Today the Finns sailed inside the bay under the bridge. Giles Scott looked tense ashore, but sailed hard and very clean, same like Vasilij Zbogar, no risks taken. He won the day and he is now sixteen points ahead of Vasilji. Vasco had a solid day with a 5-4 and is nine points clear of Jake Lilley, the ultra fit and strong australian sailing really well today. He is now sitting in bronze medal position. PJ Potsma, after a disastrous first race, won the second one. Now he is with Ivan Gaspic only six points behind Jake… and two more races and the double poimter medal race missing.
Racing got ultra close, pumping brutal, downwind hearthrate around 180 all the time, execept for magic Vasco, at his age he is not over 170, but bloody hell he sailed well for one old rooster. My beloved Zsombor Berecz believed in the right but went there too early and the geographical bent had the better of him. He is now fallen back to 8, but he will not give up, a bad day after the rest day can happen, that is why in pro cycling team Tinkoff goes riding even on the day off, but that was a bit too much asking after the two terrible days offshore. Facundo Olezza, the rookie from Argentina, had two magic ones, but in the first one he fell of the boat while tacking, he was quick to get back in but in just a few sec eight bots got past him. In the second race in 14 knots the hypercative jury jellow flagged him upwind.
So some sort of all time first in the Finn, in the good old days jury members at major championship had to be past Finn sailors. The Finn is too brutal to be something for judges to know and master and so a litteral reading of the rules is causing sailors a lot of headaches. The good old rules of the experienced sailor were not too bad, even if I am sure judges really think they are doing their best and, rules in hand, they might think they are doing no wrong and probabkly they are right, but if rookie Facundo, that is ten kgs lighter than average here, does not fight upwind he can as well go home. Sailing the Finn would make them know about the loads and the behaviour of the mighty craft. Yesterday I had a talk with events committee chairman Pablo Masseroni. He was sharing the view that rule 42 had to be canned out full stop. I am not so sure, but what I am sure of is that experieced sailors in the class and much more moderate penalties are the way forward.
Though it is kind of human as you are there on a rib, it is at the Olympic Games, you have your yellow flag in your hand, you see two flicks of the leech and you flag, rules tell you to do that even if they require repeated actions, did the sailor bounce just because the pain of hiking was so extreme in his legs that were burning like hell. Judges will never know how extrardinary hard it is to hike for so long and that a bounce more then making you faster just releaves the pain for a bit. As they never sailed they don’t even come close to understand the physical effort and the pain, and off you go 14 knots upwind the flag, so even for king Giles Scott the route to glory can be at risk. One random flag could be very costly, as he already has one, why don’t judges hike for a couple of minutes on a hiking bench just to understand what is all about and try to do that without the odd bounce? I tell you why, they could not even hike for twenty seconds like that.
Rules have to be improoved, if free pumping downwind we need to have no judges even upwind or this kind of split scenario will be possible. I got flagged once in 25 knots in Medemblik going upwind by the odd hyperactive judge when i was just trying to survive. But those were the good old days, my nick name was Mad Luca, i just pointed my bow to the harbour and ciao amigos. It was just training for me.
I was against then to upwind flagging in more than ten knots, I am against today, actually I think that this flagging is bad for the sport. This way leads sailors to hate judges, in the old days to be a champion you needed to know the rules and know how to file a protest and defend your case and respect the judges. The traditional value of having to interact with a Jury unvaluable, and important all life long. Today with this far west type style, you moove I shoot, we loose all the educational part of the sport, so something to add to the brilliant writing by Jonas, but on that we will think and write more once the Games will be over.