Race Day 4 - RS:X Men Report
Photo Boost for Dempsey as Medal Momentum Gains
Windsurfer Nick Dempsey moved into the RS:X Men’s medal positions courtesy of a thrilling photo finish on day four of the Olympic Sailing Regatta at Weymouth and Portland today (Wednesday 1 August).
Dempsey, who impressed downwind on the spectator Nothe course all day, powered past race leader Byron Kokalanis (GRE) on the line in his second race of the day – race four overall – to end his day with a fifth and his first race win of the regatta.
The Athens 2004 bronze medallist, who sat fourth overnight after opening day scores of fifth and seventh, has moved up a place, 12 points behind early leader Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) but with their discard to kick in at the next race.
Dempsey said: “I didn’t know I had won [the last race] until I got ashore about half an hour later. It was so close on the line, I was like ‘Oh, ah, well, that was close’. I even had a chat with him [the Greek sailor] coming in and he said he didn’t know. Those photo finishes are always good, I’m just glad it was the right way around.
“It was pretty difficult [today] so it was nice to come out with a nice couple of solid races. It’s the first four races of the Olympic Games and there are a few people who have already come unstuck and that’s their Games over. It’s just about being in it, ready to turn it on in the second half of the week.”
Dempsey had to use all his experience and guile to recover from an iffy start in the first race of today, rounding the first mark in 16th to pull up through the fleet to sixth by the third mark. With the leaders favouring the right-hand side of the course, Dempsey was fully powered up in a race to the line with Germany’s Toni Wilhelm, but the Brit ran out of racecourse before he could overtake him, finishing fifth.
Race two was a different story, enjoying his best start so far and leading for a time up the first beat. He rounded mark one in fifth but by the fourth mark had moved up to second before engaging in his nail-biting race to the line with Kokalanis.
Dempsey added: “That last lap we were so, so close, locked together, and he made it pretty difficult for me to pass him. I know how quick I am on that last little reach and I thought I’m going to give it a go, and it was worth it. It’s the Olympic Games and it’s never game over, you’ve got to keep going to the finish line. I’m pretty happy.”
The RS:X Men (race five and six) are scheduled to resume at 4pm tomorrow (Thursday 2 August) on the Portland Harbour course.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August. The RS:X Men’s medal race is scheduled for Tuesday 7 August (1pm).