged at the second weather mark second to Brazil, with Franco and Durward behind, where we wanted them. We couldn't think of anyone we'd rather have win than Eric and Axel Schmidt, who had their boat moving for the first time in the series. The run was a problem ... for no apparent reason, both Franco and Durward ran past us and we were fourth staring the last beat.
So we played the shifts again up the last beat, got by all three and were leading for a while, but lost Franco who went behind us out to the right and got a nice lift. We sat on Durward in to the finish, still regarding him as the number one threat, which didn't make him very happy as Cavallo won and he was fourth, thereby losing series second.
For the first time I was absolutely certain we would win ... we only needed one fifth in the next two races, assuming our closet competitor, Franco, won them both. It has been a tough, interesting race, Lowell felt well enough to really enjoy it, and we had a good lead in the series. A good day!
This was the only light air race of the series. We started by trying to go where Cavallo went, but I called every one of our tacks wrong and we were eighth at the weather mark. On the second beat I talked Lowell out of continuing on port because I thought it looked like the fresh puffs were hitting from the left, and the wind went 30 degrees to the right, dropping us to 11th. We lost Eckart Wagner from Germany on the run, and although we caught up a little, we couldn't pass anyone on the last beat and finished a rather dismal 12th. I felt like I'd really had a bad day.
Ironically, that 12th clinched the Gold Medal for us, as Cavallo finished fourth and we would now win by 0.6 even if we did not sail the last race and Cavallo won. Had this been a better race for us we might not have sailed the final race, but we were determined not to finish with a 12th.