Can Britain rule the waves in Rio?
AS THE OLYMPIC REGATTA GETS UNDER WAY, LUKE BROWN EXPLAINS THE CLASSES AND THE RULES AND ASSESSES TEAM GB’S MEDAL HOPES
RS: X Key info
Windsurfing, an Olympic event since 1984 for men and 1992 for women, nearly missed out on Rio. The governing body said in 2012 it was to be replaced by kiteboarding, only for the decision – blasted as “bizarre” by Britain’s Nick Dempsey – to be reversed later that year. The class is now assured of its place at Tokyo 2020. Windsurfs are the fastest monohull crafts, and can be raced in winds of three to 30 knots, and reach speeds of over 30 knots.
Who is on Team GB?
Dempsey and Bryony Shaw are Olympic medallists and two of the most experienced members of Team GB, though both await their first gold. Shaw (left) won bronze in Beijing whilst Dempsey – who has been on Team GB since Sydney 2000 – won bronze in Athens and silver in London.
Who is favourite?
The men’s RS: X fleet is intensely competitive, with Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberge, who won gold in London, once again among the favourites. World Champion Piotr Myszka, of Poland, will also be dangerous. Shaw is ranked No 1 in the world, although 2012 champion Marina Alabau, of Spain, can be expected to mount a stern defence.