Tomorrow sees a double billing for medals in perfect conditions
Perhaps it was inevitable that the sea breeze would never build to a sufficient strength to get racing underway today. Perhaps it was also inevitable that despite poor odds on starting a race, the 470 men were still game on for a crack at Gold. And so they should be, at this level no one can afford to allow negative thoughts on the weather creep into their game. If the breeze did pipe up and the postponement flag drop they needed to be as ready and focussed as on any other day.
But by 1630 after a day spent waiting, the men’s 470 medal race was clearly not going to happen and the match has been moved to tomorrow, Friday.
Having said all that, the change of plan will no doubt be a relief to all the sailors. The Nothe course has at times proved shifty enough when the breeze is in double figures, to compete when it is fickle as well would have added a level of chance inappropriate for deciding an Olympic medal.
As it stood this evening the plan was for the Men’s 470 medal race to start at 1200 and the women’s at 1300. With a breeze of 10-13 knots forecast from the south east the conditions will be very different from what we have become used to. Steadier winds up the beat, but an awkward chop to negotiate as the waves bounce of the rocks and the sea wall will make for a challenging race track.
“It’s a bitchy race course,” said British 470 skipper Luke Patience. “It is by far the most aggressive race you do. We talk about not having friends on the race course but there is a certain etiquette at the beginning of a regatta where you’re not slamming on people and not being an absolute attacking team. But the medal races it’s gloves off, were here to rip your heads off……and then shake hands when we get on the shore again!”
Tomorrow promises to be an exciting day in which Britain has a realistic chance of two Gold medals and a guarantee of two Silvers. Two Golds would place GBR ahead of the Australians in the sailing, anything less would see Britain’s enviable track record in Olympic sailing overtaken by a team that has delivered some confident performances.
Friday is a day you simply can’t miss.