Windsurfer Nick Dempsey has won Great Britain's third sailing medal of London 2012 after clinching RS:X silver at Weymouth and Portland today, Tuesday, 7 August.
The medal is Dempsey’s second piece of Olympic windsurfing silverware, the Peterborough-raised man having won bronze at Athens 2004.
Dempsey went into the double points medal race, sitting second overall, 11 points clear of Toni Wilhelm (GER) in bronze medal position and 17 points ahead of Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) who occupied fourth spot.
Dempsey knew a finish in the top nine would guarantee him a medal while silver would be his if he finished in the top six. Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) had already wrapped up the gold medal with an unassailable lead heading into the final race.
The Brit got off the line fast and rounded the top mark in third, a place ahead of the Polish athlete who had to win the race to be in with a shot of overtaking Dempsey. Keeping an eye on Wilhelm and Miarczynski, and the battle unfolding between them for a medal, Dempsey took a more conservative stance as he held third position and sailed over the line comfortably ahead of both his closest rivals to secure silver.
Speaking immediately after the race, Dempsey said: “It’s been a pretty difficult four years but I always believed I could come here and do well. I’m just massively relieved more than anything.
“It’s been really tough. The Dutch guy had such a good start (to the regatta) and it was about coming to terms with that very quickly that I was only going to be racing for second. I was desperate, desperate (to win silver). Third was going to be a disaster, and fourth I don’t know what I’d have done.
“I’m just glad I could do it for all the people who have helped me. Without doubt to have all my family and friends here and to do it in front of the crowd couldn’t be better. This is a moment for reflection but I’m pretty sure this is not the end of the road.”
Dempsey medal followed Ben Ainslie’s Finn gold and Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson’s Star silver on Sunday.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday, 29 July to Saturday, 11 August. Follow the British sailing team at London 2012 at www.rya.org.uk/london2012.
- www.rya.org.uk/london2012 RYA London 2012