Wadlow and Spaulding Move Into Third

Olympic0820

Stuart Streuli

ATHENS--The U.S. 49er team of Tim Wadlow and Peter Spaulding jumped into bronze medal position, and are just three points off the lead, with a spectacular day on the Saronic Gulf. Wadlow and Spaulding, who had been a bit too average during the early part of the regatta, had by far the best performance of the day, scoring just 12 points in three races, 8 points better than the totals produced by any of their 18 competitors in 7- to 11-knot sea breeze on the Saronic Gulf. "We had three good starts," said Wadlow. "The last two races we started at the boat and went right. The second race (today) was the first time we'd done that." Both times they tried the right, they found what they were looking for, rounding the first weather mark in second in Race 2 and first in Race 3. It was a switch from the mid-line starts they'd been aiming for earlier in the regatta. "The starting line is so short, the fleet is so deep," said Wadlow, "when we were starting in the middle we felt like it was a battle and you were fighting tooth and nail trying to get off the starting line. We battled too hard and pushed it over and thought, 'Well, if we're going to battle, maybe we'll start at the end. At least we know where the line is and we won't be over. It sounds simple, but that was part of the thinking." The third race was the first Olympic victory for the pair and it left them thirsting for more, but they're also very cognizant of how competitive this fleet is and how today's heroes can easily find themselves at the back of the pack on Sunday, when the class resumes racing after a lay day. One only has to look at Thursday's leaders, Christoffer Sundby and Frode Bovim of Norway, who dropped to seventh with a 13th, an eighth, and a 15th. "We still have seven races left," said Spaulding. "A lot can happen." While the 49er crew moved into medal position, two other U.S. sailors were eliminated from the medal hunt. Both Mark Mendelblatt and Meg Gaillard entered the day needing a pair of stellar races, and some help from higher placed competitors to move back into medal contention. Neither got what they hoped for. Mendelblatt rebounded from a very difficult day yesterday, where he endured a long delay, five general recalls, and two finishes in the 20s to score a 16th and a sixth. But it wasn't enough. He is tied on points for ninth and could move up a few spots will a solid race on Sunday. Gaillard's day was slightly less successful, a ninth and a 19th dropped her to 13th. A top-10 finish isn't out of the question, but she'll need some help. The Men's Mistral fleet completed two races, finally pulling them even with the Women's Mistral, who only sailed one race. Lanee Beashel's 14th moved her up a spot to 17th in the women's fleet. Peter Wells had a 22nd and a 29th, he's now tied on points for 24th. Tomorrow will feature the gold medal race for the Men's 470, with Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham holding a 2-point edge over Great Britain. Also the Stars and Tornados will finally get their regattas underway. Paul Cayard and Phil Trinter were OCS in a very light practice race, but happy with their speed as they reached the windward mark in second. John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree didn't sail the practice race. After going out once and then returning to the harbor because of no wind they elected not to head back out again. Both teams are medal contenders, both teams are confident of their chances. Results of Interest Men's Mistral (34 boards) Peter Wells (USA): (22, 20, 23, 16, 22, (29)) tied on points for 24th Women's Mistral (26 boards) Karla Barrera (PUR): ((26), 24, 25, 26, 23, 26) 26th Lanee Beashel (USA): (13, 16, 9, (18), 17, 14) 17th Finn (25 boats) Richard Clarke (CAN): (10, 18, 15, 22, 19, 15, (OCS), 14, 8, 11) 20th Ben Ainslie (GBR): (9, (DSQ), 1, 1, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1) first Dean Barker (NZL): (5, 10, 7, 11, 7, 16, (OCS), 12, 19, 20) 13th Kevin Hall (USA): (11, 6, 13, (17), 16, 14, 13, 9, 9, 17) 15th Europe (25 boats) Meg Gaillard (USA): (9, 11, 13, 9, 3, 13, 11 (16), 10) 11th Laser (42 boats) Robert Scheidt (BRA): (3, (8), 1, 3, 8, 4, (19), 12, 7, 3) first Bernard Luttmer (CAN): (15, 25, 22, 21, 27, 33, 31, (DNF), 9, 33) 28th Timothy Pitts (ISV): ((42), 40, 41, 40, 36, 39, 37, 34, 35, 42) 41st Hamish Pepper (NZL): (24, 9, 26, 11, 9, 5, 13, 3, (DNF), 2) tied on points for ninth Mark Mendelblatt (USA): (2, 14, 20, 6, 6, 10, (29), 22, 16. 6) tied on points for ninth Men's 470 (27 boats) Paul Foerster/Kevin Burnham (USA): (1, 8, 2, 15, 9, 4, 3, 7, (18), 4) first Women's 470 (20 boats) Jen Provan/Nikola Girke (CAN): (4, 13, 17, 11, 12, 7, 2, 29, 6, (20)) 10th Katie McDowell/Isabelle Kinsolving (USA): (12, 16, 3, 12, 9, 2, (18), 17, 8, 1) sixth 49er (19 boats) Tim Wadlow/Pete Spaulding (USA): (7, 8, 5, (OCS), 9, 9, 8, 3, 1) third Tornado (17 boats) Oskar Johansson/John Curtis (CAN): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time Enrique Figueroa/Jorge Hernandez (PUR): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree (USA): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time Star (17 boats) Peter Bromby/Lee White (BER): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time Torben Grael/Marcelo Ferreira (BRA): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time Ross MacDonald/Mike Wolfs (CAN): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter (USA): Regatta starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time Yngling (16 boats) Paula Lewin/Peta Lewin/Christine Patton (BER): (4, 15, 6, 13, (16), 14, 9, 16, 16, 11) 16th Lisa Ross/Chantal Leger/Deirdre Crampton (CAN): (13, 9, (15), 15, 12, 12, 12, 14, 15, 2) 15th Carol Cronin/Liz Filter/Nancy Haberland (USA): (2, 10, (16), 9, 15, 10, 1, 15, 7, 1) tied on points for eighth