Team Percy Mitchell Report from the 2006 Qingdao International Regatta, China. Final Day.
Harken sponsored Sailors Iain Percy (helm) and Steve Mitchell (crew).
Iain Percy (Helm) born 21/3/76 at Southampton started sailing aged 6 in an optimist at Western SC. He has been sailing a Star for 6 years now and states his greatest strength and weakness in sailing to be his competitiveness! His dream goal is to win an Olympic Gold medal. Steve Mitchell (crew) born 10/2/70 in Dorking, Surrey first started saling aged 10 in an optimist. He states his greatest strength as organisation and weakness as being too relaxed! His dream is also an winning an Olympic gold medal. The pair have been sailing in the Star class together for the past 6 years and some of their achievements include:-
Star World Champ 2002, Star/Euro Champ 2005.
Their comments about Harken were:- ‘The best and Frictionless’
2006 Qingdao International Regatta, China – Final Day.
We had our first experience of medal racing today, which is the new format introduced by ISAF for sailing, whereby the last race only has the top 10 sailing in it and counts double and you can’t discard it. Also the race is targeted to last 30 minutes, is set close to the shore and is fully umpired with decisions on the water, similar to match racing.
We started after the Finns where Ben Ainslie was winning by a street, having won 7 of the first 9 races! The maths in our fleet meant that we had to beat Horton/Nichol (USA) to win, and he had to beat us to win, but without letting Szabo/Munroe (USA) to be two places ahead of either of us. So it was pretty much a match race between us and Horton.
We were evens off the start, and as we approached the top mark we made a move to tack under him, which didn’t quite stick and he lived in our turbulence just long enough to round ahead. We were evens again at the two leeward gate marks, and split up the beat, he just gained on the left and led to the line which gave him Gold and us Silver.
We were disappointed not to take the top prize, but on the positive side we have gained great experience of this crazy venue, have discovered light air speed with our brand new boat, and have moved our sail development program on significantly, and we have succeeded in the first part of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic team. So all in all a successful trip.
The rest of the members of Skandia Team GBR, stepped up and delivered, winning Gold in Finn, 49er, Laser and 470 men, silver in Yngling, and bronze in 470 men and Laser Radial. 8 medals made us the top nation, and the closing ceremony saw the national anthem blaring across Qingdao and the union Jack flying high.
The medal ceremony was incredible, like a mixture of last night at the proms, November the 5th, the Eurovision song contest and an outdoor rock concert, the Chinese put on an amazing show, fully televised, and slickly run, hard to imagine that this was the pre-pre-Olympic event! Roll on next year!
Overall the results
1 USA Horton/Nichol
2 GBR Percy/Mitchell
3 USA Szabo/Munroe
4 ITA Negri/Viale
5 AUS Conde/Hunn
You can check out final results and pictures of Skandia Team GBR at the regatta website www.2006qdregatta.com
The next event for us is the World Championship in San Francisco, racing from October 1st to the 7th, we’ll keep you posted.