Guanabara Bay delivered some great sailing conditions to launch the Olympic Sailing Competition today, but it was still very, very tricky out there.
Men’s Windsurfer – RS:X
Nick Dempsey (GBR) could scarcely believe the fairy tale start to his fifth Olympic Games. Just days away from his 36th birthday, the British veteran managed to pick up scores of 1,1,2. The defending Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe couldn’t quite match that level of excellence, but his freshly shaved head wasn’t hurting the Dutchman too much either as he finished the day with ever-improving scores of 5,3,1. Asked why he had shaved his head, as he had done four years earlier at London 2012, he said, “The Olympics are a good excuse to shave my head. Otherwise my wife wouldn’t let me do it.”
Dempsey was rightly pleased with his day. “A perfect start. I was pretty nervous this morning, really nervous. Training has been going really well, sailing fast. I was just nervous about something not going right, but it went so well. In the last race, the breeze dropped a few bombs on the course. It caught a few people out, a few people did well out of it, and I managed to hold on to 2nd, which was probably the best bit of the day.”
The issue of debris in the water has been a big talking point in the build-up to these Games, but Dempsey said, “Today was the best it’s ever been. When you’re winning a race and going fast, the only thing you worry about is another factor, like hitting something in the water, breaking a fin. But it didn’t, the water was fine and it’s a good result for Rio.“
Byron Kokkalanis also sailed very solidly to notch up scores of 2,2,6, and puts him in 3rd overall on equal points with Rijsselberghe.
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