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UYC Olympic Games Makers

UYC Olympic Games Makers

 David Clarke provided his own safety boat for the event, with Mike being the crew.  Their role was to provide cover for the Elliot match racing boats in case of breakage or problems with the boat.  Crews would signal a problem by flying flag L and David and Mike would go to investigate, usually with the boat designer Gregg Elliot or the boat owner Richard from USA.  Mike said that crews seemed to have a lot of problems with spinnaker poles and were always having them changed.

 Mike continues “We usually arrived at Portland by bus at around 10am and finished at about 1800 hrs, returning to Weymouth for some rest and refreshments.   The match racing lasted over the whole 2 weeks and unfortunately there were no days off.”

 Mike said they watched the opening ceremony on large screens on the beach at Weymouth.  Entry was limited but there was a large crowd on the beach who clapped, laughed and cheered creating a great atmosphere.  The following night there was entertainment in the area followed by a mass paddle in the sea by 2012 people all carrying torches.  A fabulous fireworks display followed.

 Mike reports that the match racing was brutal; there was a round robin at the end, of which four teams dropped out, ending their Olympic dreams.  Then there were the knockout quarter-finals; semi-finals and then the gold and silver final.  The finals were seeded with the top team from the round robin playing the bottom team, and so on.  The winner of each flight was the first team to win three races, so the maximum number of races sailed for each flight was five, with a minimum of three.  The knockout stage was very tense with huge emotions of tears and sadness for the losers and sheer elation for the winners.

 Mike says “Security for Weymouth was run by the army and navy, you entered the site through airport type scanners.  There were also police, a warship in the bay and Marine Commandos in high-speed boats.  My overall impression was that everyone was happy, relaxed and smiling with everyone saying good morning, but I thought that everything would change quickly if there was a problem.  On the one windless day a rib was sent out to find if there was any wind in the bay, they were the only boat out and were travelling at high speed.  Suddenly there were two high-speed boats alongside with machine guns on the front!!  Everyone thought the army and navy did an excellent job at just the right level for the event.

 For the medal ceremony there was a small stadium with ticket only entry, which we were given as members of the race team. The ceremony was the same as seen on TV at the arena in London for the track and field events.”

 Mike ends by saying “We attended the London Prepares event last year and I thought that the Olympics would feel the same, but the Olympic event affected me in a way that I cannot describe very well.  The actual work we did was easier possibly because we had practiced in the year before and we knew what to expect.  Overall we all had a great time, an experience not to have been missed and will not be repeated.”







Posted on 14 September 2012 (Archive on 12 October 2012)
Posted by 1047  Contributed by 1047


Current Rating: 5.00

Rating: 5.00