This has been one of the most memorable sailing experiences I've ever had. Come and see it for yourself
Yesterday as the rain clouds threatened, Weymouth was more than half-empty, a bracing foretaste of what it be like when the Olympics and the summer holidays end. By early evening the seafront and the beach were deserted.
Weymouth is bound to revive tomorrow when the sun reappears and another Gold medal clash is played out between the Aussies and the Brits in the men’s 470s. The Olympics in the UK is approaching the end and these are our last chances to watch it first-hand. I bet we will miss it when it’s gone.
The Olympic phenomenon brought to a seaside audience has made sailing flare in the imagination like magnesium. Next week that will end again and like so many other Olympic sports, archery or women’s 75kg weighlifting or rhythmic gynmastics, it will go back to its specialist following of participants past and present.
Weymouth has had an incredible, golden spell of summer weather and on glorious Super Sunday an estimated 100,000 people came, some to watch Ben Ainslie win a Gold medal, and others to see a British Gold medal won by Ben Ainslie.
Whichever way round it was, sailing has been brought in from the cold of invisible offshore courses that can be captured only on camera and appreciated by the cognoscenti and put in front of us to feast on. You can see it all for free, wrapped up in a fun day at the beach that all the family can enjoy.
A radio commentary for the enthusiastic have-nots stationed outside the Nothe to explain some of the more complicated tactics and the changing mathematical medal permutations would have been good, but that’s the single gripe I have about the whole experience.
It has been one of the most memorable sailing experiences I’ve ever had and one of the very few I’ve felt confident to recommend completely to non-sailing friends and family. That’s the superpower billing of the Olympics and the interplay of national interests, but it’s also the way that TV and close display has shown off sailing, the pitiless unpredictability of the elements and the dedication, joy and disappointment of the people who take part.
All I can say is come to Weymouth and get some of it while stocks last.
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