My last report stated a simple fact - You have to be in it to Win it - and that indeed is true but the task turned out to be too much for Julien Bontemps [FRA] and Nick Demspsey [GBR] who went into the medal race yesterday tied on points at the top of the leader board.
Which ever way you cut it there were four racers in the hunt for gold and as Nick said earlier in the week, the start is becoming all important in these short circuit medal races. He was last onto the line. Choosing to come in on a charge at the very last second just behind Julien in the hope that he could spook him into starting early.
Success! Julien reacted instantly and put the pedal to the metal only to find that he was over early. Nick had achieved object #1. He had Julien behind the 8 ball and it was effectively all over for him before the race had begun.
Unfortunately, Nick could not hunt down his other 2 rivals in the chase for gold. Joao Rodrigues [POR] and Dorian Van Rijsselberge NED were free and clear on the favored side of the race track. Nick was struggling at the back of the pack. His only hope being a big wind shift in his favour. The wind had been veering up to the start but now it chose to stabilize. There was no way back. Finishing 7th pushed him back to bronze.
Fabian Heidegger [ITA] won the race but Joao had done enough to claim gold. As seems to happen most often, the medal race winner was not the guy standing on the top step of the podium at the medal ceremony. No doubt those who are not ardent saling fans but who find themselves attracted to the sport find themselves somewhat confused by this contradiction at the top level of Olympic sailing.
Perhaps the powers that be should consider addressing this issue ?
||RSX Mens Top 10||Score|
|2||Dorian Van Rijsselberge||NED||42|