Olympic Logbook. Day Eleventh

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All 2 weeks of the sailing Olympics itBoat maintains «logbook», telling about the main events and achievements of each day.

Yesterday at the Olympic regatta the quarter-finals in women's match race, the only discipline in which we still have a hope of success, finished. Of course, the Russian crew's races were in the focus of attention of all our fans by Ekaterina Skudina.. Recall, the day before yesterday she had tied the first two flights with the British Lucy MacGregor. «1 to 1, and today she had to start with a clean slate». The fight in the quarter-finals is down to three wins, which was to determine who would advance to the semi-finals against the winner of the France-Spain pairing.
The situation was complicated for several reasons: first of all, the British competed at home on their home waters and were very well motivated and supported by their fans. Secondly
, formally (according to the rating) they were stronger than our crew.

Third, one of our girls entered the race with a serious injury.

Ekaterina Oblova broke her nose in the first flyteam, right after the race she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
While the Russian and British crews were preparing for their flyts the other contestants of the quarter-final pairs sorted themselves out. «The contest was relatively easy: neither of the duos completed» of five flyts and three victories were obtained much earlier: the Spaniards blankly edged out the French with 3:The French were the first team to defeat our girls in a round-robin duel, the Finns beat the world's top-ranked American Ann Tanncliffe (no need to write about yourself early in the Net to announce that you are already an Olympic medallist!) 3-1, the Australians expectedly beat the Dutch with the same score.
«Well, here come the two tanks, the two queens» - the Russian and British crews go into the distance. A fierce pre-start fight ensues, McGregor acts aggressively and assertively, she almost manages to push Scudina to the false start. Katya is forced to turn away, losing position and speed. She missed the starting line, she was three-four corners behind the British - despite all her efforts, she couldn't gain the victory, the British gained 2-1 lead and were one step away from reaching the semi-finals.
By the fourth fly, which could have been a decisive one, Katya pulled herself together, but still lost the whole distance, hanging on the transom of the British boat. The race was incredibly difficult, several times it seemed that all was lost. The yachts were neck and neck at the finish line and by some miracle, they were ahead of McGregor by only a few centimeters! Her spinnaker nose crossed the finish line first. The score was now even again.
The fifth heat heat made the fans even more nervous. Having won the start and having taken the right leeward position on the right tack at the very left end of the starting line, Katya let the Britons go to the right side of the course a few seconds after the start.

The British boat turned to the right and sailed freely, not controlled by our crew - an obvious tactical miscalculation.

It was clearly visible that on the right-hand side the British accelerated and gained an advantage, which they realised when the yachts converged on the counter-gauges: the British brought Skudina half a length. Once again the Russian crew was in the catching-up position. This fly by highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian team. The Russian girls were way behind on tacking, losing out on speed and turn in turn. Their strong points were seamless spinnaker lifting (Britain could not offer anything to Russia in this regard) and good sailing ability with full blades.
Our team was lucky - having lost all the top marks, Skudina easily caught up with McGregor on the last foredeck, blocked the wind, came forward and won easily! The score was 3:2 - and our girls are going to the semifinals? No way!

In violation of all the rules of sailing races British girls filed a protest... to the results of the flytest No.4!

First there is an agonizing trial as to whether they have the right to lodge such a protest - in the end, the protest is accepted. Then follows its review, and there are agonizing minutes during which everyone is in the dark. Finally, the protest is rejected and the Russian crew qualifies to the semi-final where they will compete with the Spanish crew. The action is due to take place on Friday. The Russian skiers beat the hosts twice - both on the course and in the protest committee - and dealt the proud Albionians a sensible blow.

«Certainly, it was not the demise of the notorious» light cavalry brigade, which we do not get tired of remembering for a hundred and fifty years, but something similar reeked in the air.

Yesterday there was a medal race in the 49er class (alas, Russian crews did not get an Olympic license in this class). No sensation happened here - Australian crew of Nathan Outerridge. Jan Jensen's Australian crew became the Olympic champion.
The main part of the regatta in women's 470 (where our crew is also not present) was also completed. Here we can see the intrigue: New Zealand and Great Britain teams led by Joe Ale and Hannah Mills have equal scores of 33 points each. Thus, we can expect another «match-rac»e in the medal race on Friday .

Live broadcasts of the sailing races (although without commentary) can be found on Sportbox,all the races and results on the ISAF website, and a daily report on the performances of the Russian team on the VFSwebsite.

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