August 15, 2016 (edited on the 16th)
US Sailing, our country’s organization for sailboat racing, announced yesterday that things were looking good for Team US on the Olympic sailing front. “Five sailors are in the top 10.”
That’s lame! Guess we suck at sailing this time…
Well, it’s lame for us in the historical scheme of things. We have tended to be the country to beat. But the rest of the world is getting more competitive in the sport, which is a good thing.
There are numerous sailing classes for both men and women in the Olympics. They range from the RS:X sailboard (‘windsurfer’) to the Star class double handed keelboat. Most boats are boardboats. Right now only the Star class has a keel.
( – aside: there was a Star fleet at the Stuyvesant Yacht Club on City Island for decades. They dry-sailed them. This writer got on one for a few races a long time ago when a skipper needed a crew. That’s some hard-core boat! But like many pedigree platforms, it can be sailed on a more casual than Olympic basis and still be enjoyable.)
So; who’s good from the good ‘ol USA..
Womens 470: Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, currently in second place!..
Finn: Caleb Paine, 4th place, 5 points out of Bronze so could medal…
Kudos to Great Britain’s Giles Scott, who has already clinched the gold. The medal race is on Tuesday, limited to the top 10 contenders, so this is definitely worth watching. Easier to follow than the whole fleet. Cheer Caleb Paine on to Bronze!
Brazilian hometown favorite Robert Scheidt was doing very well in the Laser class. He was second for awhile in the standings, but disappointing finishes in later races dropped him down. Scheidt is one of the winningest sailors in Olympic history, with 5 Olympic Medals in the sport. He’s taken two gold, two silver, and a bronze, and these are spread out over two totally different classes: the singlehanded Laser dinghy, and the doublehanded Star keelboat. That’s very impressive in my log book. In fact, I can’t think of a better Olympic sailing record. Super kudos!
And then there’s his wife! Gintarė Scheidt (Gintarė Volungevičiūtė-Scheidt) represents Lithuania in sailing. The two met at a training event and later got married. Gintaré was Lithuania’s standard bearer for the opening ceremonies. The two live with their children in Italy.
So… if we’re not exactly the standard setters this time, which countries are sailing more consistently?
Britain, and France. They’re solidly in the top ten in almost every event. As mentioned, Giles Scott had the Finn Gold wrapped up before the final race. France medaled in both mens and women’s RS:X sailboard events, so that’s impressive.
Want to watch replays and be ready to stream live when racing resumes (probably on midday, Tuesday August 16)? Here you go…
(update: NBC’s replay links are currently just saying “Coverage has concluded” for days 10 and 11. Lame. But maybe that’ll sort itself out.)
This is the link for racing on Sunday. Monday saw poor conditions with a lot of cancellations, and the replay seems to not be available for anything they did air. But you can edit the number “8” in your browser and substitute anything smaller, and you’ll get the replays for that day’s racing. Very hard to find otherwise. Footage is excellent. It’s mostly real video, with occasional graphic race course overlays. Sometimes they give real-time graphic renditions of the fleet instead.
You’ll probably have to sign in with your cable provider the first time but then be good to go.
Want results and schedules?
Shortly after it says Schedule and Results in bold, you’ll see a list of all the sailing classes for men, women, and the one mixed class – the Nacra catamaran. There you can choose the class whose standings you want to see. Or, further down, you can browse by calendar date for individual race results or to see what’s coming up when starting Tuesday the 16th.
The Olympics home page for sailing, in case you like that better. Variety & options…