Race Day 9 - 470 Men Report
Luke and Stu Gold Quest Inspired by Team Success
Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell continued their crusade for Olympic debut gold after another impressive display on day nine of the London 2012 sailing regatta today (Monday 6 August).
The pair picked up their second race win of the regatta in the opening race of today – race seven overall – before scoring a sixth place to sit just one point behind the Australian leading team of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, with two series races and the final double points’ medal race to come on Thursday.
The two leading teams have extended their advantage over Gabrio Zandonã and Pietro Zucchetti (ITA) in third to 29 points. But the Brits are refusing to get carried away.
Patience said: “We are still keeping it grounded. First and foremost we have to go out on the water tomorrow and do exactly what we have done every single day and just try and get that first result in the bag and then we can maybe think a bit about something attacking. But, as I said, first and foremost get the result first.”
Bithell added: “We will just head out tomorrow and in the first race, if we can get inside the top six that will be fantastic. We will see what happens after that certainly there is the potential for the option of attacking.”
With the 470 Men enjoying a rest day yesterday, Patience and Bithell were able to soak up the atmosphere of a historic day on the water for Britain, where Ben Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time with a fourth successive gold medal while Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson claimed Star class silver.
As first time Olympians, Patience admits he and Bithell couldn’t fail to be inspired by the success of their teammates.
Patience said: “It’s the stuff of goosebumps isn’t it? We have been watching the Olympic Games for years and years. I’m just a young lad and it still makes me well up and get that lump in my throat seeing folk on the podium. It really inspires you to push and do everything you can. Seeing Ben, Perce and Bart stand on the podium yesterday was really something to give you a kick and a boost. It’s great to see, great to be a part of that team and the boys are legends, what can we say, it’s great.”
The 470 Men are scheduled to resume at 12pm tomorrow (Tuesday 7 August) with the boys scheduled to race on the Portland Harbour course.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August. The Men’s 470 medal race is scheduled for Friday 9 August (1pm).