2012 Olympic Games – Sailing Events

Published on August 17th, 2012

Weymouth and Portland, U.K. (August 11, 2012; Day 14) – The final two day of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta on Friday and Saturday completed the Men’s and Women’s 470 Medal Race, and the Women’s Match Racing Semi Finals and Finals.

Light winds on Friday did little to thwart the excitement in the doublehanded 470 events, with the top two teams in both Men’s and Women’s events vying for gold, with neither able to earn less than silver. The match race tactics in these fleet race events dictated the final podium positions.

In the Men’s event, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) lived up to their billing as pre-event favourites, passing their nemesis Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) on the first run, and then staying ahead to take the gold while the Brits settled for silver. “It was such a hair raising race and to come to a medal race like that to decide a gold medal was unbelievable,” said Belcher.

Men’s 470 Results – Top 5 of 27

  1. Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) – 22pts
  2. Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) – 30pts
  3. Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) – 63pts
  4. Gabrio Zandona and Pietro Zucchetti (ITA) – 72pts
  5. Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders (NZL) – 86pts

In the Women’s event, the race for gold among New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) would be settled soon after the start. After a pre-start tussle that gave the Brits the advantage, the Kiwis found an exit lane on port tack while the Brits held a lane to the left side of the course. But when a significant right shift came through, the Kiwis took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. “The thing I am most gutted about was that it wasn’t a really good scrap for the gold,” said Clark. “We got a really good start. They got out and we got wedged in.”

Women’s 470 Results – Top 5 of 20

  1. Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) – 35pts
  2. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) – 51pts
  3. Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) – 64pts
  4. Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) – 65pts
  5. Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA) – 73pts

Winds soon decreased on Friday for the Women’s Match Race Semi-Finals, which reduced the best of five series to a best of three. Olivia Price (AUS) and Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) advanced to the Finals after their respective matches against Silja Lehtinen (FIN) and Ekaterina Skudina (RUS). A protest by the Russian team concerning the expedited series would later be disallowed.

In an exciting finale on Saturday, Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen overcame Olivia Price (AUS) 3-2 to take gold. Winds of up to 25 knots blew across the course, which led to the Aussie skipper getting flung into the water in the third race for a loss. With the scores level heading into the final race, it would be a penalty turn for Price that proved to be the deciding factor.

“We are very happy, it’s a dream,” Pumariega said. “We never imagined we would win the gold medal. We were not the favourites. When we crossed the line we didn’t believe it.” The Spanish team had finished no better than 12th in both the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

In the Petit Final, 2012 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion Lehtinen beat Skudina 3-1 to take the bronze medal.

NORTH AMERICA: The 27-boat Men’s 470 event concluded with Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (USA) in 14th and Luke Ramsay/ Michael Leigh (CAN) in 25th, while the 20-boat Women’s 470 event saw Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan (USA) finish in 9th. As reported in Scuttlebutt 3652, Americans Anna Tunnicliffe/ Debbie Capozzi/ Molly Vandemoer were fifth in the Women’s Match Race event.

NEXT UP: The Paralympic Games begin September 1st for three events – Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR), Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18), and Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar). — More Information

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