Friday, July 27, 2012

Laser Girls Kick Ass

If it's easy to pick the favorites in the Finn and Laser classes at the Olympics this year, it's impossible to be so definite about the women in the Laser Radial event. There's a fairly large group of ladies who have been doing well in all the big international regattas over the last year, but no single sailor has been dominating the Radial class the way that Big Ben and Slingo have doing in the Finns and Lasers.

There's Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands who was the 2011 World Champion, but couldn't do better than fifth at this year's Worlds and Sail for Gold.

Marit Bouwmeester

There's Evi Van Acker from Belgium who was second to Marit at the 2011 Worlds, and who has been in the top three at pretty well very major event she has sailed in the last year. But she slipped to sixth at Sail for Gold in Weymouth last month.

Evi Van Acker

And you can never ignore Lijia Xu from China, the Olympic bronze medallist in 2008, second in this year's Worlds, and the winner in major regattas at Miami, Hyeres and Melbourne in the last year.

Lijia Xu

The Olympic silver medalist from 2008 is also returning this year. Gintare Volungeviciute Scheidt from Lithuania won the 2012 World Championship in Germany a couple of months ago. And if that last name sounds familiar, yes she is also Mrs Robert Scheidt, so she probably gets lots of Laser go-faster tips in her pillow talk.

Gintare Volungeviciute Scheidt

The gold medalist in the Radials in 2008 was, of course, Anna Tunnicliffe who is representing the USA as part of the women's match racing team this year.  Judging by this photo from the ESPN The Magazine: Bodies We Want 2012 feature, Anna is still pretty hot in a Radial.

Anna Tunnicliffe

Sari Multala of Finland is one of the most experienced sailors in the fleet. She was fifth in the women's singlehanded class at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics, Radial World Champion in 2009 and 2010, and is definitely on form again this year with a third at the Worlds and second at Sail for Gold.

Sari Multala

Update: July 28. The original photo I posted was not of Sari Multala and has been replaced by the one above..

And let's not forget Alison Young of Great Britain who took first place at Sail for Gold in Weymouth last month. Maybe she has peaked at just the right time?

Alison Young

Pause for patriotic singing of God Save the Queen and frenzied chants of "GBR GBR GBR!"


Paige Railey of USA may not have had quite the stellar results in the last year or so as the women above, but look at this face. Wow! Does she want it bad? Do not underestimate this lady.

Paige Railey

And there are a few other I could mention, like Annalise Murphy of Ireland And Krystal Weir of Australia, who probably also have a good shot at a medal this year.

It's going to be interesting...


JP said...

Go, Alison, go!!

My new friends from Denmark would no doubt suggest adding to the list Alberte Lindberg

Tillerman said...

Alberte Lindberg is currently ranked 21 among women Laser Radial sailors worldwide. She might surprise us.

kiwiyates said...

You always forget the Kiwis - Sara Winthers(ranked 25th)and a couple of others. Also, I just picked this off the Yahoo site about sailing:
"Sailing competitions may not receive as much TV airtime as other Olympic sports such as basketball or gymnastics, but more athletes participate in sailing than many other sports that will be contested at the 2012 Summer Olympics. It is one of the oldest modern Olympic sports. Medals for sailing (or yachting as it was originally called) were first awarded at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris.

A total of 380 athletes from 57 nations qualified to compete in 10 individual and team sailing categories at London. Each country can enter one boat per category. Only New Zealand, France and the United States have qualified athletes in all 10 categories."
GO KIWIS!!!!!!!!!

Tillerman said...

Sorry Mr. Kiwiyates for overlooking Ms Winthers.

So which sailor on the NZ team has the best chance of winning a sailing medal, do you think?


Anonymous said...

Laser sailing helps you to stay young, but the picture of Sari Multala is actually Emilia Pikkarainen, a Finnish swimmer. She was 7 years old when Multala sailed in Sydney Olympics...

Tillerman said...

Oops. Sorry about that. That's what comes from taking an image off a site written in a language I don't read (Finnish.)

bonnie said...

I still can't look at that picture of Paige Railey without thinking of the mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean Part 27 (or whatever it was).

bonnie said...

Got to watch a little radical radial racing this morning. Annalise Murphy kicked a little bundún, she did!

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