With just one point separating them going into the medal race,
the gold medal was down to who beat who. Nick Dempsey (GBR)
and JP Tobin (NZL) went for it from the gun. The pair were locked
together fighting for supremacy round the course.
This was the thrilling climax to the RS:X men's windsurfing series at the Skandia Sail For Gold. The war had gone on all week. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) had his chances and sailed brilliantly in the breeze but lost his way in the crucial final stages. For me, the amazing thing was that this was just a three way fight.
Juline Bontemps (FRA) and Tom Ashley (NZL) who both medalled in China could not put a consistently top placed finishes together and Shahar Zubari (ISR) could only manage 16th. On the plus side, Zac Plavsic (CAN) and Taehoon Lee (KOR) showed what they were made of in heavy air but failed to strike for home when in went lighter.
Here's what Nick said in rounding out his best performance since he won the 2009 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships here in Weymouth...
" It feels brilliant. We’ve had some pretty similar conditions most days so it’s been immensely tight. JP (Tobin) and Dorian (van Rijsselberge) have been sailing amazingly, so I couldn’t really put a foot wrong as they made it very difficult. But to finish off like that was amazing. That race is kind of what it’s been like all week, so it’s been tough but it’s a really good result.
It’s been a tough week but it could have been harder physically. The body’s in one piece, the mind’s just about in one piece. I feel good and I’m looking forward to the next six weeks’ training and to doing the same again."
Over in the RS:X Women's windsurfing fleet, the gold was decided between Poland’s Zofia Klepacka and Spain’s Marina Alabau - on equal points heading into the medal race. This was just as tight on paper as it was in the men's race. It went to Alabau who put in a solid second place behind Bryony Shaw (GBR).
Klepacka came home in sixth to take silver. The bronze went to Lee Korzits (ISR), who beat Maja Dziarnowska (POL) by the one place she needed to get third – the pair were last and second to last!
The storming performance from the bronze medallist in Beijing - Bryony Shaw was too little too late. She just couldn't put a challenge earlier in the week so never really threatened the front runners. She must have been disappointed not to be able to match the brilliance of Demspey.
Here's what Marina said having picked up her medal and maybe even the psychological advantage when it comes to the selection for 2012...
"The conditions were perfect today, we had really nice wind and sun so it was just perfect. I think today was about 15 knots and I feel really confident with these conditions so it was good. This was the first selection event for the Olympics and also the selection for the Pre-Olympics so that here in Weymouth and Portland is my next big event. I’m really happy to have won a few points in front of Blanca (Machon). I love Weymouth, I won the World Championships here two years ago so this was my second event I won here in Weymouth. I feel very confident - the wind is really nice."
RS:X Men After Medal Race
1. GBR 1 – DEMPSEY Nick (28pts)
2. NZL 151 – TOBIN Jp (29pts)
3. NED 8 – VAN RIJSSELBERGE Dorian (40pts)
RS:X Women After Medal Race
1. ESP 5 - ALABAU Marina (37pts)
2. POL 8 – KLEPACKA Zofia (45pts)
3. ISR 1111 – KORZITS Lee (66pts)