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Olympic Sailing 2008 – Team Tactics

For most sailors, the Olympics is one shot in an entire life, a unmarried possibility for carrying immortality. As Vangelis’s subject for Chariots of Fire begins chiming thru their heads, it’s small marvel that a few athletes begin making decisions some weeks out from the Games that look brave at pleasant, or just undeniable barmy.

French 470 sailor Ingrid Petitjean has been a everyday medallist in World Championships and different ISAF Grade 1 occasions in latest years. She goes to Qingdao as one of the medal favourites, or she could if she turned into going there along with her longstanding group Nadege Douroux. However, with simply more than one months to go, she has taken up as an alternative with a smaller and lighter alternative inside the form of Gwendolyn Lemaitre. Now, Lemaitre is no 2d-fee sailor. She has completed ninth in the World Championships, but she has never medalled in a main occasion.

So what is Petitjean questioning? Probably that it’ll be light and fluffy in Qingdao. But to change your crew at such a overdue stage seems like the first signs of Olympic insanity. Certainly different 470 women’s crews are searching at each other in disbelief, wondering that their personal medal possibilities have improved barely.

Such bouts of crazed wondering (or inspired wondering, if Petitjean finally ends up triumphing) are not uncommon in the weeks main as much as the Games, as sailors look for that magic bullet that could spell the difference between immortality and ignominy. And with the expected drifting conditions in Qingdao, there’s in no way been a more tempting venue for putting all your chips on one variety of the roulette wheel. As British Yngling educate Paul Brotherton says: “Qingdao is a exceptional venue for going down that course. If I became an outdoor risk for a medal, I’d flip up with silk sails, a spaghetti mast and a couple of Jack Russells in the boat.”

However, as educate to Sarah Ayton’s World No 1 crew, Brotherton is tasked with ensuring his team are equipped for any eventuality, together with the prospect of there really being a few wind in China. Ayton and her team pals Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson have been selected for Great Britain the excellent part of a yr in the past – tons to Shirley Robertson’s disgust, you may keep in mind.

The Dutch Yngling group, on the other hand, will no longer be acknowledged till exactly one month before the Olympics. For the beyond 3 years, the Dutch Sailing Federation has supported 9 sailors and rotated them via three boats, trying different combinations of group within the look for the best trio. Those 3 sailors will understand who they’re on eight July and, whilst they possible could have sailed together earlier than, this may be the primary time they may be able to paintings together within the know-how that they’re going to the UFABET Games.

It’s a fascinating experiment and one which the rest of the Olympic crusing international is looking closely. Brotherton stays skeptical. He wonders whether or not they’ll have recovered in time from the pleasure of being selected to virtually consciousness on the activity in hand. “Talking from the factor of view of our girls, I’m thrilled they have had the time to recover and put together for the Games. When you get the telephone name it is an tremendous remedy to recognize you are going, but it takes time to recover from that. I’m now not positive the Dutch ladies may have the time with a view to do this.”

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