Tough baptism of fire for SA sailing duo | SASCOC - SASCOC

Tough baptism of fire for SA sailing duo

Our sailors are making hard work of their Olympic debut in Weymouth but lapping up the experience in the 470 class, writes Mark Etheridge in London.

The crew of two (Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim) have now got four of 10 races under their belts and have managed an 18th place already in the 27-strong fleet.

Said manager/coach Dave Hudson, from Weymouth: The guys had a very solid first race with a useful 18th on the scoreboard. Unfortunately a bit of pilot error crept in on the third leg of race two.

“They were well placed in the pack after the first couple of miles, right on the tail of the triple World Champions Belcher & Page, when ‘Squirrel’ [Jim] went back to sort out a rudder problem and they capsized.

“By the time they got the boat upright and sorted out the fleet was gone and it was race over _┬ávery frustrating as they haven’t had a single capsize in a race since their first day on the circuit 15 months ago.”

But, says Hudson, the conditions are not only affecting the South Africans. “On the other hand, sea conditions here have been challenging enough to see Nirkko Tapio of Finland capsize while winning the fourth race in the Mens single hander Finn class, the World 49er champions capsize 300m from winning their race four, and the Italians and Argentinian 470s, fifth and sixth respectively in race one capsize in race two and finish 24th and 26th so there’s plenty of action.”