Club Mission and Vision
Wednesday Night Racing Videos
Racing Photo Gallery
Cruising Photo Gallery
Events & Catering
Listing By State
The AYC Foundation
Post Date: Monday, August 18, 2008
The Race of Their Lives
More news from Gary Jobson at the Olympics.
For the past four years Sally Barkow and her crew Carrie Howe and Deb Capozzi have been single minded in their quest to win a medal for the USA. Going into the medal race on Saturday they stand just one point out of a bronze medal. One point! But they can earn a medal by defeating the Greek team led by Sofia Bekatorou. This will be no small feat. Bekatorou won the Gold medal winner in Athens in the 470 class four years ago. In Greece she is a national hero. At the closing ceremonies in Athens she put the flame out. And to add to the drama for both Barkow and Bekatorou there are four boats all within just five points. France, Russia, China and Australia also have a chance to take the bronze.
With so many boats aiming for that bronze medal, we will not likely see a match race. But this is going to a free for all unlike anything ever seen in sailing. The reason is this is the first time there has been a medal race with double points. Only the top 10 in the fleet qualify. The idea was to make the finale more exciting for viewers and a bigger challenger for the competitors. And guess what, the system is working.
And the story gets better because the top two teams are also one point apart. Great Britain's Sarah Ayton was a crew on the Gold medal team in Athens. She would very much be a rare crew to go on to win a gold as a skipper. But Mandy Mulder of the Netherlands has won three out of 8 races so far, while GBR has yet to win a single heat. We can expect a fierce match race because both are guaranteed a silver medal. But who wants the silver, when a Gold medal is within grasp. So there is going to be great action all over this racecourse.
What the USA trio needs to do is sail their own race, and not try to cover every boat out on the racecourse. This team has been together longer than any on the water, which should be helpful. When the pressure comes on the smartest thing to do is stick with their normal routine. Coach James Lyne will be well aware of this philosophy and do everything in his power to get his team to relax and enjoy the race.
The winds of Qingdao on Fusan Bay are fickle and random. There will be lots of opportunities for lead changes through out the race. Deb, will tape the combinations needed to win on the deck. They have won a race, so they should have confidence that they can pull this big race out. Pressure is tough on competitors, and great theater for those of us who get to watch. Sailing live on the internet is new, but great drama is not. Tell everyone to log on to see which of these talented sailors will find a way to prevail in the biggest race of their lives.
Copyright © 1997-2006. All rights reserved.