The Olympic wind gods held their breath, and then seemingly exhaled all at once. First there was too little wind, and then too much. Thus some events were postponed.
RIO DE JANEIRO – The Olympic wind gods held their breath, and then seemingly exhaled all at once.
First there was too little wind, and then too much.
Almost as if someone had flipped a switch, a strong wind from the southwest blew across the Rio de Janeiro Games sailing courses late Monday afternoon, causing mayhem and postponing the medal race in the women’s Laser Radial.
On the other hand, the women’s 49erFX fleet got in three races.
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Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez and Berta Betanzos Moro went 4-1-1 to take a four-point lead over New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech. It is another point back to Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze.
Dominguez said a number of 49erFX skiffs capsized, but not hers.
“Our coach told us to put our main down as fast as possible,” she said.
Helena Scutt of Kirkland and Paris Henken of Coronado, Calif., went 11-8-8 to stay in the hunt for a berth in the medal race. They are in ninth place, 34 points behind the leaders.
“Personally, I’m having a ton of fun,” Scutt told US Sailing. “It’s really competitive racing and we’ve had some fun conditions. I think (in terms of) the stress, we’ve just been rolling with it.
“We’re really strong as a team and it’s showing in the results.”
Henken said, “It would be super cool to make the medal race at the Games.”
Some boats swamped on the ocean courses and even on Guanabara Bay, where the Laser Radial fleet hoped to get in its medal race before officials decided it was too windy. It was postponed until Tuesday.
The fleet was scheduled to sail at 1 p.m., followed by the men’s Laser at 2. Both fleets stayed on the beach for several hours because there was no wind. The men’s race was postponed until Tuesday, and the women’s race was on the cusp of being postponed when the wind rose.
The boats went out into the whitecaps. But with gusts hitting 29 mph, officials called it off.
“Everybody expected it for tonight so it came a bit early,” said Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands, who has an eight-point lead and is looking to upgrade the silver medal she won at the 2012 London Olympics.
“We’re used to it that we get postponed and wait for wind, but I think nobody thought we’d actually get canceled by too much wind, so that’s quite funny.”