Olympic Games Laser Sailing

#61
Well shoot, I AM eating crow right now. Just saw recorded video of women's radial medal race
on NBC Olympics website and it was FABULOUS ! Hope they'll have the Men's Laser video out
soon.
 
#62
I haven't watched the NBC version of the Lasers medal race, but did watch the BBC version for Stars/Finns and both Laser medal races. Except for the over use of those two words,"BEN AINSLIE" the commentary was great on BBC, even with the obvious British POV. The footage was excellent, highly recommend anyone slightly interested in racing watch any/all of them
 
#63
Today, Tom Slingsby gave a clinic on covering a competitor (Pavlos Kontides) in the Laser Medal Race and the Ladies race was exciting as well, with four potential gold medal winners fighting it out.
I know this is the worst possible venue to raise this issue -- there's precedence, of course -- and among all sailing classes this sort of strategy is most likely to be applauded in this one. From the perspective of a minority of probably one, though, match racing in a fleet competition - taking your closest competitor (and yourself) completely out of the final race of a regatta if you have enough margin to trash it for both of you, is... is not good. It still doesn't set right, no matter who does it and how much we might otherwise admire the competitors who pull it off.

Of course, the sailing gods disagree with me on this. I figured they'd eventually punish this kind of thing, but we've seen that they don't. On the contrary. So I'm probably wrong on this, and wrong to hold on to these kinds of quaint notions. But I still don't like it. Then again, I'll never be an Olympic sailor anyway.

The good news is Pavlos Kontides, at 22, hopefully will be back for another shot in four years. Maybe next time he'll get his full week of heavy air.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#65
Yeah, Slingsby definitely got the better Kontides. He seemed to give up on the second upwind leg. The cameras were focused on those two when I think there was a much better match race going on between SWE and CRO. Did someone forget to tell GUA stay out of other people's match races?

I was rooting for Annalise, but her downwind speed just didn't seem to match her upwind speed. I'll say this for Xu Lijia. She's a very fast - and very shrewd - sailor. She pulled that luff off at just the right time.

I'm certainly not a fan of the medal race concept. However, I think ten boats made for better racing and better TV coverage. Maybe they should run a series of heats, then narrow down the number of competitors for more than just one race?
 
#67
Sorry to keep bumping this, but I'm kind of excited about watching some of the racing.

It doesn't appear that NBC is going to let just anyone watch the streaming video. You need to be a subscriber to a cable or satellite service which provides CNBC and MSNBC. I actually had to go through Time-Warner (my provider) to set up an account and password.

If you don't have cable or satellite, you may be SOL. I suppose there may be feed from the BBC or another country you could try to access, but I bet they block it.
I have the impression that the coverage/broadcast of the events is a bit of a mess - driven by commercial interests rather than allowing people to view the events that they want to watch. For example, the BBC stream radio over the internet (e.g. to allow expats to listen to the news programs). However, when the Olympics started the BBC had to withdraw their streamed news coverage of all news (not just Olympics) as they did not have adequate agreements with the IOC. There was a bit of UK reporting of this and I believe the IOC quickly relented - so at least expats to listen to regular news (i.e. all news not just Olympics news).

A classic example is the hand driers (and at some venue the soap dispensers) in the public toilets. It seems that the manufacturers of these devices were not Olympics commercial sponsors. Thus, to protect the interests of the genuine commercial sponsors, the brand names on these devices have been taped-over - to ensure that no non-sponsors gain commercial benefits from the event !!

It was encouraging to see the crowds on the beaches at Weymouth watching the sailing events. The hope is that this will inspire the UK population to take up sports and become more active. There seems a lot of effort being put into increasing public participation is sport (though it looks like tis is not to be backed-up with money). Many are worried about what (in the UK) is called "The Wimbledon Effect" - where every year after Wimbledon Tennis Championship half the population gets out their Tennis racquets and two weeks later put them away; basically a short-lived interest that dies once the TV coverage drops below 90% air-time.

But as somebody living in the UK I now consider that the Olympics is not what it should be. It seems to have evolved way beyond a sporting competition to being a exhibition of national pride that has ever less and less to do with the sports. For example, what has the "Opening Ceremony" got to do with sports. In what way does the song and dance routine got to do with any of the sporting competitions ? In the UK we had months of the Olympic flame being carried round the country (with 8000 torch carriers, each getting their torch which cost £200 each!). The "flame from Greece" was actually started to add a bit of spectacle to the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin - so what has this to do with a sporting competition ? In the Laser class it seems likely that a few races held every 4 years are restricting the availability/development of a new sail - something many believe is a major impact on the class (e.g. through driving people to 3rd party sails or giving the boat a "reputation" ...).

I have found is surprising when some competitor appears on TV completely dejected because they missed a medal only coming 4th. I consider that being 4th in the world pretty good and that this medal/non-medal threshold seems totally daft and has little to do with achievement. And when countries have medal targets and tallies, rankings by country/per head of population/by country GDP/etc..

So I do question whether the Olympics actually helps or hinders sporting overall.

Ian
 
#70
After the fantastic coverage of the America's Cup, I was really hoping for that quality of coverage for the Olympics. I don't have Foxtel, the local pub has it but is shut at 11om when the sailing starts. The only race screened free-to-air in Aus so far has been the Laser medal race. Why aren't replays provided online, & can't the tracking can't be streamed live? Seems like corporate $ have completely ruined the event by blocking proper coverage. Frustrating to trying to follow races by reading lines of text on the internet. Let's hope there's a DVD of it all to watch later.

Best sites to follow the Olympic sailing action:
- commentary stream at: http://live.2012.sailing.org/Event/I...c_Sailing_Blog
- live order and timing of boats rounding buoys and finishing, click "LIVE" in middle of screen: http://www.london2012.com/sailing/
- a live picture every few minutes at http://new.livestream.com/yachtingwo...c-sailing-2012

HUGE thanks to Finn Murphy, posting under @Annalise_Murphy on Twitter; brilliant commentary during the Laser Radials heats.
 
#71
After the fantastic coverage of the America's Cup, I was really hoping for that quality of coverage for the Olympics. I don't have Foxtel, the local pub has it but is shut at 11om when the sailing starts. The only race screened free-to-air in Aus so far has been the Laser medal race. Why aren't replays provided online, & can't the tracking can't be streamed live? Seems like corporate $ have completely ruined the event by blocking proper coverage. Frustrating to trying to follow races by reading lines of text on the internet. Let's hope there's a DVD of it all to watch later.

Best sites to follow the Olympic sailing action:
- commentary stream at: http://live.2012.sailing.org/Event/I...c_Sailing_Blog
- live order and timing of boats rounding buoys and finishing, click "LIVE" in middle of screen: http://www.london2012.com/sailing/
- a live picture every few minutes at http://new.livestream.com/yachtingwo...c-sailing-2012

HUGE thanks to Finn Murphy, posting under @Annalise_Murphy on Twitter; brilliant commentary during the Laser Radials heats.

I just looked at some of the still photos of the Laser competition and I have a few questions. What are the white things mounted on the deck in front of the mast on most or all of the boats? And what are all those things that are attached to the front of the mast below the sail? They look like hand held radios which I thought were illegal in the Laser class.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#72
The white boxes on the deck were the cameras. The items mounted on the mast were the GPS trackers also used in the coverage.
 
#73
The white boxes on the deck were the cameras. The items mounted on the mast were the GPS trackers also used in the coverage.
Thanks. Since I did not see any of the video coverage I did not think of those things. Now that I know they had deck mounted cameras I really want to see the video.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#75
Write-up on the USA Olympic effort in sailing.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20120809/us-sailing-olympic-failure/

US Sailing under review after Americans fail to win Olympic medal

WEYMOUTH, England (AP) -- Sail on, sailor?

Not if you're an American Olympian.

The last U.S. skipper who had a chance to medal in sailing at the London Olympics fought back tears when she failed to advance out of the knockout round.

While Anna Tunnicliffe wiped her eyes, U.S. Sailing officials on both sides of the Atlantic had blunt assessments and promised an extensive review of their program after the Americans failed to win a medal for the first time since the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

"This is not the distinction this team was going for," said Dean Brenner, the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. "Listen, there's no hiding. There's no way to spin it. There's no way to suggest anything other than we didn't perform."

U.S. Sailing President Gary Jobson, who spent a week watching the games before returning to Annapolis, Md., was equally blunt, calling the failure to medal "a heck of a wake-up call."

"In essence, we weren't competitive in any class," Jobson told The Associated Press by phone.

"I was a little surprised, and, like all American sailors, disappointed," Jobson said. "The question for me is, what do we do about it? I can't predict how the review will go, but I can tell you it's going to be thorough. This isn't going to stand long-term."

The U.S. has won 59 Olympic sailing medals, the most of any nation, although its 19 gold medals trail Britain's 26.

Among America's sailing gold medalists are Lowell North, who founded North Sails; Buddy Melges, who co-skippered the winning sloop in the 1992 America's Cup; and Mark Reynolds, a San Diego sailmaker and four-time Olympian who won two golds and a silver in the venerable Star class. Another four-time Olympian and three-time medalist, Paul Foerster, capped his Olympic career with a gold in 2004.

Mr. America's Cup himself, Dennis Conner, won a bronze medal in 1976.

This time, there will be none.

Tunnicliffe, who was born in England and moved to the U.S. when she was 12, was among the favorites in women's match racing after she won the Laser Radial gold medal in 2008. But she and crew members Debbie Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer lost to Finland in the quarterfinals on Wednesday and can't finish better than fifth.

"We sailed this whole regatta the best we could and it just wasn't meant to be," Tunnicliffe said.

The Americans fell behind 0-2 when the best-of-five quarterfinals began Tuesday. When they resumed Wednesday, the Americans beat Finland in the third flight to remain alive, but lost the fourth flight by two seconds.

The two crews had trained together.

"It works both ways, right?" Tunnicliffe said when asked if the Finnish crew knew the American tendencies too well. "We know them and they know us. Our ultimate goal was to come in here and go into the finals against each other and duke it out on the track. Unfortunately we met in the quarters instead of the finals. Someone has to go home out of the quarters, and it was us."

While other countries are better-funded - Britain's strong team gets money from the national lottery - both Brenner and Jobson said money was not a problem for the U.S.

"Clearly there are some things in our performance program that need a look," Brenner said.

"I don't think we had speed," Jobson said. "We weren't fast."

In the nine classes that use a fleet-racing format, Americans reached the medals races in only three.

Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih finished seventh overall in the Star, and Paige Railey finished eighth overall in Laser Radial. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan have reached the 470 medals race but can't reach the podium.

Zach Railey, the 2008 Finn silver medalist, finished 12th and missed the medals race.

Jobson also said the U.S. might need to rethink the way it picked the team. Except for women's match racing, the trials were scrapped and the team was picked based on performances at world championships and Olympic-class regattas, like other countries do.

Jobson said that will be reviewed. He also said U.S. Sailing needs to attract more young sailors.

The United States won medals in all seven classes in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, which were boycotted by Eastern-bloc countries. After winning nine medals in Barcelona in 1992, the Americans won only two bronzes in home waters in 1996 before rebounding to win four at Sydney, including Reynolds' second gold in the Star. They won two each in Athens and Beijing.

"I think the turnaround is under way," Brenner said. "And I can tell you my debrief with our board of directors, with our sailing committee, with our athletes, is going to take two tones. One of them is we've got to dig into these results because it's completely unacceptable.

"But I'm also going to firmly state that there's a lot of things in the house that are right. And this doesn't change that. On event doesn't change eight years of progress. You wouldn't undo a lot of the things that we've done. I'd like to undo the last two weeks, but you can't do that. I think it's a long-term turnaround. Patience is required."
 
#76
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