|ISCYRA Regatta Report|| |
Sun Jul 29th, 2012 through Sat Aug 11th, 2012
Gold medalists Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen. Photo by onEdition.
| Interview with USA skipper Mark Mendelblatt after the medal race|
Reports by sailingnews.ch:
Day One - Race 2: Luffing up at the finish line was just enough and Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada BRA barely saved a few inches to defeat Percy/Simpson after a very close duel in the second race. With Kusznierewicz/Zycki POL in third and Loof/Salminen SWE 4th, these two other favorites - all Starboat World Champions - followed behind. In the overall rankings after two races, Scheidt/Prada BRA lead by two points ahead of O'Leary/Burrows IRL and Percy/Simpson GBR.
Report by mysailing.com.au:
Scheidt already has two golds (Laser 1996 and 2000) and two silvers (Laser 2004 and Star 2008), while Percy has two golds from the Finn in 2000 and the Star in 2008. In the first race of the day, neither crew featured in the top three. Instead Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (France) made a stunning comeback from 16th place at the top mark to win by 32 seconds from Peter O'Leary and David Burrows (Ireland) and Emilios Papathanasiou and Adonis Tsotras (Greece). A major wind shift caught the leaders out, allowing those who had gone the other way to benefit. Scheidt was fourth and Percy a distant 11th in the 16 boat field.
However, in the second race normal service was resumed, with Scheidt and Percy locked together for the whole race. Only seven seconds separated them at the first top mark, they went through the gate together, Scheidt led by eight seconds at the second top mark and both crews were given the same time at the finish, with Scheidt adjudged to have crossed the line first.
Day Two: Race 3 - The third race of the Stars was again one of many position changes with Hamish Pepper/Jim Turner NZL on top at the end, followed by Melleby/Pedersen NOR and Percy/Simpson GBR in 2 and 3. The leaders after day one, Scheidt/Prada BRA, had a miserable first upwind (14th of 16), but climbed back to 9th place by the finish.
Day Two - Race 4: Winners were Freddy Loof/Max Salminen SWE, repositioning themselves favorably in the Medal race. Percy/Simpson GBR finished 2nd, Mendelblatt/Fatih USA 3rd. Interesting again some important position changes in the last downwind leg. In the overall rankings, the top teams - and medal candidates - are pretty close together. Percy/Simpson GBR and Melleby/Pedersen NOR are first with the same number of points, one point ahead of Loof/Salminen SWE and another point on Scheidt/Prada BRA, who struggled in race 3.
Report by mysailing.com.au: Iain Percy and Andrew "Bart" Simpson didn't win either race in the Star class today (Monday) but they go into the third day of competition tied at the top of the leaderboard and two points clear of arch rivals Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA).
The Kiwis haven't had a lot to cheer about so far in the Olympic regatta, but Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner did their best to revive spirits by winning the first race after a brilliant last downwind run. Trailing Eivind Mellerby and Petter Pederson of Norway throughout the early stages, the Kiwis managed to slip past to win by 13 seconds. Percy and Simpson (GBR) were third only one second behind the Norwegians, while Scheidt and Prada had their worst race, finishing ninth.
But the Kiwis couldn't repeat in the second race of the day, dropping to 13th in the 16 boat fleet. Frederick Loof and Max Salminen of Sweden took the lead after the first beat to record a comfortable 30 second win over Percy and Simpson, with Mendelblatt and Fatih (USA) third. Again Scheidt struggled, finishing sixth.
After four of the scheduled 10 preliminary races, it is very tight at the top. Percy and Simpson share top spot with the Norwegians on 18 points, the Swedes are a point away on 19 and the Brazilians are on 20.
Day Three, Races 4 and 5 - Report by mysailing.com.au: Defending champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson of Great Britain are fighting tooth and nail with Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil. Today they won a race each and finished second in the other one.
In race one, it was Percy and Simpson who got the honours. The Brazilians led at the first mark, but Percy found a good wind shift to win comfortably by 50 seconds. Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki of Poland were a distant third.
The tables were turned in race two, but this one was much closer. Scheidt and Prada were only sixth at the top mark, but worked their way back into the race and overtook on the last run to beat the Brits by a measly eight seconds. Frederik Loof and Max Salminen of Sweden were third.
With six races sailed, the teams can drop their worst performance, which leaves GBR on 10 points ((11),2,3,2,1,2) and Brazil on 14 (4,1, (9),6,2,1). The Swedes are third, a further three points back, and it looks as though these will be the medallists - but in what order?
Norway and Poland both have 29 points, USA has 30, Germany has 31 and the Kiwis have 32. Tomorrow is a rest day for the Star class.
Lay day report by ISAF: Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) and Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) traded blows in the Star today with both crews winning a race and finishing second in the other.
With the discard coming into play the Brits have a four point lead at the top of the leader board over the Brazilians having put their 11th in Race 1 behind them to sail consistently. With a narrow advantage the Brits remain wary, "We would like to extend the gap. Four points is just two places in the medal race when the points are doubled. There are so many good people in the fleet. All we can do is paddle to the end. We are definitely here to defend our title but it is going to be a fight to the end."
The Stars have have regrouped with a Wednesday a lay day but it's no time for rest for the wicked as Simpson added, "As we don't sail we'll do everything we can to get ready for the next day, like checking our equipment over. Thursday and Friday are important days."
Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) have pulled themselves into medal contention with a string of solid results to put them in third place on 17 points, seven behind the leaders. In the chasing pack, closest to them is Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR) and Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) both tied on 29 points.
Races seven and eight: report by mysailing.com.au: London 2012 is the last time the Star class will compete at an Olympic Games, and it is fitting that it has been such a close and enthralling tussle. However on a very good day for British sailors in all classes, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson have moved into gold medal position and only a miracle can now save Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil.
Percy and Simpson recorded a win and a second place, against the BraziliansÂ third and fifth, to stretch their lead to nine points with two qualifiers and the medal race remaining.
Nine points would not normally be insurmountable, but apart from their 11th (which is their drop) in the first race, the British pair has not been out of the top three all regatta. By contrast, Scheidt and Prada have dropped a 9th but also have 4th, 5th and 6th against their names.
As always, the racing was close today, with Percy/Simpson winning race seven by 10 seconds from the Poles, with Scheidt/Prada in third. Frederik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) ran away with the second race, but there was only seven seconds between the British and Danish crews for the minor placings.
Races 9 and 10 - report by mysailing,com,au: Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) look likely to win the Olympic Star class on Sunday after finishing the 10 preliminary races eight points ahead of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (Brazil). This means that the Brazilians must put at least three other boats between them and the Englishmen if they are to win on a countback.
Both crews had a win today but Scheidt closed the gap by a single point as his other placing was a third, to Percy's fourth. The other medal prospect, and not out of contention for gold if Percy and Scheidt get carried away with match racing each other, is Frederik Loof and Max Salminen of Sweden, who are on 30 points. There is then a long gap back to the Norwegians who are on 53 and the Poles on 54.
Medal race:Sweden's Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen won the Star Medal Race to upset the favourites and take the gold medal in a thrilling finale.
Having trailed overnight leaders Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) by 12 points ahead of the Medal Race the Swedes won by four seconds over Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner to overcome the Brits who finished eighth.
The Brits had to finish sixth or better to guarantee gold but in a tense final run Norway's Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen, America's Brian Fatih and Mark Mendelblatt and Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada finished less than two seconds ahead of the Brits squeezing them into eighth and down into silver medal position. The Brazilians subsequently fell into bronze medal position.
The Swedes were worthy winners and sailed their own race from the start with only the bullet on their mind, Loof said, "It was a dream come true. We were happy for the silver but the gold came instead.
"We knew the other guys were under more pressure and stress than us, so we really had nothing to lose and just wanted to sail a good race. We were looking back but we knew we had to do our best. We sailed a brilliant race; we were fast downwind and upwind."
For Percy and Simpson they were unable to defend the title they won at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and were disappointed not to defend their overnight lead, "It's frustrating," said Percy. "We tried our hardest and did well in the regatta. At the moment, it does hurt. It's a testament to how well we sailed.
"We sailed 10 good races. There's a big luck element. We can't blame anyone but ourselves, but at the same time we were really proud."
Scheidt and Prada were the pre-race favourites and had mixed emotions picking up the bronze medal. Scheidt said, "I am a little sad losing a position but, at the same time, very happy to get a medal. We would have wanted a bit more."
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