Wadlow and Spaulding's Game Plan Takes a Hit

Olympic0818
Stuart Streuli

ATHENS--Consistency is a primary part of Tim Wadlow and Pete Spaulding's game plan for the 2004 Olympic 49er regatta. "I think the regatta's about averaging a low score," said Spaulding. "It's not about winning races. It's about being in the top five, top six consistently." For the first three races of the regatta, Wadlow and Spaulding stuck to their plan, recording a seventh, an eighth, and a fifth. Not as good as they'd like, but they avoided the bad result. The fourth race, however, didn't follow suit as they were over the line early, one of four boats that were picked out of an aggressive mid-line pack. None returned to start correctly. "As the gun went off we heard the individual recall," says Wadlow. "We knew we were pushing it, but other guys around us were pushing harder and we thought we were covered." The unfortunate irony of the situation was that the start was not a stellar one. They tacked to port and took a number of transoms soon after the gun. But in the building sea breeze, which was comfortably into double digits. they used their speed to vault into fourth by the time they rounded the windward mark and were told by the judge boat that they were over the line early and had to cease racing. With 16 races schedule and two throw outs, it's far from a fatal blow for the U.S. 49er team, which entered the regatta as a medal contender after finishing fifth at the 2004 49er Worlds in Athens earlier this year. "We've got to stay aggressive on the starting line," said Wadlow. "We're feeling confident. We haven't gotten off the line well in any of the races and we've been able to climb back." Heading into today's racing, consistency hadn't been Meg Gaillard's problem. With finishes between ninth and 13th in her first four races, the U.S. Europe sailor had been as consistent as anyone on the U.S. team. But to move into medal contention, she needed to start putting together top-five results. Today she did just that, finishing third in the opening race. She slipped back to 13th in the second, but with many of the top sailors struggling to score consistent finishes, Gaillard finds herself in eighth, 14 points out of the medals, after six races. "I had a bad start and tacked off to the right," said Gaillard of the first race. "There was a little bit of breeze coming down the center of the course and I got in a nice shift and waited for the next shift and it was easy, like it's supposed to be." The next race, however, wasn't. "I think I wasn't set up quite right and I just didn't have a very good lane," she said, adding that her mast position didn't seem to where she wanted it for the building breeze. "I had a mediocre start, I was pinched off by the Australian girl." When asked what she needs to do in the final five races, Gaillard was succinct. "Have more races like the first one," she said. For the first time since the opening race of the regatta, the U.S. Yngling trio of Carol Cronin, Liz Filter, and Nancy Haberland had a result to smile about. The won the first race, leading around each mark in a 6- to 8-knot breeze. However, that result was quickly tempered by a disastrous second race. With the breeze building from 10 to 16 knots over the course of the race, Cronin and company struggled, dropping into last for two mark roundings before passing one boat for a 15th. Things were even worse for the U.S. Women's 470 team. After lifting themselves to where they could actually smell medal position, Katie McDowell and Isabelle Kinsolving had their worst day of the regatta, a pair of 18ths. The results dropped them into a four-way tie for 11th with three races remaining. The Men's 470 team of Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham lost a bit of ground on first--they now trail Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield of Great Britain by six points--but enhanced their silver medal position. They are now 23 points ahead of third and 26 points ahead of fourth.   Results of Interest Men's Mistral (34 boards) Peter Wells (USA): (22, 20, 23) 25th Women's Mistral (26 boards) Karla Barrera (PUR): (26, 24, 25, 26) 26th Lanee Beashel (USA): (13, 16, 9, 18) 14th Finn (25 boats) Richard Clarke (CAN): (10, 18, 15, 22, 19, 15, (OCS), 14) 20th Ben Ainslie (GBR): (9, (DSQ), 1, 1, 4, 1, 2, 3) first Dean Barker (NZL): (5, 10, 7, 11, 7, 16, (OCS), 12) ninth Kevin Hall (USA): (11, 6, 13, (17), 16, 14, 13, 9) 15th Europe (25 boats) Meg Gaillard (USA): (9, 11, (13), 9, 3, 13) eighth Laser (42 boats) Robert Scheidt (BRA): (3, (8), 1, 3, 8, 4) second Bernard Luttmer (CAN): (15, 25, 22, 21, 27, (33)) 24th Timothy Pitts (ISV): ((42), 40, 41, 40, 36, 39) 42nd Hamish Pepper (NZL): (24, 9, (26), 11, 9, 5) 12th Mark Mendelblatt (USA): (2, 14, (20), 6, 6, 10) fifth Men's 470 (27 boats) Paul Foerster/Kevin Burnham (USA): (1, 8, 2, 15, 9, 4, 3, 7) second Women's 470 (20 boats) Jen Provan/Nikola Girke (CAN): (4, 13, (17), 11, 12, 7, 2, 20) ninth Katie McDowell/Isabelle Kinsolving (USA): (12, 16, 3, 12, 9, 2, (18), 18) tied on points for 11th 49er (19 boats) Tim Wadlow/Pete Spaulding (USA): (7, 8, 5, OCS) 13th Tornado (17 boats) Oskar Johansson/John Curtis (CAN): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday Enrique Figueroa/Jorge Hernandez (PUR): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree (USA): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday Star (17 boats) Peter Bromby/Lee White (BER): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday Torben Grael/Marcelo Ferreira (BRA): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday Ross MacDonald/Mike Wolfs (CAN): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter (USA): Practice race on Friday, regatta starts Saturday Yngling (16 boats) Paula Lewin/Peta Lewin/Christine Patton (BER): (4, 15, 6, 13, (16), 14, 9, 16) 15th Lisa Ross/Chantal Leger/Deirdre Crampton (CAN): (13, 9, (15), 15, 12, 12, 12, 14) 16th Carol Cronin/Liz Filter/Nancy Haberland (USA): (2, 10, (16), 9, 15, 10, 1, 15) 12th