Sailing, Rio 2016Sunday, August 7, 2016

Will American Sailors Return to the 
Medal Podium?

By Gary Jobson 

After four years of preparation, the United States Sailing Team is ready to take on the best sailors in the world on the waters off Rio de Janeiro. Up until this point media reports about the water pollution have overshadowed the competition. Many eyes will be watching carefully to see if debris in the water has an effect on the teams. At the opening ceremony on Friday night, the anticipation of racing in the Olympics by the sailors was inspiring. When the huge American team came out of the tunnel there was a rousing ovation for all the athletes, including the fifteen USA sailors. Joe Morris, from Annapolis, was in the front row leading the parade. Country flags were carried into the stadium by thirteen sailors. NBC broadcast many cutaways of American athletes throughout the first night of coverage. Many sailors were seen with big smiles taking selfies. It was a night for celebration. Now the hard work starts.

Sailing, Rio 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mental Toughness

By Gary Jobson

Winning Medals in Rio is going to be very hard in the challenging wind conditions off Rio de Janeiro. Day One showed us just how capricious the winds can be on every race course. 

Gintare--LaserRadial-SailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Each day the classes move to a different circle. It will be difficult to master the changing wind patterns from one day to the next. The winds weave around the surrounding mountains and high city buildings. One moment you are sailing in 14 knots of wind, and then suddenly the wind just stops. Every boat experienced emotional highs and lows during the first races in the Lasers, Laser Radials, and Men's and Women's RS:X sailboard classes. To paraphrase former President, Bill Clinton, I could feel the sailors' pain.

Sailing, Rio 2016Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Crazy Sailing

By Gary Jobson

It's only the second day of sailing of this 11-day Olympic Games, and we have learned a lot about sailing on the waters off Rio de Janeiro and the level of competition. After many years of racing, I have learned to avoid drawing early conclusions in any series, but there are several trends that are worth studying.

Nick Dempsey-RSX-GBR-Rio-photo by Sailing Energy / World Sailing

In the five classes that have raced so far, 21 different countries occupy the top five spots. Only Holland, with 3 boats, and Argentina and France, with two boats, have cracked the top tier. The USA has had a few good races, but all five boats are in a major battle to make the Medal Race.

Sailing, Rio 2016Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Crazy Sailing

By Gary Jobson

Paige Railey-LaserRadial-USA-Rio-photobySailing Energy-World Sailing-sm

Mixed gender sailboat racing debuted in the Olympic Games today off Rio de Janeiro with the Nacra 17 multihull class. The wind conditions off Flamingo beach for the speedy cats were bizarre. The race committee did well to get off two races. They spent several hours adjusting the turning marks, and waiting (hoping) for the wind to settle in. The Nacra 17s respond well to the slightest puff of wind, but unfortunately there were many dead zones. Then, a strong gust would suddenly arrive out of nowhere.

Sailing, Rio 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Heartbreak off Rio

By Gary Jobson

Caleb Paine - Finn - USA - Rio - photo by Sailing Energy - World Sailing

Every sailor has been through protest situations. Sometimes you are correct, and other times a decision goes against you. Protest hearings are never fun, but can be a learning experience. Some protests fade from memory quickly, while others haunt you for years.

 

The start of Race Four in the Finn Class was a devastating set back for American Caleb Paine.

Sailing, Rio 2016Friday, August 12, 2016


Emotional Olympic Highs and Lows

By Gary Jobson

081216-49er-Thomas Barrows-Joe Morris - photo by Sailing Energy - World Sailing

There are so many stories taking place on the waters off Rio de Janeiro my head is spinning. Let's start with the exciting debut of the 49er fleet. New Zealand's 2012 Silver Medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and Australia's 2012 Gold Medalists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have been destined for a major showdown. 

Sailing, Rio 2016Saturday, August 13, 2016

Solid Racing off Rio

By Gary Jobson

081316 RIO2016 49erFX-USA-ParisHenken-HelenaScutt2-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

My commentating partner, Randy Smyth and I, called the Laser Men's and 49erFX racing with great interest today. Americans Paris Henken and Helena Scutt opened the regatta yesterday with a below average 13-16-14 in the 20-boat fleet. Henken is 20 years old and the youngest skipper in the class. Scutt is 24. Today their performance improved. Coming off the line in Race 4, the USA crew were in a good position. I wondered whether they would be able to hold on to their lane? 

Sailing, Rio 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Heartbreak off Rio

By Gary Jobson160814 RIO2016 RSX-Mens-Medals-sm

Today was the start of the Medal Race finales in sailing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. There was a long wait for suitable wind to get the racing underway, but once the RS: X Men's and Women's finals started, we were given a real treat. 


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The Gold and Silver Medals were already decided in the men's sailboard. Holland and Great Britain clinched their positions two days ago after their 12-race series. The Bronze Medal was up for grabs.

Sailing, Rio 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

No Wind + Too Much Wind = Frustration

By Gary Jobson

081516 RIO2016 49erFX-USA-Paris Henken-Helena Scutt-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Our sport is hard on itself. Here we are with live coverage of sailing available of the Olympic Games. NBCOlympics.com is taking the International Olympic Committee's live feed. It is a big day, with two scheduled Medal Races in the Women's Laser Radial and the Men's Laser Classes. It is a beautiful day off Rio's Flamingo Beach. The capacity crowd is fully engaged in anticipation of the Medal Race. Most importantly for Brazil, one of its most famous athletes, Robert Scheidt, is in contention to win a record setting sixth medal in sailing. Since 1896 no sailor has won six medals in six consecutive Olympics. Actually, this is unheard of in any sport. The storylines are good. And then, disaster! 

Sailing, Rio 2016Tuesday, August 16, 2016


A Medal for the USA

By Gary Jobson

081616 RIO2016 Finn-USA-Caleb Paine2-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Caleb Paine had a difficult task ahead of him when he woke up this morning. He needed to put two boats between him and Croatia's Ivan Gašpić and beat Max Salminen from Sweden. The two Laser classes had already sailed on the Medal Course off Flamingo Beach that afternoon, and Paine, along with his coach Luther Carpenter, watched carefully. The sea breeze, blowing out of the south, had filled in at 10-12 knots.

Sailing, Rio 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

No Wind off Rio

By Gary Jobson


081716 RIO2016 RaceCommittee-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

For centuries, a sailor's worst nightmare is getting becalmed. The 40 sailors slated to compete in the men's and women's 470 Medal Races spent the day waiting for an afternoon sea breeze that never arrived. At one point the Race Committee sent the women's fleet out to the race course off Flamingo Beach. A few thousand loyal teammates, families, friends and fans dutifully waited. There is a lot at stake. On the women's side, four crews are separated by just four points. 

Sailing, Rio 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Heartbreak off Rio

By Gary Jobson

160818 RIO2016 Womens470-GBR-Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark-photobySailingEnergy-WorldSailing-sm

Legendary television sports announcer Jim McKay captured the essence of the Olympic Games with his iconic words, “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” Both emotions were vividly on display on the final sailing day of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The four Medal Races provided spellbinding stories, with frequent lead changes, inspiring heroics and devastating mistakes. Most sailing takes place on the water with little spectator interest. The Olympic Games are different, thanks to on-board cameras, aerial and water-level images. Cameras around the sailing venue recorded the many emotions. Randy Smyth and I spent three hours commentating the four races.