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Friday, August 19, 2016

Silver Lining for Aussie Sailors In Rio - 2016 Olympics

Today Australia won two Olympic medals on Guanabara Bay. Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won the silver medal in the 470 class followed by Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen who also won the silver medal in the 49er class. The medal racing was held on the Pao de Acucar course with a crowd of spectators cheering from Flamengo Beach.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Will Ryan spent a few perilous seconds in the drink at Rio’s Guanabara Bay but he and Matt Belcher recovered almost seamlessly to avoid disaster and claim a silver medal in the 470 class.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Belcher, guaranteed a bronze going into the medal race, couldn’t quite retain the title he won in London four years ago with Malcolm Page. But he and new partner Ryan helped cap off an Olympic regatta, which netted Australia’s sailors one gold medal and three silver.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“I just slipped and fell straight in. Fortunately Matt pulled me back out of the water one-handed pretty quickly and got me back into the boat and back into the race.” said Ryan of the incident approaching the third mark.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
For once in Olympic competition all of the action was at the rear of the field, with the medals ultimately going to the boats that finished in the last three places in the 10-nation final race. Croatia finished eighth to claim gold, Australia ninth for silver and Greece 10th for bronze.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
The Aussies, trailing Croatia by 13 points and Greece by two before the double-points final race, needed to be seven boats clear of Croatia to win an unlikely gold, or one boat ahead of Greece for the silver.The jockeying between the three leading boats meant that all eyes were at the rear.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We had two goals.To try to win the race if we had the opportunity or to control the Greek boat. It didn’t really matter where we finished – we just had to be in front of Greece.It was quite entertaining at the back. When it became clear Croatia was in front (of us) we changed our strategy out on the water,” Belcher said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
The first thing he did on finishing was to race to the beach to see his two kids for the first time in a month.The 33-year-old said the commitment to an Olympics was so great that he would take time out to decide whether to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We came here to win but to take silver was great.We fought in good Aussie spirit and we can hold our heads high,” Belcher said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It’s hard to be disappointed with silver but the hunger is still there for more,” Ryan added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Defending Olympic champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen closed their 2016 campaign on a high by outsailing Germany in a nerve-wracking final race to claim silver in the 49er class. With the gold already sewn up by New Zealand, the Aussies started the day in third place three points behind Germany.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
To win silver they needed to finish two places ahead of Germany in the medal race, worth double points, and they achieved their goal by crossing the line fourth with the Germans back in eighth.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
They also needed to stave off any challenge from Britain, 10 points behind them, or they might have surrendered a medal altogether.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“If we weren’t at the top of our game they would have passed us. It was stressful but we held our nerve.We had to keep passing boats and we kept our heads and did that, and kept the race in our control.There was always that thought in our heads that it could slip out of our control,” said Outteridge.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
A good start was the key for the 30-year-old from Newcastle, who said: “To be ahead of the two guys we needed to beat relaxed the nerves a bit.”
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
He said he felt more pressure as defending champion than he did going into the London 2012 Games.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We’ve managed that pressure and fought hard the whole week,” he said.

Doug Conway

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Burton Delivers The Gold For Australia In Laser Class

Tom Burton should be nicknamed 'the magician' after snatching gold with one of the rarest of victories in the Olympic medal race of the men's Laser's in Rio. And in a double dose of celebration for the Australian sailing team, Sydney cousins Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse also came from behind on the leaderboard to claim silver in the Nacra 17 mixed medal race.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Burton's gold came with a genuine sigh of relief from the Australian Olympic team, who have suffered a plethora of near-misses and have waited three days for a seventh gold medal, following rowing's Kim Brennan's victory in the single sculls. With a gauranteed podium-finish secured before Tuesday's medal race, it appeared unlikely that Burton would be able to the shake overall leader, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In order to win gold, Burton needed to finish five boats ahead of Stipanovic, who in-turn only needed to sit on the 25-year-old Australian's tail to claim his maiden gold medal.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
But in a stunning piece of water sport and sailing on the start line, Burton dropped under the Croation's guard, forcing Stipanovic to react by chasing hard and ultimately hitting the Australian's Laser. Stipanovic was forced into a penalty turn, leaving Burton to sprint and race to achieve the greatest moment of his career.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"The percentage chances that I could pull it off was pretty slim,'' an ecastic Burton said after the race.
"You want to do it and you want it to come off, but we see this at many Olympics and many other championships, it's quite easy to slow a guy down. For the one move I needed to come off, that was critical to the race.''
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Burton, who trains out of the same Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney which Darmanin and Waterhouse also reside, described his victory and journey to the top as "a long one.''
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"Coming from when I first started winning in the Laser's through all the events and then a few years ago winning events and then having not such a great year last year and a tough selection to even be here,'' Burton said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"I few days ago, after the first day I thought I was nearly out of it after a bad day. But the amount of hours I put in, the things that I sacrificed, I missed my sister's wedding, I didn't go to the opening ceremony to try and get a good result and it's all worth it now.''

Fox Sports

Rio Update : Frustration for Laser Medal Races While Sun Shines On Aussie 49er Boys

It was a day of postponements on-shore as the sailors waited for wind on Day 8 in Rio. Tom Burton in the Laser and Ashley Stoddart in the Laser Radial were scheduled for Medal Races on Pao de Acucar course today.
Tom Burton Photo: © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
With the wind being far too light for racing inside Guanabara Bay, Laser sailor Tom Burton will have to wait until tomorrow to sail off for the medals. Burton is assured a medal, but the colour will be determined in the double-point medal race, which is now scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.
Ashley Stoddart Photo: © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
Laser Radial sailor, Ashley Stoddart, had her fleet sent out late in the afternoon for their medal race; however, a south-westerly front wreaked havoc, taking the breezes from nothing to too much, so their race was also postponed today.
Outteridge/Jensen Photo: © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
The 49er class completed three races out on Copacabana in consistent 10-15 knots, finishing just before over 40 knots of breeze hit from the South West. The 470 men and women fleets were held on shore for two and a half hours longer than planned and were moved to the Niteroi course, outside the bay, but were sent back in after the intense front hit.
Photo: © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
Australia’s 49er team of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen revelled in today’s conditions out on the Copacabana course. The Aussies put together a consistent day, scoring 4, 5, 8 in today’s three races, which moves them up into third overall.
Photo: © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
“The conditions today were awesome. After a bit of a wait, the seabreeze filled in nicely offshore and we had about 10-15 knots for the three races. Today was the first time the 49er fleet has done any offshore racing and it’s pretty nice to have stable conditions for three races. We had a much better day which moved us up the leaderboard,” Outteridge said.
Jake Lilley Photo: Robert Deaves
Medal Races Tuesday 16 August Rio / Wednesday 17 August AEST
  • Ashley Stoddart Laser Radial 1.00pm (Rio) / 2am AEST Pao de Acucar
  • Tom Burton Laser 1.45pm (Rio) / 2.45am AEST Pao de Acucar
  • Jake Lilley Finn 2.30pm (Rio) / 3.30am AEST Pao de Acucar
  • Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin Nacra 17 3.15pm (Rio) / 4.15am AEST) Pao de Acucar
Tomorrow, we have all of our Australian teams racing.

Ashley Stoddart (Laser Radial) Medal Race 1pm (Rio)/2am (AEST); Tom Burton (Laser) Medal Race 1.45pm (Rio)/2.45am (AEST); Jake Lilley (Finn) 2.30pm (Rio)/3.30am (AEST) and Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin (Nacra17) 3.15pm (Rio) / 4.15am (AEST).

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen will race their final three full fleet races tomorrow in the 49er class. Mat Belcher & Will Ryan and Carrie Smith & Jaime Ryan will also race to complete their series before the 470 class medal races on Wednesday (Rio) / Thursday AM AEST.

Australian Sailing Team Media

Monday, August 15, 2016

Heartbreak Turns To Joy For Australia's Jake Lilley As He Books Medal Race Spot Thanks To A Protest

Updated news this morning that following a protest after racing in the Finn class in Rio today, Jake Lilley has moved into 10th place overall and will now compete in the Medal Race on Tuesday in Rio (Wednesday AM AEST).
Jake Lilley Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Jake came into today’s racing in third place overall, but two results at the back of the fleet saw him finish the preliminary series in 11th place. However, a protest was heard and Jake has now moved into 10th place and will line-up in the Medal Race. Full results here
Jake Lilley Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
It was a tough day for all of the Aussies on Guanabara Bay, in light conditions that saw the start of racing postponed. The light winds slowly built in the afternoon, but once again, each course saw varied conditions, with it being lighter outside the bay.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
It was the final day of full fleet racing for the Nacra17 and Finn class ahead of the medal races on Tuesday in Rio (Wednesday AM AEST). The 470 Men and Women were back for their third day of racing, with the plan to complete three races. The wind, however, only allowed the fleets to get two races in.
Jake Lilley Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
There was heartbreak for Finn sailor, Jake Lilley, who came into today’s racing in third place overall, but two results at the back of the fleet saw him finish the preliminary series in 11th place, one place off making Tuesday’s medal race.
Jake Lilley Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
However a protest post racing in Rio has Jake move into 10th place overall and he will line up in Tuesday’s medal race in Rio (Wednesday AM AEST).
Jake Lilley Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
On the conditions for racing today, Lilley said, “We just had a bit of remnant swell and a really soft sea breeze today. The first race got off in little wind, in the second race the wind built a bit more and we got two good races in.
 Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“I think those conditions, that amount of wind, the remnant swell is something that is a bit of a weakness of mine. Not as weak as the points I put on the board and failure to execute in the start box of the first race and the second race. I just didn’t piece it together and you have those days sometimes,” he added.
 Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In the 470 Men, Australia’s Mat Belcher and Will Ryan continue to hold onto second place overall. They are currently 11 points behind the Croatians who are leading the event. The Aussies posted an 8th and an 11th in today’s two races, but have three races scheduled tomorrow to complete their preliminary series.
 Belcher/Ryan Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Today there was a little bit of swell, really patchy pressure and a struggling sea breeze, which didn’t really build. When we went right it went left, when we went left it went right. It was just a difficult day for us, both of us felt quite ok. We struggled to get off the line a bit, a lot of the teams were risking quite a bit. We just seemed to be in that group that were pushing it a bit," Belcher said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We’re proud of how we’re putting together our series, we’ve got to be a bit patient and keep fighting Aussie style, right to the end,” he added.
 Smith/Ryan Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In the 470 women’s event, Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan are also looking forward to the final three races in their preliminary series as the Aussies vie for a position in the top 10 to go through to the medal race. The girls are currently in 11th overall after a 6th and a 13th in today’s two races.
Smith/Ryan Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It was pretty tricky out there, it was a light sea breeze but it was still very up and down.We finished the first race and the breeze completely died again then re-established, so we moved a little bit further offshore,” Smith said at the end of the day.
Smith/Ryan Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“So, it was quite tricky from the point of view that there was a lot of opportunities from both sides of the course. It wasn’t equal at all, it was sort of just anyone’s game the whole way round, it was tricky out there but we tried to hold it as best we could,” she added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It was really tricky racing and we could have easily been a long way in front or a long way behind, so I think we’ll take that and be happy. I think the points will be close and we’re just on the edge of being in or out of the medal race. I guess the plan will be the same as today, try and get a few top tens and secure our spot for the medal race,” concluded Jaime Ryan.
Smith/Ryan Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
When racing finally got underway an hour later than scheduled, the day started well for Sydney cousins Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin in the Nacra 17 class. They won their first race of the day in compelling fashion, leading the fleet from start to finish.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
However, in the following two races the Aussies finished in 12th and 17th bringing them to fourth overall and will sail in the Medal Race on Tuesday in Rio (Wednesday 3am AEST).
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Our execution in the first race was great, we had our knowledge and our heads in the game. In the last two we just really struggled.Both races the right hand was favoured so we wanted to get out of the start and tack out straight away and get over there, to that side. Unfortunately it just didn’t work. Most of our competitors were going left and we weren’t prepared for them to sail that strategy," Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It’s getting tricky because we’re here to win the gold medal. In saying that, we have a couple of competitors for medals who are just behind us, as well. I think we’re just going to have to really just keep our eyes open and really go full force to win the gold medal.”
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Tomorrow is a day off for the Nacra 17 class and in Rio on Tuesday (Wednesday AM AEST), the top ten teams will fight it out in the medal race.
Laser Fleet Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Tomorrow, Tom Burton will race in the Laser Medal Race to decide which colour medal he will take home (3am Tuesday AEST). Ashley Stoddart will also race in her Laser Radial Medal Race, going into it in ninth position (2am Tuesday AEST).
Ashley Stoddart Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Racing also continues tomorrow for Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen in the 49er class and the 470 Men (Mat Belcher & Will Ryan) and Women (Carrie Smith & Jaime Ryan). The Nacra 17 (Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin) and Finn (Jake Lilley) have tomorrow off before their Medal Race on Tuesday.

Australian Sailing Team Media