Please select your home edition
Ocean Safety 2022 Service Offer - LEADERBOARD

Between the rocks and a hard race

by Mark Jardine 6 Aug 2012 11:16 BST 6 August 2012

Sunday's Star and Finn Medal Races certainly had all the drama you could wish for. The medals weren't decided until the final few seconds, with places changing all the time. This sent the huge crowd on the Nothe into wild elation one moment, and stunned silence the next.

As it was, Ben Ainslie, who'd been struggling against the new great Dane, Jonas Hogh-Christensen, scraped through to take Finn gold while Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, who'd been dominating the Star fleet all week, were 'robbed' of gold as a gust filled in at the far end of the finish line, pushing them from fifth to eighth in seconds.

The Medal Race has been divisive ever since it was introduced for the Beijing 2008 Olympics to give a focus at the end of the regatta. The thinking was that non-sailing spectators didn't understand how an event could already be won going into the final race, which didn't play well for a TV audience. So a double-point, non-discardable Medal Race for the top 10 teams was introduced.

The question is whether this format is a true test of sailing or it just made for television viewing? If it's made for TV, is it any more understandable for non-sailors? For that matter, does it make it more or less understandable and enjoyable for those who do understand sailing?

Today sees two Medal Races; the Laser where Australian Tom Slingsby goes in with a 14-point lead and the Laser Radial where four sailors are separated by a single point. Anything other than gold for Slingsby would be a travesty and let's hope that the Radial race is as fair as it can be - the battle so far has been so good to follow.

One man who's managed to avoid any Medal race drama is Dutchman Dorian Van Rijsselberge. He's been so dominant that he wrapped up the win with two races to go - well ahead of Tuesday's Men's RS:X Medal Race.

Sailing has to fight for its place in the Olympics so maybe the Medal Race is something we, and the athletes who take part in the Olympic Sailing Competition, have to put up with. After all, getting a silver or bronze when a gold was on the cards is better than no opportunity to get a medal at all... and it certainly provides drama!

Related Articles

Streaming to Hobart with LawConnect
Christian Beck's supermaxi has already claimed first place in 2022 Hobart race... Christian Beck's supermaxi, LawConnect, has already claimed first place in the 2022 Sydney to Hobart race. And for that matter, every race hereafter. No. No. No. We're not talking Line Honours, which is the prime directive of the campaign. Posted on 4 Dec
The Man in the Tower
We speak to SailGP's Chief Umpire Back in August it was a frustrated Sir Ben Ainslie who suggested that the onlooking Duchess of Cambridge should "send him to the Tower", referring to the Chief Umpire following a rule call at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 28 Nov
Video Interview with Seldén's Mats-Uno Fredrikson
Taking a closer look at Seldén's electronically driven sail handling products at METSTRADE Swedish mast and deck hardware manufacturer, Seldén Mast has expanded its range of electronically driven sail handling products with the launch of the CXe45 two-speed electric Code 0 furler. We spoke to Seldén's Mats-Uno Fredrikson to find out more. Posted on 28 Nov
Interview with Sailmon's Kalle Coster
We find out more about the Sailmon Sailing App at METSTRADE 2022 Sailmon don't just make instruments, and the Sailmon Sailing App is becoming a powerful tool for analysis, event organisation, photos and video from your sailing, as well as sharing and connecting with the wider sailing community. Posted on 25 Nov
Interview with Ocean Safety's Alistair Hackett
Discussing marine safety and innovative lifesaving equipment at METS 2022 Ocean Safety's Managing Director Alistair Hackett, discusses marine safety and innovative lifesaving equipment at METS 2022 with and Managing Editor Mark Jardine. Posted on 23 Nov
Interview with Jake Keilman and Todd Wilson
We take a closer look during METSTRADE 2022 Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of and talks to Jake Keilman and Todd Wilson of Vakaros at METSTRADE 2022 about the small, but incredibly powerful, Atlas 2 sailing instrument. Posted on 21 Nov
Location. Location. Location.
The Land Rats have it as a footnote on every page of their bible The Land Rats have it as a footnote on every page of their bible. In bold, too. And they probably chant it every morning at their group love-ins before hitting the phones. Posted on 20 Nov
Interview with Cyclops Marine CTO Ed Colby
We find out the latest from the high technology company at METSTRADE We spoke to Ed Colby of Cyclops Marine during METSTRADE 2022 about the latest innovations that they have made, including the world's first Wireless Load Pin for Sailing Yachts, which was nominated for a DAME Design Award. Posted on 17 Nov
The Boy in the Bubble
If you haven't listened to Paul Simon's 1986 album Graceland, then you've missed out If you haven't listened to Paul Simon's 1986 album Graceland, then you've missed out, and I highly recommend you do. Posted on 14 Nov
Tom Gillard's (almost) perfect 2022
25 events, 23 wins, one World title, four National titles, and one that got away! It's hard to win a major championship, fine tuning your boat, your sailing skills, knowing the venue, and putting in that vital time on the water, but sometimes you get a sailor who puts together a season which on paper looks nearly impossible. Posted on 9 Nov