Home | Go Sailing! | Get On Our List! | Support Us

Stories from the 2016 Olympics - Rio
Sailing for the Gold: Gary Jobson's Rio Letter #12 | Print |

Sailing, Rio 2016

Sailing for the Gold: Rio Letter #12

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

By Gary Jobson

160818 RIO2016 Womens470-GBR-Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Legendary television sports announcer Jim McKay captured the essence of the Olympic Games with his iconic words, “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” Both emotions were vividly on display on the final sailing day of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The four Medal Races provided spellbinding stories, with frequent lead changes, inspiring heroics and devastating mistakes. Most sailing takes place on the water with little spectator interest. The Olympic Games are different, thanks to on-board cameras, aerial and water-level images. Cameras around the sailing venue recorded the many emotions. Randy Smyth and I spent three hours commentating the four races.

After losing racing on two of the last three days, the wind came in at 12-17 knots all afternoon. The southerly wind gave the race committee the opportunity to set the race course close, off Flamingo Beach. Several thousand stood on the shore, including teammates, supporters, families and sailing fans. All were riveted by the action right off the beach.

081816 RIO2016 Womens470-USA-Annie Haeger-Briana Provancha-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The 470 Women's Medal Race started first. Americans, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha had a nice start in the middle of the line. The duo looked fast and took advantage of several wind shifts on the first leg. When they rounded the first mark, the USA was in the lead. Haeger, from East Troy, Wisconsin, and Provancha, from San Diego, continued to lead at the leeward gate. With just three legs to go, France, New Zealand and Japan were comfortably behind. On the third leg, though, the Americans did not seem to be sailing as fast as Slovenia and New Zealand, as they headed toward the left side of the course. Approaching the third mark the USA slipped back to sixth. They still had a chance to medal if they could stay ahead of France, and finish right behind Japan. Time was running out. And then... disaster! The USA got tangled up with Japan and fouled. The on-the-water umpires gave the USA a penalty turn. There are no protests or appeals in Medal Races, so the ruling would stick. By the time Haeger completed her penalty turn they were in last place, which dropped the USA to a heartbreaking seventh for the Games. The onboard camera continued to roll as they crossed the line and we saw, first hand, what McKay meant by the "agony of defeat." Anyone watching could feel their pain. I hope these talented young sailors recover and continue to race.

160818 RIO2016 Mens470-CRO-Sime Fantela-Igor Marenic-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

In the Men's 470 Medal Race, Croatia cruised to a Gold Medal, while Australia and Greece battled in a match race for the Silver. No other boats were in contention on points.

160818 RIO2016 USA-Mens470-Stu McNay-Dave Hughes-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The USA team of Stu McNay and Dave Hughes sailed a solid race to finish second and ended up fourth for the Games. The lead between Australia and Greece changed several times. To my eye, Greece seemed to be sailing slightly faster. The Aussies, skippered by 2012 Gold Medalist Matt Belcher with his crew Will Ryan, were approaching the windward mark for the second time, when Ryan slipped off the trapeze wire, which slowed their boat down, allowing Greece to take a two-boat length lead. On the run and with the wind blowing 17 knots, Belcher hardened up in a strong gust and sailed over top of Greece. The boats were within feet of each other. Then the Greek crew, Pavlos Kagialis, slipped his trapeze wire. The Aussies gained and finished ahead by six seconds to take the Silver. Greece earned Bronze.

160818 RIO2016 Mens49er-NZL-Peter Burling-Blair Tuke-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The 49er Race was over before it started. New Zealand's 2012 Silver Medal crew of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had already won on points, and for good measure easily won the Medal Race. The race for Silver, though, was not decided. Germany held a slight two-point lead over Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, the Australian Gold Medalists in London. The Germans got off to a slow start. The Aussies rounded the first Mark in eighth, but slowly moved through the fleet to finish fourth in the race, and claim the Silver. Germany got the Bronze.

160818 RIO2016 Womens49erFX-USA-Paris Henken-Helena Scutt-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The race committee kept the program rolling as the sun started to get low on the horizon. The final Medal Race featured the women's 49erFX. Four crews were just one point apart going into this race. Also qualifying in the top ten were Americans Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. They would end up ninth in the Medal Race and finished tenth for the Games.

160818 RIO2016 Womens49erFX-BRA-Martine Grael-Kahena Kunze-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm-2

Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze rounded the first mark seven seconds behind New Zealand's Alex Maloney and Molly Meech. Early this week Meech's brother, Sam, won a Bronze Medal in the Laser Class. Many thousands of Brazilians were on the beach cheering for their hometown sailors. Surely, the teams could hear the noise out on the water. Denmark and France were the other two boats in the mix. Once again, there were several lead changes. The most dramatic pass was the on second windward leg. New Zealand rounded the left gate and headed inshore, while Brazil took the right gate and headed out. Brazil was six seconds behind. The 49erFXs sail about one length in two seconds. Shockingly, the Kiwis kept splitting tacks. Randy and I could not believe that they did not cover. Both boats raced out to their respective lay lines. A strong wind blew in at just the right moment for Brazil. It was a puff and a port lift. The crowds on shore were going crazy. Brazil rounded ahead by ten seconds. On the high speed run to the finish, New Zealand made up some ground, but Brazil was able to finish two seconds ahead. Denmark edged Spain for the Bronze.

Whew! I am exhausted at the end of our nonstop two-week stint of covering sailing. Luckily for me, I am shifting gears and going racing out on Nantucket in a classic boat regatta, and the Opera House Cup, starting on Friday. I look forward to the change of pace.

For the US Sailing Team, there will be some serious discussions in the near future about what should happen next. On a happy note, Caleb Paine's inspiring win in the Medal Race to clinch a Bronze Medal was the high point for the Americans.

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine4-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Overall, the USA averaged 11.6. Six of the 10 teams reached the Medal Race, but only two were in contention for a Medal. The total of the USA finishes was 116 points, compared with Great Britain with 54 points. As I wrote after the first day of racing, there seems to be parity in Olympic Sailing. Seventeen countries out of the 66 competing off Rio won at least one Medal. Great Britain won two Golds and a Silver, Australia had one Gold and two Silvers, and New Zealand won one Gold, two Silvers and one Bronze. The USA has a long road ahead to sail at that level.

 

RIO2016-beach-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The Medal Ceremonies on Flamingo Beach were beautiful. The smiles, hugs, laughter and Brazilian music were all great fun to watch. Sailors were swimming everywhere. As the winter sun sank over the horizon, I thought the 380 sailors in Rio should all take some pride that they were here for this great event. The Brazilian hosts did a nice job. The noisy water quality issue ended up being a non-story. Some were disappointed with their result, but in truth, everyone can travel home knowing they were part of a great event and that they gave it their all.


Sign up to receive notifications about all news, reports and events at the National Sailing Hall of Fame. 

Visit http://bit.ly/SailingHall-getconnected.

 


 
Sailing for the Gold: Gary Jobson's Rio Letter #11 | Print |

Sailing, Rio 2016

Sailing for the Gold: Rio Letter #11

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

No Wind Off Rio

By Gary Jobson

081716 RIO2016 RaceCommittee-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

For centuries, a sailor's worst nightmare is getting becalmed. The 40 sailors slated to compete in the men's and women's 470 Medal Races spent the day waiting for an afternoon sea breeze that never arrived. At one point the Race Committee sent the women's fleet out to the race course off Flamingo Beach. A few thousand loyal teammates, families, friends and fans dutifully waited. There is a lot at stake. On the women's side, four crews are separated by just four points.

081716 RIO2016 Womens470-USA-Annie Haeger-Briana Provancha-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Americans Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha were among the patient, but anxious, sailors hoping to get underway. The Race Committee was right to wait. No one wants an unfair race. On Thursday the winds are forecasted to be blowing in sooner. Tuesday the committee was able to run four Medal Races. We could easily finish the Olympic Regatta on Thursday. After the 470 races, the 49er skiffs will have their Medal Races.

081716 RIO2016 Womens470-USA-Annie Haeger-Briana Provancha-3-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The Olympic Broadcast unit kept feeding images from the boat park, beach, race course and scenics around the city. We got to see the sailors trying to stay calm, but ready to race on a moment's notice. The same people who produced the 2013 America’s Cup races in San Francisco are managing the international feed. Our job at NBC is to use the pictures for three purposes: to broadcast the races live on the Internet at NBCOLYMPICS.COM, produce highlight packages of 10-25 minutes for MSNBC or CNBC cable channels, and provide news reports.

OlympicReporting-Randy Smyth-Gary Jobson-Chris Lincoln-sm
In the broadcast booth: Randy Smyth & Gary Jobson. Producer Chris Lincoln in background.

We are a small team. Randy Smyth and I are the commentators. It is certainly challenging to try to make something out of nothing. We talk about sailing, the Olympics and all the scenarios that could take place, when and if the racing ever got going. Randy and I also called the 2010 America's Cup for ESPN. He was the wing trimmer for Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes crew in 1988. Randy also won two Olympic Silver Medals in 1984 and 1992 in the Tornado Class. In advance of Rio, he spent some time coaching Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee, the USA Nacra 17 crew. His focus was on speed. Randy was very interested in their performance. Unfortunately, two breakdowns kept them from the top tier, but they did make the Medal Race.

Rio2016crew-Chris Lincoln-Randy Smyth-Gary Jobson-Jessica-Kurtzman
Rio 2016 sailing World Feed crew: Chris Lincoln, Randy Smyth, Gary Jobson,  Jessica Kurtzman.

Our producer, Chris Lincoln is from Palo Alto, California. He is a long time television producer, who just happens to be a passionate sailor. He grew up sailing out of Sausalito on San Francisco Bay. He brought along Jessica Kurtzman as our production assistant. She is a rising senior at the University of Washington in Seattle. Jessica is studying film and dance.

The World Feed focuses on one class at a time. We narrate every race they produce live, and then edit the highlights for television. The weather delays make it difficult to get regular scheduled programming. The USA has qualified to race in three of the four Medal Races tomorrow. Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha have a good chance to win a second medal for the USA. I hope you will log on or tune in to cheer them on.

RIO2016 Beach-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

My editorial comment of the day is about the water quality on the race course. For months leading up to the Games, several major newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today, published articles about the terrible water off Rio. ESPN (Disclaimer: I spent 31 years on ESPN's payroll) also broadcast several reports about the dirty water on television and the radio. I have spoken to many people around the venue including sailors, coaches and race officials. There has not been a single complaint or protest regarding trash in the water. The health authorities that have been monitoring the water quality for World Sailing, the governing body of the sport (second disclaimer: I serve on the Board of Directors) has reported that the water offshore is clean. In March, the sewage normally emitted from a pipe at The Marina da Gloria was redirected to a treatment plant. Each day a helicopter is launched to search for debris. If they see a log or something near any of the race courses an "Eco boat" will go and pick it up. I would actually describe the Eco boats as garbage scows. You can see the water along the shoreline is clear. The sailors have no problem jumping in after winning medals. Many young people swim off the beach. There was one report of a female sailor being ill, but she recovered and sailed the next day.

I am very sensitive about water quality. I grew up sailing (and swimming) in Barnegat Bay on the New Jersey coast. For over 30 years a Swiss company named Ciba-Geigy dumped lethal residue into the Toms River. At one stage the river was closed to swimmers in the early 1960s. But we kept sailing. Ciba-Geigy's solution to the problem was to build a pipe that discharged the sludge 1500 feet off the ocean beach. Eventually, their plant was declared a polluted superfund cleanup site. Many of my friends and classmates have been diagnosed with cancer. I had my own two-year battle with Lymphoma. While it might be difficult to prove, I believe Ciba's irresponsible chemical production was the cause of my cancer. So I hope you understand that I am very sensitive to "dirty water." I doubt we will read any articles that the Rio water quality warnings were overblown, but the water off Rio is better than anyone indicated. Now we just need some wind.

We will be live on Thursday at 1150 Eastern time on NBCOlympics.com. There will additional features on MSNBC during the day and CNBC in the evening. 


Visit this page - OlympicSailing.nshof.org - daily during the Olympics to read every day's report, plus additional info including Sailing Instructions and course maps. Or better yet, sign up to receive daily email reports from Gary before they post here.

Visit http://bit.ly/SailingHall-getconnected.

081716 RIO2016 Womens470-USA-Annie Haeger-Briana Provancha-2-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm


 
Sailing for the Gold: Gary Jobson's Rio Letter #10 | Print |

Sailing, Rio 2016

Sailing for the Gold: Rio Letter #10

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Medal for the USA

By Gary Jobson

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine2-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Caleb Paine had a difficult task ahead of him when he woke up this morning. He needed to put two boats between him and Croatia's Ivan Gašpić and beat Max Salminen from Sweden. The two Laser classes had already sailed on the Medal Course off Flamingo Beach that afternoon, and Paine, along with his coach Luther Carpenter, watched carefully. The sea breeze, blowing out of the south, had filled in at 10-12 knots. For the early races the left side of the course paid. About 1.5 miles to windward of the course, Sugarloaf Mountain stretches nearly 1300 feet into the sky. When the wind is out of the south, at around 180 degrees, the left side of the course often pays. Later in the day, the right is better, particularly when the wind is 200 degrees or more toward the west. For the Finn race, the wind was right in between. The big question to answer was, what would happen?

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine6-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Paine started the five-leg, one-mile course in the middle of the starting line. Gašpić started on the far port end of the line. Early on in leg one, Paine sailed to the right side of the course, leaving the Croatian boat, and France alone on the other side of the course. It was a risky strategy, but then again, an Olympic Medal was on the line. This was no time for conservatism.

Adding to the intrigue, last week Gašpić protested Paine in Race 6 for crossing too close at the start. Paine was disqualified for violating Racing Rules of Sailing 10. It was a crushing set back for the 26-year sailor from San Diego. The next day his rules advisor, David Dellenbaugh, found some footage of the start shot by the Olympic Broadcast Service. The Jury agreed to reopen the case when they heard about the footage. The footage clearly showed that Paine had made it across with plenty of room to spare. The Jury dismissed the protest and awarded Paine his original second place finish in Race Six. As I watched the ten Finn's close in on the first turning mark today, I wondered if this incident was on the mind of either sailor?

About two-thirds of the way upwind, Paine tacked to starboard and appeared to be behind Gašpić and a few other boats, including France. The American tacked back to port to sail further to the right side. This pattern repeated itself three times. As Paine was nearing the lay line, a strong gust was filling in from his right. He sailed into the new wind and tacked over for the mark. Simultaneously, the wind on the left side caved. Just like that, Paine surged into the lead while Gašpić was now in seventh place.

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine3-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Paine rounded ahead of Jorge Zarif from Brazil, Australia’s Jake Lilley Giles Scott from Great Britain. Scott had already clinched the Gold Medal on points. The Race Committee flew an Oscar signal flag – “free pumping” – allowing the competitors to rock, ooch or pump at will. The aerobic drill was on.

The aerial footage, broadcast with tight, stabilized water angle views, gave us a perfect example of how to accelerate on each wave. Giles Scott's choreography was a thing of beauty. The British superstar has not lost a major regatta in the past four years, and has won the Finn Gold Cup for the World Championship three years in a row. Scott quickly sailed by France and Lilley.

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine4-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

He closed the gap on Paine. At the leeward gate Paine, held a 31-second lead over Scott. Gašpić dropped back to 9th and Salminen rounded sixth. Three legs to go, and the breeze was increasing to 12 knots. Paine headed back to the right side of the course, and simply covered the fleet. It was textbook tactics.

At the next windward mark, Paine held on to his 31-second (seven boat length) lead over Scott. A full two minutes and 44 seconds later, Gašpić rounded the mark in last place. On this leg Scott seemed to coast. He must have been thinking about how special it was to be on the cusp of a Gold Medal. In the four previous Games, Ben Ainslie had won three Gold Medals, and before that in 2000 another British sailor, Iain Percy, had won a Gold in Sydney. That is an impressive run. Since the Finn was introduced to the Olympics in 1952, several American sailors have won medals including: John Marvin in 1956 (Bronze), National Sailing Hall of Famer Peter Barrett in 1964 (Silver), John Bertrand in 1984 (Silver), Brian Ledbetter in 1992 (Silver), and Zach Railey in 2008 (Silver).

At the fourth and final mark, Scott had gained on Paine. The two boats were 19 seconds apart. Paine headed up on a close reach and kept working. He never looked back. This was not Usain Bolt looking over at his competition. The French and Croatian sailors were still well behind. Caleb crossed the line 22:51 seconds after starting. His tactic of working the right side of the course worked, and he stayed strong to win the Medal Race. Ivan Gašpić finished last. Karma?

081616 RIO2016 Finn-Medalists-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

It was the first sailing medal for the USA since 2008.

081615 RIO2016 Womens470-USA-Annie Haeger-Briana Provancha-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Tomorrow Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha have a strong change to medal in the Women's 470 Class. They stand in third place, just one point out of second, but only two points ahead of fifth. In the Men's 470, Stu McNay and Dave Hughes are sitting in fourth place, but are too far behind in points to break into Medal position. They opened with a first in the opening race today, but ended with an 11-14.

The Nacra 17s provided an unbelievable finish. Argentina's 54-year old skipper Santiago Lange and crew, Cecilia Saroli, fouled the British on the starting line. They rounded the first mark in last. On Leg Two they moved into sixth. The Argentine crew had to stay within three boats of Australia and two boats ahead of Austria. On the fourth leg Lange fouled Austria at the windward mark. He and Saroli had to take a 360-degree penalty turn. They were in fourth and lost two boats. Australia crossed the line in second. Austria followed in third and the Argentines finished sixth, good enough to win the Gold by just a single point. The Aussies nipped Austria on the tie-breaker because they finished ahead. It was one exciting finish.

On Wednesday, Randy Smyth and I continue our live coverage at NBCOlympics.com beginning at Noon Eastern time. Can the American 470 team claim a medal? Join us for this exciting finale. We will have additional coverage and analysis in the afternoon on MSNBC and in the evening on CNBC. On Thursday we will conclude the Olympic Games with the men's and women's skiffs. 


Visit this page - OlympicSailing.nshof.org - daily during the Olympics to read every day's report, plus additional info including Sailing Instructions and course maps. Or better yet, sign up to receive daily email reports from Gary before they post here.

Visit http://bit.ly/SailingHall-getconnected.

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm


 

 

 
Sailing for the Gold: Gary Jobson's Rio Letter #9 | Print |

Sailing, Rio 2016

Sailing for the Gold: Rio Letter #9

Monday, August 15, 2016

No Wind + Too Much Wind = Frustration

By Gary Jobson

081516 RIO2016 49erFX-USA-Paris Henken-Helena Scutt-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Our sport is hard on itself. Here we are with live coverage of sailing available of the Olympic Games. NBCOlympics.com is taking the International Olympic Committee's live feed. It is a big day, with two scheduled Medal Races in the Women's Laser Radial and the Men's Laser Classes. It is a beautiful day off Rio's Flamingo Beach. The capacity crowd is fully engaged in anticipation of the Medal Race. Most importantly for Brazil, one of its most famous athletes, Robert Scheidt, is in contention to win a record setting sixth medal in sailing. Since 1896 no sailor has won six medals in six consecutive Olympics. Actually, this is unheard of in any sport. The storylines are good. And then, disaster!

The wind was non-existent. Nada - nothing. No worries, everyone thought, the breeze has filled in every day. After three hours, the Race Officials cancelled the Laser Race, but kept hope alive for the Laser Radial. The ten women sailors were sent out to the racecourse 45 minutes before the 1630 time limit expired. The Race Committee could see that a sea breeze was approaching. Out at sea, the 49er and 49erFX classes were racing in 9-14 knot winds, and on their third race of the day.

With 20 minutes left on the time clock, the wind arrived, and kept building. It was tough on the sailors who had to shift their thinking from light air sailing to heavy wind. Soon it was blowing well over 30 knots. What next?

081516 RIO2016-LaserRadial-USA-PaigeRailey-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The clock was ticking. On the race committee boat, Tom Duggan from Hyannis, MA, conferred with Principle Race Officer Alastair Fox, and they made the appropriate decision to postpone.

For much of the day, sailing was the only sport being run. Most competitions in Rio tend to be played later in the day. Many international broadcasters would have featured sailing, but the wind just did not cooperate. It reminded me of the many days wasted during the America's Cup over the years waiting for the wind to come up, or go down. If sailing is going to be on television, it needs to take place at scheduled times. It would be helpful if the race organizers were more flexible and could have taken the Laser sailors out into the ocean. That would have upset the fans on shore, but most of them actually watch the big screen television on the beach anyway.

081516 RIO2016 49erFX-USA-Paris Henken-Helena Scutt2-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

The 49ers and 49erFX classes did get off three races. Americans Paris Henken and Helena Scutt, had 11-11-8 place finishes today. They are still in the top ten, and have a good chance to make the medal race, but their chance of winning a medal is slipping away. With three races left, they must be in the top three in every race to be in medal contention. They are 29 points out of third place. In the men's skiff, New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are in control. They only have 21 points. Germany is 18 points behind them, and archrival Australia is 33 points back. Americans Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris rounded the windward mark in the top five twice today, but slipped back to finish 16-17-11. They will not make the Medal Race. Racing continues tomorrow with skiff Medal Races on Thursday.

081516 RIO2016 49er-USA-Thomas Barrows-Joe Morris-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing -sm

The 470s were unable to race today. They have three races left to complete before their Medal Race on Wednesday. Both American crews in the 470s are in Medal contention. Four Medal Races are schedule for Tuesday, including Lasers, Laser Radials, Finns, and Nacra 17s. The biggest race of the day is in the Finn. Caleb Paine, 26, from San Diego, CA, is in fourth, just five points away from a Bronze Medal. The Medal Races are worth two points. To finish third, he must stay ahead of Max Salminen, SWE and Jorge Zarif, BRA and put two boats between him and Ivan Gašpić from Croatia. Gašpić protested Paine in Race 6. Initially, Paine was disqualified, but Paine produced video evidence showing that Gašpić’s story was not accurate, and the American's second place finish in that race was restored. If there is ever a reason for a grudge match, this is it.

If the wind cooperates on Tuesday all four Medal Races will be broadcast live on NBCOlympics.com with highlight action later in the day on MSNBC television.


Visit this page - OlympicSailing.nshof.org - daily during the Olympics to read every day's report, plus additional info including Sailing Instructions and course maps. Or better yet, sign up to receive daily email reports from Gary the night before they post here.

Visit http://bit.ly/SailingHall-getconnected.


 

 

 
Sailing for the Gold: Gary Jobson's Rio Letter #8 | Print |

Sailing, Rio 2016

Sailing for the Gold: Rio Letter #8

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Medal Race Euphoria

By Gary Jobson

160814 RIO2016 RSX-Mens-Medals-sm

Today was the start of the Medal Race finales in sailing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. There was a long wait for suitable wind to get the racing underway, but once the RS: X Men's and Women's finals started, we were given a real treat.

But first, a promo:

There will be Medal Races every day now until the conclusion of sailing on Thursday, August 18. Randy Smyth and I are able to narrate the races live now at www.NBCOlympics.com. We will start at 12:00 pm Eastern time each day. The live Internet coverage will be followed with a 20-30 minute program on television on cable on MSNBC, usually around 4:30 in the afternoon. We hope you will join us as we present great stories and pictures from Rio de Janeiro.

Back to the racing:

160814 RIO2016 RSX-Mens-FRA-sm

The Gold and Silver Medals were already decided in the men's sailboard. Holland and Great Britain clinched their positions two days ago after their 12-race series. The Bronze Medal was up for grabs. Four sailors could still claim Bronze, at least mathematically. Poland, Greece, France and Germany all had a shot. The top ten boats out of 36 boards qualify for the Medal Race. The points earned are carried over, but now the points are doubled. At the first mark, Piotr Myszka, POL, was well ahead of his rivals. On the run, Pierre Le Coq, FRA, found a strong gust and passed Myszka. He still needed to get one boat between them. Ricardo Santos, BRA, was his target. There was a four-board battle with Byron Kokkalanis, GRE in the mix. The four boats changed positions on the next leg, with Le Coq getting a better position to pass Brazil and finish 7th with Myszka in 9th. The Frenchman got the Bronze. And, just for good measure, Dorian Rijsselberghe, NED easily won the race, confirming that he was the Olympic Champion.

160814 RIO2016 RSX-Womens-Medals-sm

The RS:X Women's division followed. The wind was getting lighter. The race committee hustled to get the race under way. Italy and Russia were tied for the lead with 55 points, and four boats: France, China, Netherlands and Israel were all within 6 points. The Race was only 21 minutes and 28 seconds. The lead changes were frequent. Russia fouled at the start and the umpires called for a penalty turn. Stefania Elfutina, RUS rounded the first mark a distant tenth. Bad luck! Israel's Maayan Davidovich was close to the lead on the first leg, with Charline Picon nearby. Peina Chen, CHN won the last three races of the early round, and was particularly fast downwind in light air. Lillian De Geus, NED led at the first mark.

160814 RIO2016 RSX-Womens-FRA-Charline Picon-sm

Picon was six seconds back. Eventually, Picon and Chen were in a match race, leaving De Geus alone to win the race. The lead between Picon and Chen changed several times. Picon got the last puff before the final turn and crossed the line ahead to take the Gold. Chen earned Silver. Both looked exhausted and surprised that they had achieved success. Further back, Russia's Elfutina kept plugging and moved into sixth, which was good enough to hold on the Bronze medal. All three were all smiles an hour later at the medal ceremony, with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background.

On Monday, the Laser and Laser Radial races will be sailed. American Paige Railey barely made the cut, but will be sailing. Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and Finland all have a chance to medal. The big question in the Laser is whether Robert Scheidt, BRA can overcome a ten-point deficit to win a record sixth Olympic Sailing Medal. It will be tough in a ten-boat fleet, but it will be great fun to see if the 43-year old master can find a way to pull it off. The crowds on the beach will be immense to see one of Brazil's most famous athletes perform.

160814 RIO2016 Womens470-USA-Annie Haeger-Briana Provancha-sm

Americans Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, in the Women's 470, are having a great series. They are in second place. They have three more races tomorrow before the Medal Race scheduled for Wednesday. The USA 470 Men's team, Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, stand in sixth and are also in position for a medal if they put together three good races tomorrow.

As reported earier, American Finn sailor Caleb Paine introduced video evidence to the International Jury and was able to get his disqualification dismissed from Race Six. He is five points away from a Bronze Medal. The boat ahead of him is Ivan Gašpić from Croatia, who protested Paine in the sixth race. Gašpić did not show up on for the hearing. It sounds like there might be some strong motivation for Caleb. We will cover this race live on Tuesday.

160810 RIO2016 Nacra17-USA-Bora Gulari-Louisa Chafee-sm

Also on Tuesday, we will cover the Nacra 17 Medal Race. Americans Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee made the cut, and will also be in their Medal Race. Unfortunately, they broke their trapeze wire in two races and had to take DNFs (Did Not Finishes). With the extra points the best they can finish is fifth.

160731 RIO2016 49erFX-Paris Henken-Helena Scutt-sm

Paris Henken and Helena Scutt are back out on the water Monday in the 49erFX. This young crew are the Cinderella story so far in the sailing Games. The pair had an impressive 4-1-5 yesterday and stand in ninth place. If the keep it up, they will surely move up the leaderboard. They have six races scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. Their Medal Race will be on Thursday. Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris were able to finish fourth in one race yesterday, but were disqualified for a port-starboard incident in that race. They are looking to improve and tomorrow is their opportunity.

For the Medal Races, the race committee sets a five-leg course that should take 20 minutes. This is a great opportunity to watch Olympic Sailing at its best. I hope you will join us.

Here is the link to watch LIVE (at noon ET on Monday, August 15): http://stream.nbcolympics.com/sailing-day-10

Or go to www.NBCOlympics.com/sailing.


Visit this page - OlympicSailing.nshof.org - daily during the Olympics to read every day's report, plus additional info including Sailing Instructions and course maps. Or better yet, sign up to receive daily email reports from Gary the night before they post here.

Visit http://bit.ly/SailingHall-getconnected.


 

 

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 3
Home
Contact or Visit
About Us
Hall of Fame
STEM Education
Collections/Libraries
On-Site Programs
Sailors & Stories
Contributors
Search
End of Year Update
Adams Cup

Join us: Click here to donate now using our secure online server.
Click here to nominate your candidate for induction to the National Sailing Hall of Fame
Shop using Amazon Smile and a portion of your purchases will be donated to NSHOF


© 2016 National Sailing Hall of Fame, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

facebook-btn            twitter-btn             Instagram-sailinghall            US SAILING LOGO