The racing concluded in the Star class for the Olympics for Iain Murray and I three days ago.
We finished the event in 14th, beating only the Croatians and the local Chinese blokes.
For me at this stage, the result is not important. To finish anywhere other than the top three at the Olympics is all ultimately the same – IE: not a medal winner. Over the past couple of years, we have beaten every one of the competitors here. But we have also been beaten by them. So, to finish behind the best sailors in the world (and to compete as one of them) is not something to be negative about.
However, there is some disappointment there, as we did not sail to our potential, particularly early in the series. Along with half the fleet, we were the wrong side of a massive wind shift on day one. On Day two we did not have a good day of reading the conditions and were near the back end of the fleet in both races. On Day three we broke our mast in big winds and waves on the run to the finish when we were in 6th place. Possibly pushing too hard – but that happens when you feel you need results to get you back up the leaderboard. So, after three days we were out of contention…..
The remainder of the event saw us have our ups and downs. The racing was incredibly close and of the absolute highest level. I have been racing internationally since the late 1980’s, but this racing was by far the tightest I have ever experienced.
Upon the completion of the racing, I was a little down about our result. With the support of family and others within the Australian Sailing team, I have come to realize that being able to compete here is a great honour and something that I know I will be forever proud. Also, having had to the privilege to sail with Iain for the past seven years is something I cannot yet do justice by trying to put it into words. We have had some great times, been to some wonderful places. Met heaps of fantastic people and had the chance to race in the best fleet in world sailing. Would I do it all again?? Absolutely yes!
The acheievments of the Australian Sailing Team here at the Olympics have been very positive. Two gold medals (to Natan and Mal in the Mens 470 and Elise and Tess in the Womens 470) and a Silver (to Bundy and Glenny in the Tornado), as well as near-misses in the Laser Radial, the RSX and the 49er. This puts Australia second only to the immense talent and big money and massive resources of the Brits.
I feel the Aussie Olympic sailing movement is in a position to take off. Hopefully the shakedown out of all this will remain positive in terms of funding and that the talented management nucleus we have remains in place.
The challenges will include consolidating the gains made since athens, but also making the most of the positive media the medalists have received by attracting more young talent to the Olympic classes in Australia and providing them with a path to Olympic success and the support that they will need.
Thanks for the support over the previous three weeks.
No real plans for me at the present. looking forward to re-charging the batteries with the family over the coming weeks. i will miss sailing the Star and all that goes with it.
With seven races completed in the Olympics for us, our results so far are below our expectations going in to the event. (more…)
Iain and I start racing tomorrow in the Star class at the Olympics.
It has been a week since the Opening ceremony. We are all primed, after what has seemed like the longest week ever. (more…)
What follows is a diary of my day at the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics.
See also some photos of the adventure by clicking here
0545: Time to rise and shine. Bit of a rude time to wake, after getting used to lying in until around 0730 over the previous couple of weeks. Time to pack for the overnight stay. Must-take items are passport, camera, accreditation pass and the all important Silver Suit, which is our team issue Opening Ceremony uniform. (more…)
Hello to everyone from Qingdao,
Less that 24 hours to the opening of the Beijing Olympics…..
Since my last update, there was some good rest at home with the missus and kids, prior to a few days of team-bonding in Hong Kong with the entire Australian Sailing Team. We all arrived here in Qingdao on July 28th, and have been busy since then ticking off the final details in our training and equipment. (more…)