Our favourite Star team sailing at Skandia had a tough medal race. Going into the finale, they were 4th overall, and just a point back from the podium. Winds built to a 20-23 knots, potentially mast-breaking on the Star. Having broken the tiller after a rough jibe, Clarke and Bjorn scored a DNF. They were already having a bad race, but not finishing the medal race dropped them to 7th overall. Hey, that is still a fantastic score, but obviously when chances are high for a podium finish, it must be painfully disappointing.
Richard Clarke wrote on his blog, "We were not having the best race anyway, we are bloody quick in a straight line but out boat handling in strong winds on the short course needs dramatic improvement. We embarrassed ourselves at the turns and our gybes were not pretty either, the tiller probably broke because I was having to correct a bad maneuver. Again we have found another hole to plug, this one just takes a few hours of boat handling every couple of days to iron out. We are angry and motivated to get better."
Still, come on guys! Finishing in the single digits, ahead of some of the most extraordinary sailors in the world, after a medal race break down and DNF, is a spectacular accomplishment. An Olympic medal may be both an uphill target and realizable, but Clarke and Bjorn are knocking on the door.
Legendary Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada had a superb medal race to take the whole regatta.
STAR Podium After Medal Race
1. BRA 8255- SCHEIDT Robert / PRADA Bruno (38pts)
2. SWE 8450- LOOF Fredrik / SALMINEN Max (44pts)
3. ITA 8266- NEGRI Diego / VOLTOLINI Enrico (72pts)