Yachting Australia Principal Partner
Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
The Australian sailors suffered another challenging day on the Saronic Gulf as day eight of the Olympic regatta unfolded. Another light breeze day was predicted for 'Super Saturday' with the morning breeze expected to reach 12-14 knots before dying off in the afternoon.
Four of the eleven events concluded today, with two gold medals already decided in the Yngling and 470 Women’s events. That left the competitors in the 470 men and Finn classes to battle for the gold.
The only classes who had not begun their events – the Tornado and Star classes, kicked off today, with two races scheduled for each.
With an outside chance at a bronze medal Australia's 470 crew of Nathan Wilmot (AIS/NSWIS) and Malcolm Page (AIS/NSWIS) were going for broke today. Keen to get a good start the Aussies put it all on the line, and unfortunately overstepped the mark with an OCS in today's final race.
'We had to give it our all today,' said Page after racing. 'Unfortunately we went a little too hard and when we got to the first mark we found out we were OCS. Shame because we were running fifth at that stage.'
Wilmot and Page lost their number five spot, falling to 12th place overall. The men's event was taken by Veteran sailors Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham from the United States, with Great Britain in second and Japan in third.
The Australian World Champions were tipped for a podium finish heading into their first Olympic Regatta. Unfortunately a disqualification on day one saw Wilmot and Page playing catch up the whole week. The OCS in the final race summed up their week – the heart and commitment was there, but just didn’t translate to their usual high performance on the water.
Meanwhile the Australian 470 women also had a tough day. They finished their final race in 19th place leaving them 14th overall.
The defending Olympic champions were unable to recover from a bad start to the regatta, and were unable to become the first Australian women to win two sailing gold medals.
'The final race 11 was a tough affair, with four crews in medal contention. Natalia Via-Dufresne and Sandra Azon (ESP), Therese Torgersson and Vendela Zachrisson (SWE), Vesna Dekleva and Klara Maucec (SLO) and Susanne Ward and Michaela Ward (DEN) were all chasing hard,' ISAF reports from Athens.
Eventually after nail biting racing the silver and bronze medal was awarded to Spain and Sweden. The Greek gold medal crew Sofia Bekatorous and Emilia Tsoulfa had the pleasure of relaxing on the final day, their win secured after race ten.
Anthony Nossiter (AIS/NSWIS) finished today's final race in 25th, leaving him in 6th place overall as the Finn class wrapped up. Having finished 13th overall at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, ‘Nocka’ maintained a top ten position throughout the entire competition in Athens.
The 6th placing is a personal best for Nossiter at a World Championship or Olympic Games. His results made all the sweeter, as he overcame a back injury in the weeks before the Games just in time to compete.
After a shock disqualification at the start of the regatta Ben Ainslie (GBR) fought back to take the lead on day three. His strength and determination paid off overnight when he won his third Olympic medal.
However, unlike his Yngling team mates who were declared gold medallists prior to the final race of the regatta, Ainslie was still in danger of slipping to second or third overall with one race remaining.
Going into the final, deciding race of the series, Rafael Trujillo (ESP) trailed Ainslie by 14 points. Therefore to break into the Gold medal position he had to finish at least fourteen places ahead of Ainslie.
The Spanish gave it all he could, leading Ainslie at the top of the first run. Then with gold in his eyes, Ainslie came fighting back.
'Ainslie had caught up to Trujillo’s transom down the first run and on the early part of the second beat Trujillo dropped behind Ainslie, leaving Ben the easy job of covering the Spanish athlete for the rest of the race', ISAF reports.
Rafael claimed the silver, while Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) took the bronze.
Already certain to claim the top podium finish, Shirley Robertson, Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb (GBR) opted to sit out of today’s race and watch the remaining 16 crews battle for the remaining medals.
As the Yngling crews prepared for their final race of the regatta, there was four countries who had a realistic chance of scooping the Silver and Bronze medals. The Danish, Ukrainians, Dutch and French sat within 16 points of each other.
With their sights on Silver the Danish crew of Dorte Jensen, Christina Borregaard-Otzen and Helle Jespersen dreams were shattered when they were handed an OCS (disqualification for being over the start line) .
The door now wide open for the Ukrainian and French crews. The French needed the Ukrainian crew to remain at the back of the pack in order to gain enough points to overtake them on the leader board.
Upping their game, the Ukrainians moved up from last to 10th by the second windward rounding, shattering all chances for the French to medal. Eventually the Ukrainians raised the bar to finish 5th and guarantee themselves the silver medal.
The Danish watched from the sideline as their Olympic quest for gold turned into bronze.
Australia's Yngling representatives Nicky Bethwaite (AIS/NSWIS), Karyn Gojnich (AIS/NSWIS) and Kristen Kosmala (AIS/NSWIS) finished in 13th overall, after a 10th place in today’s race.
Racing continued in the Mistral class and Australia's Jessica Crisp (AIS/NSWIS) finished 7th in both of today's races. Crisp maintains the number five spot, with three races remaining.
Just five points separate the first four crews, with China’s Yin Jian in first, Alessandra Senssini (ITA) and Faustine Merret (FRA) on equal second and Hong Kong’s Lia Shan Lee in fourth.
Whilst Crisp is aiming to better her 5th placing at the Sydney Olympics, it is a tough task. With three races to go Crisp is 21 points behind fourth place and 26 points from the gold medal position.
However, one of the few Aussie athletes to enjoy the light conditions which have dominated this regatta, Crisp could produce a huge performance if the light conditions continue.
Lars Kleppich (AIS/NSWIS) climbed one place to sixth overall after a 9th and a 6th in the Mistral Men’s two races of the day.
A showdown looks set for the Mistral men’s fleet as the top of the leader board begins to tighten. With three races remaining Israel’s Gal Fridman and Brazil’s Ricardo Santos sit on equal points, while the athlete chosen to light the cauldron at the Athens Opening Ceremony, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis follows in third by a mere six points.
As the final day approaches consistent results from Kleppich could see him move to fourth overall, where currently he lies seven points shy. The gap between third and Kleppich is almost 20 points. Although not an unrealistic theory, Kleppich would have to rely on those above him to falter, if he is to claim a medal in his third Olympic Games.
As racing begins to conclude for many of the classes at the Olympic Games, it has only just begun for the biggest boat of the Olympic classes – the Star.
Australia's flag bearer Colin Beashel (AIS/NSWIS) and crewman David Giles (AIS/NSWIS) finished 9th in their first race. The pair improved by two places in their second race, crossing in 7th.
As has been the case all week, consistency appears to be the biggest challenge in the light and shifty conditions. Some of the classes biggest names have faltered on day one of racing, setting a tough challenge to come back into medal contention.
American veteran Paul Cayard and crew Phil Trinter are in first place after two races, two points behind them is Brazil’s Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira, with Switzerland’s Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria a further two points behind in 3rd.
In the Tornado Class Sydney 2000 silver medallists Darren Bundock (AIS/NSWIS) and John Forbes (AIS/NSWIS) had a slower than expected start to their regatta with a 9th in their first race and a 7th in their second.
After two races they are placed equal 7th overall with rival crew Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen from the Netherlands.
Since the introduction of an asymmetrical spinnaker to the boat after the Sydney Olympics, the Australian pair has dominated the Tornado class. However, Sydney gold medallists Roman Hagara and Han Peter Steinacher (AUT) won the first race of the day and posted a 3rd in the second to lead the class after day one.
Medals will be determined tomorrow in the Europe Class, where Australia's Sarah Blanck (AIS/VIS) is currently sitting in fourth place and is still within striking distance of the medals. Medals will also be decided in the Laser class where Michael Blackburn (AIS/NSWIS) is placed 7th overall.
Final Results - 470 Men (11 races/1 drop)
1. Paul FOERSTER/Kevin BURNHAM (USA) (1,8,2,15,9,4,3,7,18,4,(22)) 71pts
2. Nick ROGERS/Joe GLANFIELD (GBR) (2,3,9,4,17,5,2,3,10,19,(23)) 74pts
3. Kazuto SEKI/Kenjiro TODOROKI (JPN) (3,7,(21),18,7,12,1,9,5,17,11) 90 pts
12. Nathan WILMOT/Malcolm PAGE (AUS) (12,(28-DSQ),3,3,19,3,4,18,3,26,28-OCS) 119pts
Full list of 470 Men’s results here.
Final Results - 470 Women (11 races/1 drop)
1. Sofia BEKATOROU/Emilia TSOULFA (GRE) (1,2,2,13,1,1,14,1,1,2,(21),DNC) 38pts
2. Natalia VIA-DUFRESNE/Sandra AZON (ESP) (2,4,9,15,(19),5,8,3,5,6,5) 62pts
3. Therese TORGERSSON/Vendela ZACHRISSON (SWE) (9,10,7,2,3,(14),9,6,7,7,3) 63pts
14. Jenny ARMSTRONG/Belinda STOWELL (AUS) (14,12,6,14,11,11,10,8,13,9,(19)) 108pts
Full list of 470 women’s results here.
Final Results - Finn (11 races/1 drop)
1. Ben AINSLIE (GBR) (9,(26-DSQ),1,1,4,1,2,3,2,1,14) 38pts
2. Rafael TRUJILLO (ESP) (8,3,3,6,2,3,(26-OCS),4,5,4,13) 51pts
3. Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) (3,1,6,4,11,(26-OCS),17,1,7,2,1) 53pts
6. Anthony NOSSITER (AUS) (18,8,4,7,8,13,1,8,20,6,(25)) 93pts
Full list of Finn results here.
Final Results - Yngling (11 races/1 drop)
1. Shirley ROBERTSON/Sarah WEBB/Sarah AYTON (GBR) (5,4,1,1,4,3,4,6,3,8,(17),DNC) 39pts
2. Ruslana TARAN/Svitlana MATEVUSHEVA/Ganna KALININA (UKR) (10,3,9,3,7,2,2,8,RDG,1,(16),5) 50pts
3. Dorte JENSEN/Christina BORREGAARD-OTZEN/Helle JESPERSEN (DEN) (1,14,5,5,5,6,3,4,6,5,(17),OCS) 54pts
13. Nicky BETHWAITE/Karyn GOJNICH/Kristen KOSMALA (AUS) (11,11,12,10,8,(16),5,2,13,10,10) 92pts
Full list of Yngling results here.
Day Seven - Mistral Women (8 races/1 drop
1. Yin JIAN (CHN) ((11),6,2,6,4,1,1,1) 21pts
2. Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) ((7),1,6,3,1,2,3,6) 22pts
3. Faustine MERRET (FRA) (2,(13),1,4,2,4,4,5) 22pts
5. Jessica CRISP (AUS) (4,11,(13),5,7,6,7,7) 47pts
Full list of Mistral women results here.
Day Seven - Mistral Men (8 races/1 drop)
1. Gal FRIDMAN (ISR) ((8),3,5,5,1,7,5,1) 27pts
2. Ricardo SANTOS (BRA) (4,6,2,1,5,(17),7,2) 27pts
3. Nikolaos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) (1,4,4,(14),6,13,2,3) 33pts
6. Lars KLEPPICH (AUS) (9,12,10,4,(13),2,9,6) 52pts
Full list of Mistral men results here.
Day One - Star (2 races)
1. Paul CAYARD/Phil TRINTER (USA) (1,6) 7pts
2. Torben GRAEL/Marcelo FERREIRA (BRA) (5,4) 9pts
3. Flavio MARAZZI/Enrico DE MARIA (SUI) (10,1) 11pts
8. Colin BEASHEL/David GILES (AUS) (9,7) 16pts
Full list of Star results here.
Day One - Tornado (2 races)
1. Roman HAGARA/Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) (1,3) 4pts
2. Charlie OGLETREE/John LOVELL (USA) (2,2) 4pts
3. Fernando ECHAVARRI/Anton PAZ (ESP) (3,4) 7pts
9. Darren BUNDOCK/John FORBES (AUS) (9,7) 16pts
Full list of Tornado results here.
Comprehensive results including competition status, daily results summary, and Jury protests can be found on the ISAF website.