ISCYRA  Regatta Report

Sat Aug 16th, 2008 through Thu Aug 21st, 2008

Gold Medalists  Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport

Gold Medalists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport

2008 Olympics

 

Racing Reports
Final Results

Gary Jobson on the Medal Race for NBC Olympics.com:
There is nothing better in any sport than a last minute rally to decide a champion. The sailors, and fans watching the Star class on a rainy, blustery day off Qingdao were given quite a treat. The scores were close. Swedenís Frederik Loof held a 2 advantage over Britainís Ian Percy. Each boat beaten is worth two points in the medal race. Sweden would win on a tie because they had more firsts, and wins head to head. The lead would change four times before the finish. And just to add a little more spice to the scenario Brazilís superstar Robert Scheidt was 8 points behind Loof. So here we go.

It was very tough maneuvering before the start in towering waves off the sea wall. Percy is a more experienced match racer and worked Loof into a bad position at the start. GBR was right at the committee boat, Loof was two lengths back, and crossed the line late. To many it looked like it might be over right there. But Loof tacked away, and GBR did not follow. Let me repeat that, GBR did not cover! For a while Loof wanted to tack back to cover GBR from behind, but Portugal blocked his path. The wind shifted to the left and GBR tacked. So far GBR was looking good. And then the inevitable penalty for not covering blew in with the wind suddenly swinging back to the right giving the advantage to Sweden.

Well ahead, Brazil rounded the first mark in the lead. Just 14 seconds later SWE rounds in 5th and GBR 6th. Downwind we go and the Stars start surfing beautifully. Scheidt was a master in the Laser while surfing. His skill earned him 8 World Championships, two Gold and 1 Silver medal in a 10 years. Scheidt worked his Star hard on every wave with the assistance of his crew Bruno Prada. Meanwhile Percy weaved his way through fleet to round the second mark in 2nd, just 12 seconds behind Scheidt. Loof was 5 seconds back in third. Where was this heading?

Back on the wind and all six sailors on the 3 boats started hiking hard. If they had been sumo wrestlers they would have stomped themselves through the floor. Every wave must have felt like torture. The attitude was to just keep hiking, because the other guy would surely cave. But no one gave in. SWE worked the right and slowly ground past GBR. Brazil sailed to the left side, and fell out of the strong wind. Scheidt was dropping fast, and was now in 5th. Percy fell back to 7th.

At the final windward mark BRA, GBR and SWE all rounded within 27 seconds. Meanwhile Polandís double Olympic medalist Mateusz Kusznierewicz took the lead. Could he become the spoiler? As the boats surged forward on every wave the crews trimmed hard for acceleration. Loof started moving up. Percy got stuck in the wind shadow of three trailing boats and was looking for a clear lane.

With 200 yards to the finish a gust propelled every boat. The group behind inched up. On shore several hundred rain soaked fans screamed like crazy. Scheidt passed two boats on a wave careening on the edge of control. Poland crossed first, Brazil third. Out of nowhere Britain planed across in 5th. Unfortunately the pack sailed right by Loof, who finished last. And with that Great Britain clinched the Gold, Brazil a Silver and poor Sweden was lucky to hold on to a Bronze.

On the way back to the harbor the sailors on the Stars looked exhausted. A tough physical day is the essence of Olympic sailing. It was an action packed regatta. The Chinese hosts did a terrific job building the finest sailing facility in the world. And letís not forget about the 20,000 volunteers clearing the racecourse of immense amounts of algae. The wind was challenging as expected. Two days featured powerful winds, and giant confused seas. The rest of the time the wind was light and capricious. But in the end the best sailors prevailed.


Star
Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Medal Total
1 GBR   Iain Percy   Andrew Simpson   GBR   7.0 13.0 3.0 5.0 8.0 2.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 6.0 10 45
2 BRA   Robert Scheidt   Bruno Prada   BRA   10.0 11.0 6.0 1.0 9.0 10.0 2.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 6 53
3 SWE   Fredrik Loof   Anders Ekstrom   SWE   1.0 4.0 15.0 3.0 6.0 1.0 8.0 2.0 1.0 7.0 20 53
4 POL   Mateusz Kusznierewicz   Dominik Zycki   POL   5.0 6.0 8.0 2.0 10.0 9.0 3.0 5.0 9.0 13.0 2 59
5 SUI   Flavio Marazzi   Enrico De Maria   SUI   9.0 7.0 9.0 9.0 5.0 5.0 6.0 11.0 4.0 1.0 4 59
6 FRA   Xavier Rohart   Pascal Rambeau   FRA   12.0 1.0 5.0 4.0 7.0 6.0 9.0 9.0 8.0 2.0 18 69
7 GER   Marc Pickel   Ingo Borkowski   GER   2.0 14.0 1.0 8.0 3.0 8.0 14.0 10.0 6.0 10.0 8 70
8 POR   Afonso Domingos   Bernardo Santos   POR   3.0 3.0 10.0 17.0 [OCS] 13.0 3.0 5.0 7.0 7.0 9.0 12 72
9 NZL   Hamish Pepper   Carl Williams   NZL   4.0 9.0 2.0 11.0 1.0 12.0 11.0 13.0 5.0 11.0 14 80
10 ITA   Diego Negri   Luigi Viale   ITA   13.0 8.0 12.0 7.0 11.0 7.0 7.0 6.0 13.0 5.0 16 92
11 USA   John Dane   Austin Sperry   USA   8.0 2.0 4.0 12.0 15.0 15.0 16.0 16.0 10.0 4.0 -- 86
12 AUT   Hans Spitzauer   Christian Nehammer   AUT   14.0 10.0 11.0 6.0 14.0 4.0 12.0 4.0 12.0 14.0 -- 87
13 IRL   Peter O'Leary   Stephen Milne   IRL   6.0 12.0 7.0 10.0 12.0 13.0 13.0 8.0 11.0 12.0 -- 91
14 AUS   Iain Murray   Andrew Palfrey   AUS   11.0 15.0 13.0 15.0 2.0 11.0 10.0 12.0 14.0 8.0 -- 96
15 CRO   Marin Lovrovic Jr   Sinisa Mikulicic   CRO   15.0 5.0 14.0 13.0 4.0 14.0 4.0 14.0 15.0 15.0 -- 98
16 CHN   Hongquan Li   He WANG   CHN   16.0 16.0 16.0 14.0 16.0 16.0 15.0 15.0 16.0 16.0 -- 140

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