Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chuck 'Em Out

Let's kick the 49er out of the Olympics. This week's 49er medal race demonstrated once and for all that this fragile little boat is unsuitable for sailing in conditions that other classes would consider as ideal winds for exciting racing.

According to Tim Wadlow of the US 49er team, the race started in 19 knots and 5 foot seas. Woo hoo. Wait for me. Perfect Lasering weather.

Of the 10 boats in the race, 4 were damaged and at one point 7 were capsized. It seems it was one of those races where he who capsized least would win.

DEN started the race almost 5 minutes late in a boat borrowed from CRO, and finished 7th which was enough for them to win the gold medal. Then they were protested for borrowing a boat. Ain't Olympic sailing fun?

The Yanks failed to finish and requested redress saying the race committee shouldn't have started the race. In 19 knots? Ain't 49er sailing fun?

Apparently the race was even terrifying for the spectators. The mother of Chris Rast, Tim's team-mate, wrote this to Scuttlebutt.

I watched in total terror as one boat after the other disappeared into chop and flipped. At one point Mr Jobson asks, "What happened to the USA team? Where is the USA team? Nine out of ten boats are now flipped!" I was sick. Do these conditions qualify putting our loved ones and our friends at risk of losing their lives, let alone the extreme damage done to almost all the boats? Who made the final decision to hold these races that day? It was not a "race"; it was a a survivor training course held in extremely dangerous conditions. Although, I am sorry my son and Tim Wadlow did not finish the race, I feel my fervent prayers were answered as I witnessed this race---both of them made it back to shore alive.
When it's too scary for the Moms to watch it's time to call the whole thing off.

So let's chuck 'em out of the Olympics.


Litoralis said...

I saw that comment from Chris Rast's mother on Scuttlebutt this morning and thought, "Wow, how embarrassing for Mr. Rast." I mean, there he is, an Olympic sailor, and his mother felt like poor little Chris wasn't being properly taken care of out there in the big bad world.

Team Gherkin said...

Sensationally GREAT nosedive photo! Ohhh! Sooo many memories of when I sailed 16-ft skiffs as a teenager in Sydney! hahahaa. Thanks so much!

Pat said...

Hmmm, with the 49er, Tornado, men's 470, and Star, that's about a third of the events in which each boat's crew almost invariably comprised two white men.

Relatively under-represented: women, multihulls, keelboats, crews of three or more, Africa, South and middle America, Asia.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Mrs Rast realize that there were crash/rescue boats around?

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