Scott’s gold erases pain of miss­ing out in 2012

Bri­tain’s dom­i­na­tion of Finn goes back 16 years Sil­ver gives Dempsey wind­surf­ing record

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - RIO 2016 - By Daniel Schofield in Rio de Janeiro

There was no way Giles Scott was go­ing to miss out on Bri­tain’s gold rush. Af­ter the per­sonal pain of his ab­sence from Lon­don 2012, Scott yes­ter­day se­cured Bri­tain’s fifth suc­ces­sive gold medal in the Finn class, hav­ing opened up an unas­sail­able lead be­fore to­mor­row’s medal race.

Scott ar­rived in Rio as close to the surest bet of a guar­an­teed Bri­tish gold medal. The 29-year-old had won 16 of his pre­vi­ous 18 re­gat­tas, was un­beaten in two years and a triple world cham­pion. Be­ing a red­hot favourite, though, car­ries a price, both in terms of the weight of pub­lic ex­pec­ta­tion as well as be­ing tar­geted by his ri­vals.

Un­til this point, Scott had sto­ically dealt with the pres­sure. But with light slowly fad­ing over Gua­n­abara Bay as he sailed to sec­ond place in the 10th race, his re­solve slowly crum­bled. “To­wards the lat­ter stages of that fi­nal race I found my­self welling up, and had the tin­gles as it slowly dawned on me what I had done,” Scott said. “I wouldn’t put my­self down as the emo­tional sort but I had a lit­tle cry to my­self.

“The emo­tions that end up com­ing out of you in that sit­u­a­tion you can’t re­ally pre­pare your­self for. It was amaz­ing. When we put the cam­paign to­gether af­ter Lon­don, we de­cided that the way we wanted to cam­paign was flat out. We were not go­ing soft in any re­gat­tas; we wanted to win and we wanted to win in style. That ap­proach does put a tar­get on your back.

“To have been able to main­tain that gap and to come into the Olympics and win with a race to spare gives such huge jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for those de­ci­sions we made ear­lier.”

There was the ad­di­tional bur­den of filling per­haps the biggest shoes in sail­ing in the form of Ben Ainslie, his ri­val turned Amer­ica’s Cup em­ployer. In 2011, the two went head to head for the right to rep­re­sent Bri­tain at a home Olympics in what was ef­fec­tively a gold-medal shootout be­tween the two best Finn sail- Wind in his sails: Giles Scott on his way to win­ning gold in the Finn class ors in the world. Scott lost, and spent the week of the sail­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Wey­mouth in a drunken stu­por. Now Scott has his mo­ment.

Af­ter eighth- and sec­ond-place fin­ishes yes­ter­day, his points tally stands at 32, mean­ing that he can­not be caught by Vasilij Zbogar, of Slovenia, who is on 56. Pro­vid­ing Scott turns up then the gold is his, en­sur­ing Bri­tain has held pos­ses­sion of the Olympic Finn ti­tle for 16 years dat­ing back to Iain Percy’s vic­tory in Sydney.

Scott’s suc­cess fol­lowed on from Nick Dempsey be­com­ing the first male wind­surfer to win three Olympic medals af­ter tak­ing sil­ver be­hind Hol­land’s Do­rian van Ri­js­sel­berghe, who had al­ready sealed gold be­fore the medal race.

Af­ter declar­ing that he would re­tire af­ter Rio, Dempsey, who won sil­ver at Lon­don 2012 and bronze at Athens in 2004, now ap­pears to be hav­ing sec­ond thoughts.

“I don’t know what is next,” Dempsey said. “I would like to do my photography stuff, I would like to do some coach­ing, I might work a bit within the team, I might carry on sail­ing a bit more. I am just go­ing to take some time. I don’t know [if I will be in Tokyo], prob­a­bly not.”

So­lace of miss­ing out on gold was pro­vided on the oc­ca­sion of his 36th birth­day on Satur­day by his son, Thomas, who told him: “It’s OK daddy, you have two sil­vers now, which is the same as one gold.”

Sil­ver surfer: Nick Dempsey cel­e­brates win­ning his third Olympic medal

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