Grand Prix Sailing

More medal race dramas, ecstasy and agony

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

The Olympic Sailing Competition rose to a dramatic crescendo, with the home nation winning a gold medal in the Women’s Skiff by the most ridiculously small margin, just two seconds. Silver would have been great, but gold for Brazil has set off a party that will last for days. In the Men’s 470, Croatia won its first ever gold medal in Olympic sailing.

After no wind the previous afternoon, the final day delivered perfect 14-knot breezes for the finale. The four Medal Races kept the crowds on Flamengo Beach entertained all afternoon. It started with an ever-shifting battle for silver and bronze in the

 

 

Brazil clinches 49erFX gold by just two seconds

 

The crowd on Flamengo Beach went wild as Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) won gold by just two seconds from Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in a nailbiting final run to the finish. New Zealand took silver and bronze went to Denmark’s Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen. The team to miss out on a medal from the four-way battle was the Spanish crew of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos.

With the wind blowing 12 to 15 knots, New Zealand launched off the left-hand end of the start line, Brazil got away cleanly from the middle while Denmark and Spain made messy starts on the right. Maloney and Meech got into a good lead on the first lap but led Brazil by just 13 seconds at the halfway stage of the three-lap race. At the bottom gate, the Kiwis chose the right-hand side and Brazil broke off to the left in search of something different. When they came back together again at the top of the course, Brazil’s alternative tactics had given them a ten-second lead.

Down the run to the finish the Kiwis attacked hard and made up ground on the Brazilians, but somehow Grael and Kunze held on to get across the line just two seconds ahead.

After five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt just missed out on a sixth medal in the Laser, finishing an agonising fourth, it was critical that the Brazilian 49erFX team came away with something from the final race of Rio 2016. To come away with gold has sent their home nation into ecstasy. When Grael and Kunze won gold at the Olympic Test Event a year ago, the Brazilian media went wild. But one can only imagine how big this will go now that they have become Olympic Champions.

Grael’s victory continues a great family tradition, her father Torben having won five Olympic medals for Brazil. Torben was watching from a coach boat and was one of the first to congratulate his daughter. Martine said, “To receive the medals here in Rio with all our friends and family is indescribable. But I didn’t think about the fact the Brazilian sailing team had no medals. I was just focused on the race, nothing else.”

Kunze said, “Before starting the Medal Race we hugged each other and said, ‘Let’s give our best and no matter what the result it’s going to be fine.’ We were already happy to be among the first four teams, that was already an excellent result. And it’s incredible to compete at home with these amazing fans. We hope to influence more girls to compete in sailing and to make our sport grow.”

Maloney and Meech so nearly made it a Kiwi double in the Skiff classes after Pete Burling and Blair Tuke had won gold in the Men’s 49er. But any disappointment at missing 49erFX gold was swiftly cast aside as the Kiwi girls celebrated taking the silver. “It’s an amazing evening for the Brazilian girls,” said Maloney. “I think the next couple of weeks will be pretty special for them.

With her brother Sam winning bronze two days earlier in the Laser Men’s division, it’s a double celebration for the Meech family. “I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s been an amazing week,” said Molly. “We’ve sailed really well and were really happy with the way things have gone this week. The Olympics has been an amazing experience. It’s awesome to have all the support back home and everyone getting up early to watch us race, it’s really cool. The whole of the New Zealand sailing team has been working really hard for the last four years and I think that it’s all paid off for everyone. It’s amazing to be part of the team.”

Hansen and Salskov-Iversen beat the Spanish in the battle for bronze. The 49erFX was expected to deliver some of the most exciting and unpredictable racing at Rio 2016, but no one could have imagined that the gold would come down to the last two seconds.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

GBR wins 470 Women’s gold, New Zealand silver, France bronze in tight Medal Race

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. Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) took up the early running and led for the first lap, putting them in silver medal position ahead of the 2012 Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL).

The shifting wind produced some new race leaders on the final lap, with Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) streaking away to win the Medal Race. Meanwhile the battleground for the medals was changing by the moment. The Americans were given a penalty turn for fouling the Japanese crew which put them to the back and out of the medals. This left the way clear for New Zealand to take a jubilant silver medal with reigning World Champions Camille Lecointre and Hélène de France (FRA) making a late charge from the back of the fleet to finish sixth, sufficient to give France the bronze by a single point from the Netherlands crew, Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen. It was tears of joy for the three Medal winning crews but the Americans were distraught after having controlled the race early on, only to come away with nothing.

On winning gold at her third Olympic Games and her second with Mills, Clark commented, “It’s our second Games together and to actually have a gold medal after seeing our team mates do it in the past and this week as well, for us it’s just so exciting.”

Mills said, “We’re totally overwhelmed right now. Obviously we knew we’d kind of clinched it but I did so many boat checks this morning because we still had to finish the race. That felt like such a lot of pressure to finish one 20-minute race. We were desperate to race yesterday but we are actually quite glad we didn’t as it was a cracking sailing day for our medal race with sunshine, wind and waves. It all overwhelms you at once – especially when you see your family and friends who have come all this way to support you and have been with you every step of the way and to be able to share this special moment with them was very overwhelming.”

Aleh had no regrets at not being able to defend the gold medal from London 2012. Silver was still great. “I don’t have any what-ifs. Sometimes in sport it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. We’re just proud of the fact we’ve been able to fight all week and come out with a silver. It means more to us than a gold because we’ve had to fight for everything. Nothing went the way we wanted it to really. We just battled and to contemplate a silver from where we were half way through the event seemed like an impossibility, so we’re really happy.”

Lecointre was relieved to come away with bronze. “The competition level was close, there were six boats or even more who could have won a medal here so we are so happy we managed to come back into bronze medal position on the final lap of the last race.”

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Croatia wins first ever sailing gold in Men’s 470, Australia silver, Greece bronze

Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic 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. However, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were much concerned about protecting the silver medal and engaged Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) in a match race before the start.

With the race underway, the Swiss team streaked off into the lead, but the three medal contenders were much more interested in covering each other’s moves at the back of the fleet. With the Aussies and Greeks caught up in their own duel, Croatia’s job of defending gold became straightforward.

Meanwhile, Belcher mostly had the best of Mantis until the top of the final windward leg when Ryan lost his footing and briefly fell overboard but still pulled himself back on board with his trapeze handle. The Greeks seized the moment and moved into the lead, but the Australians attacked again on the final run to the finish. They pressured the Greek boat into making a small mistake on a gybe, and the 2012 Olympic Champion steered the Aussie boat for the finish, crossing the line just six seconds before their rivals to secure silver for Australia. Despite missing out to the Australians, the Greek crew was still very happy with bronze after a tough series at Rio 2016. “It’s amazing to be on the podium at the Olympic Games,” said Mantis. “It’s what I have always dreamed of. As the race started today it was a game for all of the medallists but as it continued it was a fight between us and the Australians until the end. We had a great last day of racing. The other medal winners sailed perfectly and they deserve it.”

Fantela and Marenic’s victory crowns a stunning week for Croatia, the 470 Men’s gold going alongside Tonci Stipanovic’s Laser Men’s silver just two days ago. Croatia had never won an Olympic medal in sailing, now it has two. “It was a good morning,” said Fantela. “I feel really happy, calm, no stress, no pressure. Like the first day of the rest of my life, I really feel good.”

From the outside, it seemed the Croatians made easy work of Rio, but Fantela commented, “This was one of the toughest weeks for me in my whole career, nine days of racing, a bent mast in the storm, a broken mainsail and lots of waiting on the shore. So I was taking every day as a challenge, as there was always something new. I knew if I stayed calm and focused all the time, I knew we could win the medal.”

Belcher had no regrets with his and Ryan’s performance, not even the moment when Ryan half slipped out of the boat. “This is part of sport, we were in a really tight battle and mistakes happen. But for Will to be able to come back and refocus shows the level of our team’s ability. It’s been a difficult week for us. We’ve had to overcome a lot of things but I couldn’t be more proud of what our team have done and to come away with silver is a fantastic achievement. We wanted gold, but hats off to the Croatians because they truly deserve it.”

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

New Zealand win 49er Gold, Australia silver, Germany bronze

For Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), the Medal Race was a victory lap, the Kiwis having won the 49er Men’s gold medal with two races to spare after dominating the 20-boat fleet at Rio 2016 over the past week. The unstoppable Kiwis stamped their authority on today’s Medal Race just as they have throughout the past four years, the four-time World Champions undefeated since taking the Olympic silver medal in London 2012.

Tuke said, “We’ve been working hard on always getting better throughout the four-year cycle since London 2012 and this week I think is the best we’ve ever sailed.” Burling added, “We’ve always had this goal for the last eight years, and we’re super proud to do this for our country. Blair and myself wanted to go out and try and dominate early and come to this event with people chasing us. We enjoy the pressure of being the favourite and the challenge of trying to rise to that level of expectation.”

Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) began the day in silver medal position, but started the race very badly after a poor manoeuvre just 20 seconds before the start. This put the Germans on the back foot and opened the door for Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) to seize the advantage. The 2012 Olympic Champions did enough to stay ahead of their rivals and won silver for Australia, Germany taking bronze.

Outteridge might not have managed to defend the Olympic title but the Aussies were pleased to have upgraded their position on the podium. “We did as well as we could today, coming in we were bronze and the most we could get was silver and we managed do it so I am very happy.” Outteridge and Jensen have barely had a week off between professional sailing commitments. “We’re going to relax for a few weeks then head back to Bermuda and on to the America’s Cup.”

For Outteridge, the Olympic dream has been an obsession. “I remember watching the Sydney Olympics when I was a kid and remembered thinking that the sport I was doing was actually in the Games. I hadn’t really realised it before that stage so from that point onwards it was always a passion and a dream to get to the Olympics. This is my third Olympics now and winning a gold and a silver out of three is a pretty good track record. I am proud of the achievements that Iain and I have made together.”

Ploessel said the final race could have gone better. “The Medal Race was really tough for us, especially with Nathan and Iain chasing us. We put ourselves under a little too much pressure and it was hard for us to have a good race. We will analyse our mistakes and come back stronger. Heil said, “We came here with the goal of finishing somewhere between second and sixth and if we sailed well maybe we could get a medal. So to achieve what we did, we are very happy.”

 

Rio 2016 and thats a wrap – Obrigada Rio

 

 

Brazil wins 49erFX gold by 2 seconds from New Zealand

 

Grael and Kunze

All photos c Sailing Energy / World Sailing

 

The crowd on Flamengo Beach went wild as Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) won gold by just two seconds from Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in a nail biting final run to the finish. New Zealand took silver and bronze went to Denmark’s Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN). The team to miss out on a medal from the four-way battle was the Spanish crew of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP).

With the wind blowing 12 to 15 knots, New Zealand launched off the left-hand end of the start line, Brazil got away cleanly from the middle while Denmark and Spain made messy starts on the right. Maloney and Meech got into a good lead on the first lap but led Brazil by just 13 seconds at the halfway stage of the three-lap race. At the bottom gate, the Kiwis chose the right-hand side and Brazil broke off to the left in search of something different. When they came back together again at the top of the course, Brazil’s alternative tactics had given them a ten-second lead.

 

Maloney and Meech

 

Down the run to the finish the Kiwis attacked hard and made up ground on the Brazilians but somehow Grael and Kunze held on to get across the line just two seconds ahead.

After five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt just missed out on a sixth medal in the Laser, finishing an agonising fourth, it was critical that the Brazilian 49erFX team came away with something from the final race of Rio 2016. To come away with gold has sent their home nation into ecstasy. When Grael and Kunze won gold at the Olympic Test Event a year ago, the Brazilian media went wild. But one can only imagine how big this will go now that they have become Olympic Champions.

Grael’s victory continues a great family tradition, her father Torben having won five Olympic medals for Brazil. Torben was watching from a coach boat and was one of the first to congratulate his daughter.

Maloney and Meech so nearly made it a Kiwi double in the Skiff classes after Pete Burling and Blair Tuke had won gold in the Men’s 49er. But any disappointment at missing 49erFX gold was swiftly case aside as the Kiwi girls celebrated taking the silver. Hansen and Salskov-Iversen beat the Spanish in the battle for bronze. The 49erFX was expected to deliver some of the most exciting and unpredictable racing at Rio 2016, but no one could have imagined that the gold would come down to the last two seconds.

 

New Zealand win 49er Gold, Australia silver, Germany bronze 

 

Burling Tuke and their coach Willcox

All photos c Sailing Energy / World Sailing

 

For Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), the Medal Race was a victory lap, the Kiwis having won the 49er Men’s gold medal with two races to spare after dominating the 20-boat fleet at Rio 2016 over the past week. The unstoppable Kiwis dominated today’s Medal Race just as they have dominated the 49er fleet for the past four years, the four-time World Champions undefeated since taking the Olympic silver medal in London 2012.

 

AUS Outteridge and Jensen

 

Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) began the day in silver medal position, but started the race very badly after a near capsize just 20 seconds before the start. This put the Germans on the back foot and opened the door for Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) to seize the advantage. The 2012 Olympic Champions did enough to stay ahead of their rivals and won silver for Australia, Germany taking bronze.

 

GER Heil and Ploessel

 

 

Croatia wins first ever sailing gold in Men’s 470, Australia silver, Greece bronze

 

Croatia 470

All photos c Sailing Energy / 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. However Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were much concerned about protecting the silver medal and engaged Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) in a match race before the start.

With the race underway, the Swiss team streaked off into the lead, but the three medal contenders were much more interested in covering each other’s moves at the back of the fleet. With the Aussies and Greeks caught up in their own duel, Croatia’s job of defending gold became straightforward.

 

Australia 470

 

Meanwhile, Belcher mostly had the best of Mantis until the top of the final windward leg when Ryan lost his footing and briefly fell overboard. The Greeks seized the moment and moved into the lead, but the Australians attacked again on the final run to the finish. They pressured the Greek boat into making a small mistake on a gybe, and the 2012 Olympic Champion steered the Aussie boat for the finish, crossing the line just six seconds before their rivals to secure silver for Australia. Despite missing out to the Australians, the Greek crew was still very happy with bronze after a tough series at Rio 2016.

Fantela and Marenic’s victory crowns a stunning week for Croatia, the 470 Men’s gold going alongside Tonci Stipanovic’s Laser Men’s silver just two days ago. Croatia had never won an Olympic medal in sailing, now it has two.

 

Greece 470

 

 

GBR wins 470 Women’s gold, New Zealand silver, France bronze in tight medal race

 

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark

Photo c Sailing Energy / 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. Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) took up the early running and led for the first lap, putting them in silver medal position ahead of the 2012 Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL).

The shifting wind produced some new race leaders on the final lap, with Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) streaking away to win the Medal Race. Meanwhile the battleground for the medals was changing by the moment.

 

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie

 

The Americans were given a penalty turn for fouling the Japanese crew which put them to the back and out of the medals. This left the way clear for New Zealand to take a jubilant silver medal with reigning World Champions Camille Lecointre and Hélène de France (FRA) making a late charge from the back of the fleet to finish sixth, sufficient to give France the bronze by a single point from the Netherlands crew, Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED).

It was tears of joy for the three Medal winning crews but the Americans were distraught after having controlled the race early on, only to come away with nothing.

 

Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance

 

 

 

Golds secured early by British 470 Women and Kiwi 49er Men

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

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.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

Men’s Skiff – 49er

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) have won the 49er Men’s gold medal, and did it with two races to spare after dominating the 20-boat fleet at Rio 2016 over the past week. The New Zealanders have gone undefeated in major competition in the 49er fleet since taking the silver medal at London 2012. They have won all four of the last World Championships and were expected to deliver gold for New Zealand this week. Even Burling and Tuke might be surprised at the ease with which they’ve managed their extraordinary feat, however.

Behind them the battle rages on for the other medals, with Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) holding second place in front of the 2012 Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS).

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) have won the Women’s 470 gold medal with the Medal Race to spare. The British team, who took silver four years ago at London 2012, sailed a very solid day with scores of 3,2,3 to carry an unassailable 20-point advantage into tomorrow’s Medal Race. The only thing that stands in the Brits’ way is if they receive a technical two-point penalty for failing to follow pre-Medal Race procedures. But they’re unlikely to jeopardise their gold with any such oversight. Their arch-rivals, the defending Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) have sailed an incredible comeback series after clocking up two expensive disqualifications earlier in the competition. The Kiwis’ scores of 1,1,4 today have lifted them back to the silver medal position, with the double-points Medal Race poised for a fierce battle for silver and bronze as six teams are separated by just 11 points. They are Slovenia, USA, France, Japan and the Netherlands. Austria’s double World Champions have had a disappointing week by their high standards, but Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar still have an outside shot at silver or bronze.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

Women’s Skiff – 49erFX

Four into three, doesn’t go. We know that from watching the Laser Radial Women’s race at London 2012 four years ago. For the 49erFX Women’s Medal Race we are looking at an identical scenario with four crews going into Thursday’s finale on an equal footing. They are Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP), Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL).

The fact that that the fourth-placed New Zealanders sit a point behind the top three tied on 76 points is academic because the Medal Race is a double-pointer. The order that they cross the line will determine what colour of medal they win. Or if they will be the unfortunate ones to win nothing at all.

Three of the four teams have won a 49erFX World Championship, the odd ones out being the Danes who do however have a European title. But, any of these teams would happily trade those titles for an Olympic gold at Rio 2016. Only one of these eight sailors, Spain’s Echegoyen, knows what it feels like to be Olympic Champion after winning gold in the Women’s Match Racing four years ago.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470

Earlier in the day, Laser sailor Tonci Stipanovic made history to become the first sailor to win an Olympic medal for Croatia. But Laser silver could be eclipsed less than 24 hours later by 470 Men’s gold. Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have sailed a stellar week in tough conditions, and the reward is an 11-point gap over the nearest opposition. That opposition, you might have thought would be Australia. But no, it’s the Greeks, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE), who now sit in silver medal position after notching up three second places on Tuesday afternoon. Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have a lot to do if they’re to keep the gold medal for Australia, a nation which has all but owned this event since it won its first of many 470 golds back in Sydney 2000. The Aussies sit just two points behind the Greeks so silver is well within their grasp. Gold is more of a stretch. Such is the lead of the top three, no other team can attack the podium. The best of the rest is the American crew, Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA).

The 470 medals will be decided when the sailing resumes with the Medal Race on 17 August at 13:00 local time. The Skiffs have a lay day before the final Medal Races of the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.

 

 

 

 

Emotional Nacra gold for Argentina, first ever sailing medal for Croatia

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

After a shaky weather forecast and a fear of lack of wind, the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course delivered some excellent conditions for four nail-biting Medal Races.

The oldest man in the competition, recently recovered from cancer, won a gold medal. Croatia won its first ever Olympic medal in sailing. And that’s just the start of it.

 

Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) have won gold after a heart-stopping Medal Race in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull. Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) took silver and bronze goes to Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT).

The Argentineans made hard work of the Medal Race, picking up a penalty early on to round the first mark at the back. But, they fought back to third by the top of the final lap, only to incur another penalty for sailing too close to the Austrians. After dropping the gennaker and taking their 360 penalty turn, Lange and Saroli rallied to cross the finish in sixth place, just seven seconds ahead of the Italian team.

It was a crucial seven seconds that gave gold to Argentina by a single point from Australia. The young Aussies crossed the finish behind the New Zealand team of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL), but more importantly finished ten seconds ahead of the Austrians who crossed for third place. Australia and Austria were tied on points, but silver goes to Waterhouse and Darmanin for their superior finish in the Medal Race.

Looking back at that extraordinary race, Lange commented, “We started the Medal Race with an unfair penalty because the British didn’t give us room to dodge the Australians. It was hard but we have sailed here many times since November when we came to live here. The wind was unstable, I saw it and I was quite sure how to do things, others were wrong. We sailed an incredible race.”

It has been an extraordinary Games for Lange, at 54 the oldest competitor in the sailing competition at Rio 2016. He has had the pleasure of watching his sons, Yago and Klaus, represent the nation in the 49er skiff, and he has survived cancer in the past year.

Lange says the rigours of his sport helped to save his life and return to competition after he lost half a lung to cancer just a year ago. His hectic schedule led to diagnosis of the disease, he said, while the experience of five Olympic campaigns, winning two medals along the way, was key in keeping him positive through his ordeal and returning for a sixth challenge.

Lange, with crewmate Carlos Espinola, won bronzes for Argentina at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 in the now discontinued two-person Tornado class event before combining with Saroli (ARG) in 2014 in the Nacra 17 mixed class, a new addition to the Olympic sailing schedule at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Plans were suddenly placed on hold in 2015 when Lange was diagnosed with cancer and eventually he had half his left lung removed. “The six months I was dealing with that, I was so positive,” Lange said. “Now when I look back it was a good experience, difficult, but I learned a lot. I was operated on in Barcelona and after five days I was cycling, in a month I was back sailing.”

Lange was reluctant to dwell too much on his cancer episode. “This may help to give strength to many people who are going through what I’ve been through. But I prefer to focus on what we did athletically. The disease has nothing to do with it, it was a stone in the road. I became obsessed with getting to Rio very well prepared and we did.”

He was also reluctant to focus on his age. “I am a firm believer that you carry your age in your heart and in the desire to do things, not in the numbers. I do not look at the number of your age, only the desire I have for my goals and to achieve them.”

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser

Tom Burton (AUS) has won Olympic gold in the Men’s One Person Dinghy after a tense pre-start battle with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO). Even if Stipanovic let gold slip from his grasp, he has still won Croatia’s first ever medal in Olympic sailing. Sam Meech (NZL) took bronze.

With the Australian being the only sailor who could threaten Croatian gold, Stipanovic engaged Burton in an aggressive duel before the start. However, the match racing tactic backfired as the Australian turned the tables on his rival, with Stipanovic given a 360 degree penalty by the jury for failing to keep clear of Burton.

“I wasn’t really going to engage especially with four minutes to go,” said Burton. “There wasn’t much point but he wanted to have a little bit of a go so I was just seeing what I could do. You just needed something to come off late so if it happens with two minutes to go it’s not really effective so you do your penalty and it’s over. We had a lot of talks the last two days about catch and release. Get a penalty and make it back for the start and it couldn’t have come off any better. It was perfection nearly.”

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Stipanovic was a long way last off the start line and had to play catch-up during the race. Burton was near the back too, and Meech was looking to capitalise on the situation with the New Zealander threatening Australia for the silver. However, Burton moved through the fleet to finish third across the line while Stipanovic never recovered from his bad start.

Robert Scheidt (BRA) may not have succeeded in his quest for a record sixth Olympic sailing medal in front his adoring home crowd, but the 43-year-old still gave the spectators on Flamengo Beach something to cheer about as the Brazilian legend sailed across the finish in first place. He had finished fourth overall, four points off a medal.

The new Olympic Champion Burton concluded, “A few days into the regatta I thought I was out of it. I had a bit of a bad day and some tough situations but the amount of hours I put into it, the things I sacrificed like my sister’s wedding, I didn’t go to the Opening Ceremony and it’s all worth it now.”

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has won the Laser Radial gold medal that eluded her four years ago. Silver went to Annalise Murphy (IRL), a sweet reward after finishing an agonising fourth place at London 2012. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) took bronze.

It was a tense Medal Race in light and fluky airs on the Pão de Açucar course in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain. Bouwmeester looked to be in a good position during the early stages, but a big split developed in the fleet after the top of the final lap, and the Dutch and Danish contenders were dropped to the back. They could only watch as Murphy and the other front runners sailed away and across the finish line more than a hundred metres ahead.

It was so close between the front five boats on the final run, there was a chance the Irish sailor could steal gold from the Netherlands. But Murphy crossed the line in fifth, yielding the Olympic title to Bouwmeester. With Rindom back in eighth, Murphy had done enough to take silver. All three sailors celebrated and every one of them looked delighted to have emerged with a medal from perhaps the toughest sailing venue ever seen at an Olympic Games.

Bouwmeester now has the gold to go with the silver she took in London 2012. It was a tense moment for the Dutch sailor wondering if she’d done enough for gold. “I didn’t know who finished first when I crossed the line and Annalise looked so happy celebrating and I was like, ‘Do I have it? Do I not have it? I think I have it but I’m not sure.’ I didn’t know – but now it feels so unreal and I am very happy.”

Murphy said, “I don’t know what to feel, I’m really happy, a bit shocked and I don’t think it’s going to sink in for a while. Marit’s been sailing so well for the last eight years, she deserves the gold. It’s an incredible feeling and I’m just so happy that I’m able to turn my fourth in London into a second here.”

Rindom admitted, “I have a little bit of mixed feelings because it was not my best race but in total I’m very satisfied with my results. This was the goal from the beginning and now I made it. So of course I’m happy.”

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

Heavyweight Men’s One Person Dinghy – Finn

Giles Scott (GBR) had already wrapped up the Finn gold medal before contesting the Medal Race today, but Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) secured silver, the third Olympic medal of his career, while Caleb Paine (USA) sailed a great race to clinch bronze on the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course.

All ten competitors had a shot at winning a medal of some colour, so close were the points going into today’s finale. The exception was four-time and reigning World Champion Scott whose 24-point buffer made him unassailable for the gold medal. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) started the day in bronze medal position but the American Paine went better in the moderate winds to finish first across the line, which gave the ecstatic American the medal by a comfortable margin.

Scott said, “It was great to be able to go out and enjoy that race today. The 17th place on day one on the Sugarloaf course was not the way I wanted to start the regatta and it wasn’t until day three or four that I started to believe that the gold was in my grasp. Winning four World Championships is great, but this is one that everyone wants and everyone remembers, so now to have an Olympic gold is a great feeling.”

Zbogar commented, “I feel relieved. I feel relieved that it’s over. It just went well. I was only dreaming of it one week ago. I feel very happy because it’s in a different class. The first two were in a Laser, this is in Finn. I am by far the oldest sailor in the Finn and this result is even more meaningful. My body is a bit old and I was struggling over the last few years and I continue pushing all the time. Fortunately, my mind is still 20 years old and I pushed every race as much as I could.

“I managed to survive the week and I just wanted to be in with a challenge of a medal. I had nothing to gain in the race, I had everything to lose, as Giles had gold. There was a small chance I could lose it. I knew I couldn’t push too much but I did anyway. Second place for me is something unbelievable.”

After USA left London 2012 with no medals, Paine has brought an end to the medal drought for this great sailing nation. “It’s pretty awesome, it’s been a pretty tough regatta and to be able to come away with a medal at the end is a great feeling. It was a tough push and a hard Medal Race but fortunately enough it makes it easier when you hit the right shifts off the bat and I just had to make sure I didn’t mess it up. I was fortunate to establish a lead right ahead of time and let everyone else make mistakes and I sailed the best race I could.”

 

 

Lange wins gold for Argentina in drama packed medal race

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) have won gold after a heart-stopping Medal Race in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull. Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) took silver and bronze goes to Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT).

The Argentineans made hard work of the Medal Race, picking up a penalty early on to round the first mark at the back. But they fought back to third by the top of the final lap, only to incur another penalty for sailing too close to the Austrians. After dropping the gennaker and taking their 360 penalty turn, Lange and Saroli rallied to cross the finish in sixth place, just seven seconds ahead of the Italians.

It was a crucial seven seconds that gave gold to the Argentineans by a single point from Australia. The young Aussies crossed the finish behind the New Zealand team of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL), but more importantly finished 10 seconds ahead of the Austrians who crossed for third place. Australia and Austria were tied on points, but silver goes to Waterhouse and Darmanin for their superior finish in the Medal Race.

It has been an extraordinary Games for Lange, at 54 the oldest competitor in the sailing at Rio 2016. He has had the pleasure of watching his sons, Yago and Klaus, represent the nation in the 49er skiff, and he has survived cancer in the past year.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Lange says the rigours of his sport helped to save his life and return to competition after he lost a lung to cancer just a year ago. His hectic schedule led to diagnosis of the disease, he said, while the experience of five Olympic campaigns, winning two medals along the way, was key in keeping him positive through his ordeal and returning for a sixth challenge.

Lange, with crewmate Carlos Espinola, won bronzes for Argentina at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 in the now discontinued two-person Tornado class event before combining with Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) in 2014 in the Nacra 17 mixed class, a new addition to the Olympic sailing schedule at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

But plans were suddenly placed on hold in 2015 when Lange was diagnosed with cancer and eventually had his left lung removed. “The six months I was dealing with that, I was so positive,” Lange said. “Now when I look back it was a good experience, difficult but I learned a lot. I was operated on in Barcelona and after five days I was cycling, in a month I was back sailing.

“I was very lucky to find it (the cancer). Probably if I wasn’t travelling so much and wasn’t so tired it wouldn’t have been found. I see myself as very lucky.

“For sure my philosophy and what I learned through the sport helped me a lot. With sailing you learn to suffer in a certain way, to go through hard times and stand up and keep pushing.”

 

 

 

 

Britain takes Finn gold, Slovenia silver, USA bronze

 

Finn gold GBR

Photos c Sailing Energy / World Sailing

 

 

Giles Scott (GBR) had already wrapped up the Finn gold medal before contesting the Medal Race today, but Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) secured silver, the third Olympic medal of his career, while Caleb Paine (USA) sailed a great race to clinch bronze on the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

All ten competitors had a shot at winning a medal of some colour, so close were the points going into today’s finale. The exception was four-time and reigning World Champion Scott whose 24-point buffer made him unassailable for the gold medal. Ivan Gaspic (CRO) started the day in bronze medal position but the American Paine  went better in the moderate winds to finish first across the line, which gave the ecstatic American the medal by a comfortable margin.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

 

 

Australia wins Laser gold, Croatia silver, New Zealand bronze

 

Laser gold AUS

All photos c Sailing Energy / Worlds Sailing

 

Tom Burton (AUS) has won Olympic gold in the Men’s One Person Dinghy after a tense pre-start battle with Tonci Stipanović (CRO). Even if Stipanović let gold slip from his grasp, he has still won Croatia’s first ever medal in Olympic sailing. Sam Meech (NZL) took bronze.

With the Australian being the only sailor who could threaten Croatian gold, Stipanović engaged Burton in an aggressive duel before the start. However the match racing tactic backfired as the Australian turned the tables on his rival, with Stipanović given a 360 degree penalty by the jury for failing to keep clear of Burton.

 

Laser silver CRO

 

 

Stipanović was a long way last off the start line and had to play catch-up during the race. Burton was near the back too, and Meech was looking to capitalise on the situation with the New Zealander threatening Australia for the silver. However, Burton moved through the fleet to finish third across the line while Stipanović never recovered from his bad start.

Robert Scheidt (BRA) didn’t manage to win a record sixth Olympic sailing medal in front his home crowd, but he still gave the spectators on Flamengo Beach something to cheer about as the Brazilian legend sailed across the finish in first place.

 

Laser bronze NZL

 

 

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