Olympics 2012

Olympics - Quotes from sailors

Quotes from sailors during the 2012 Olympics. [Newest at top.]

SUNDAY 5 AUGUST

MEDIA CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Ben AINSLIE (GBR) - gold

On nervousness:
"My heart was in my mouth all the way round the racecourse. It was a difficult course to decide what would work. When it is that shifty and puffy it's pretty hard to predict."

On racing a Finn again:
"I don't think you'll ever see me in a Finn again."

On tensions with Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN):
"That's racing. It happens. We have a lot of respect for each other."

On HRH The Princess Royal and what she said after the race:
"She wasn't that happy because of how close the race was and she said a few choice words about making the race so close."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) - silver

On the future and the Rio 2012 Olympic Games:
"I don't have any sights for Rio. I've been talking with Ben (AINSLIE, GBR) about this and we'd either like to see it on TV or go there as commentators."

On competing against Ben AINSLIE (GBR):
"Sailing against him and almost beating him was a fantastic opportunity. There is no doubt that Ben is the best sailor in the world right now."

 

AFTER THE MEDAL RACE

Ben AINSLIE (GBR) - gold

On the medal race:
"It was always going to be tough. The race was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in my life. My tactics were to try making life difficult for Jonas (HOGH-CHRISTENSEN, DEN)."

On Jan-Pieter POSTMA (NED), who took bronze:
"PJ sailed a great race and was close to getting gold. It was up to PJ as to whether he could make up the ground or not. Fortunately, he didn't."

On winning gold:
"It is always hard when people say you are a dead cert to win; you try to tell them that is not the case, but they don't listen. I started sailing in Cornwall as an 8-year-old in a duffle coat and wellies (British Wellington boots) and now I'm standing here. You never know what can happen."

On whether he could compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
"It can never get any better than this and I'm not sure I would want to go through it again."

On the British team:
"It has been an honour to be part of this team."

On his family:
"My sister has supported me so much over the years. It was a bit of an emotional moment."

On how close to the tactical plan the medal race developed:
"At the start I was trying to get into Jonas (HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN), but he did a good job of just sailing round and round the committee boat, so that was a bit boring, but a good tactic. But I got out to the right hand side and it worked - just."

On when he knew he had gold:
"In coming down to the final mark. PJ (Pieter-Jan POSTMA, NED) with a little bit of desperation tried to get round the New Zealand sailor and he wasn’t in a very good tactical position to do that. Once that failed I knew I was in good shape."

On becoming the world’s most successful Olympic sailor:
"I can’t really believe it. I’m just relieved to have got through today."

On the regatta overall:
"When I started off on the back foot people were upset that I wasn't winning. But I have just been doing it a long time. I've come through a lot of scrapes in my career."

On how his body and his back felt:

"It is really tough, especially downwind. You’re pushing yourself to the limit and the body doesn't always like it."

On whether this is the last Olympics:
"You never say never do you, but it would be impossible to ever experience anything better than this, so there would need to be a very good reason to come back."

On whether his body would hold out:
"I doubt it, not in the Finn, no."

On his boat Rita, which he used to win all his Olympics golds:
"Well, maybe Rita has to be scuttled, or go back to the museum."

On what he’s looking forward to most:
“Not stuffing my face full of food 24/7. I'll let you know what my natural weight is in about two months."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) - silver

On his performance:
"I'm a bit disappointed."

On the medal race:
"I did what I wanted to do. I forced him (Ben AINSLIE (GBR) right and PJ (Pieter-Jan POSTMA, DEN) got away."

On Finn-racing  tactics:
"It's a risky game but it paid off for Ben (AINSLIE (GBR)."

On the medal race:
“Good week, bad day. There are no bad excuses. Even though I ended up with silver and it’s a huge disappointment today, I still think I sailed a good regatta. Looking back there are a couple of points which I could have worked at to be in a better position for the medal race, by not capsizing or hitting the committee boat."

On how he rates Ben AINSLIE (GBR):
"There is no doubt, he is the best sailor in modern times. I’m glad I could give him a run for his money and that we finished on equal points. He wins with the smallest margin possible. Of course I would have liked to have been on top but it wasn’t to be. I’ll definitely have a beer tonight and if Ben (AINSLIE) is in the bar, I give him a cheer."

On the race tactics:
"I got a great start the left has been paying out for the last week and the last two months of training here, unfortunately the right came in, that’s sailing. Once I was behind it was very hard. Both of us got quite lucky; PJ (Jan-Pieter POSTMA (NED) had the gold 50 metres before the bottom mark - Ben might have gone a bit too far in the match racing."

On whether this is last Olympics:
"I think my Olympic sailing days are over, maybe I’ll do some other sailing."

 

Jonathan LOBERT (FRA) - bronze

On his performance in the medal race:
"I knew this morning I could do it and it would be tough. I was shaking like hell in my second lap. I enjoy the medal race, it's exciting."

On his performance:
"This morning I said to myself I have to have my best race. I said to my coach I just have to win it. I am very happy."

On winning the Olympic medal race, and the bronze medal:
"Like a dream come true. I did it. I am very pleased. I realised I got a medal when I crossed the line and I counted the boats."

On the future and the regatta at the Rio de Janeiro 2012 Olympic Games:
"I think I will keep on sailing for Rio. I was in one team for the America's Cup, so I hope to do that and then come back to the Finn."

Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED)

On just missing out on a medal:
"It's hard to take. Before, I was resigned to a bronze and I feel very disappointed. There were tears over my eyes and my face."

On the performance of Ben AINSLIE (GBR):
"It's a game and anybody can win. He has a great team round him. He's a great sailor and congratulations to him."

On the future:
"I'm here at this moment and I need to process my thoughts to see about the future."

Rafael TRUJILLO VILLAR (ESP)

On the Nothe course conditions and spectators on the peninsular:
"The race was really tricky. Pretty impressive to see the battle for the medal. You could hear the crowd on the 'mountain', screaming."

On the final results:
"Well deserved medals for all of them."

On Weymouth as a sailing venue:
"It is great."

 

BEFORE THE MEDAL RACE

WEYMOUTH and PORTLAND, 5 August - Comments from men's Finn sailors Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED), Rafael TRUJILLO VILLAR (ESP) and Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO) in the boat park at the sailing venue before Sunday's medal race.

Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED)

On his hopes of winning gold:
"I have a small chance of gold, but I'm more realistic."

Rafael TRUJILLO VILLAR (ESP)

On the medal race:
"It's going to be an interesting race, as always. This is my fourth Olympic Games and it's by far the best event for sailing."

Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO)

On the series:
"I've been in the Finn only three years and I am struggling in the stronger winds. I'm surprised and happy to be in the fight for the medals and, when it's lighter, I can be one of the best. "

On the medal race:
"I think this will be one of the best medal races we have ever seen. Its very exciting, a very tough fight today."

On competing on the Nothe course in the final:
"I prefer the closer course because I'm one of the lighter sailors. With a nice wind and free pumping, people will see just how these Finns (boats) can go."

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On the race prospect:
"I won't lie to you, it's going to be tough, but what a fantastic opportunity to race the Finn in front of the home ground like this. I've just got to do the best I can do in the race."

On the course:
"It's tricky on the Nothe Course."

On the wind:
"If you had any wind direction, this is the best."

On what he has been doing before the medal race:
"I haven't been speaking to anyone, just keeping my head down and focused on the job."

On messages from supporters:
"Incredible amount of messages of goodwill, especially from schoolchildren."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)

On his mood:
"Up and ready and happy to get going. Feeling calm and confident."

On the forthcoming race on the Nothe course:
"I like the Nothe course. I can't wait to get out there."

On his tactics and those of Ben AINSLIE (GBR):
"We have a lot of scenarios that could play out. We can't go into too much of a match race. I am sure Ben will be up to his shenanigen games."

On how he spent his non-sailing lay day:
"I spent a little time with my family and girlfriend yesterday, which was good."

 

FRIDAY 3 AUGUST

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On the medal race:
"It's going to be a fascinating race; I'm really looking forward to it."

On whether the medal race will be a speed race or a head-to-head:
"It's hard to call these tactics yet. It depend on the conditions and what sort of mood you are in when you get out of bed in the morning."

On the racing day:
"Yes, it's good to get some more points up and even things up."

On a second-race battle for second and third place between Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) and Jan-Pieter POSTMA (NED):
"It was important for me for the Dutch sailor to get in front of Jonas."

On the week's performance:
"Finally I'm a little bit frustrated. It's taken me all week to find the turbo button and get out in front."

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On being angry on Thursday:
"I was pretty frustrated yesterday, but when you get out there you have to put it behind you and sail smart."

On slowing when ahead of the fleet, in front of Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) and Jan-Pieter POSTMA (NED):
"The overall points were very close so it was important for me that the Dutch sailor overtook the Dane, and finally he got past. I sailed my own race and the Dutch did that."

On his performance:
"The last two days have been huge, to draw back those points."

On the medal race:

"It's going to be a very important race. It's a huge opportunity to race in front of a home crowd. Obviously there's a lot at stake but it is going to be fantastic."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)

On the tactics of Ben AINSLIE (GBR):
"It actually didn't have a lot of influence."

On the sailing day:
"It was a good day at the office."

On the forthcoming medal race:
"
Wow. I'm really looking forward to the medal race. It will be very exciting. It will be whoever beats who in the final race so it will be an epic battle. That is what we have here and why I love racing."

On Jan-Pieter POSTMA (NED):
"Pieter is fighting for bronze and he is fighting hard. I made a lot of mistakes and Pieter overtook me. I wanted to keep Pieter at close quarters because I knew if Ben (AINSLIE, GBR) came back to give me bad air I would have to do the same to Pieter."

 

Zach RAILEY (USA)

On his overall performance:
"After the first couple of races when things didn't really go my way I knew I had to start taking more risks."

On his preparation:
"I feel I prepared very well for the big event. To have a big event and to not do well is obviously upsetting."

On the medal race:
"It would have been nice to have had one more day and to have a go at the medals."

 

Jonathan LOBERT (FRA)

On the racing:
"Today's racing was very tense and I was satisfied with the first race."

On the medal race :
"There are a lot of us close behind the first two so I'm going to have to pull out all the stops for the medal race. The medal race is different as it is shorter and the wind has a big affect. So I'll have to play the winning hand as I have nothing to lose. It will be bronze or nothing."

On plans for rest day:
"I have had a good week so tomorrow I will relax, enjoy the Games and watch the other competitions so that I am in good shape for Sunday."

 

THURSDAY 2 AUGUST

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)

On a capsize in race eight that cost him four places:

"I got up to fourth and then capsized. I had to fight my way back. It was a long way home. I was angry with myself. A moment of not concentrating and hitting a bad wave and you capsize."

On an exchange with rival Ben AINSLIE (GBR) after the race eight finish:
"I think we should keep that between me and Mr. Ainslie."

In response to AINSLIE's comment that HOGH CHRISTENSEN and Dutch sailor Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED) were teaming up against him:
"That's a hard allegation. If two guys see somebody hit the mark then he probably hit the mark."

On AINSLIE's assertion that he did not hit the mark but took a penalty turn anyway:
"If you are so sure that you didn't hit the mark then why do you take the penalty?"

On Thursday's racing:
"I didn't have a good day today. I had a good start but capsized and had to come back."

On his capsize:
"I caught a bad wave, but recovered pretty fast."

On an exchange with Ben AINSLIE (GBR) after crossing the line:
"We got down to bottom mark and from where I was it looked like Ben (AINSLIE, GBR) hit the mark. He was of another opinion, but two other guys saw it."

On the prospect of winning the gold medal:
"They don't come easily. One day is all it takes. I'm leading, but it's going to be very tough."

 

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On his performance on Thursday:
"It was a much better day. Bradley WIGGINS (GBR) smashing the (cycling road men's individual) time trial was a huge inspiration. I needed a good day today."

On taking penalty turns during the second race of the day:
"I had no choice, and didn't want a protest."

On the pressure:
"People don't know how hard it is. They say you're the favourite and bet their house on you winning. It's tough."

On other sailors including Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) accusing him of hitting the mark:
"I'm seriously pissed off about it to be honest."

On the tactics of Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED) and HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN):
"The Dutch and the Danish guys teamed up against me and I'm pissed off about that at this level. At this level they'll take any advantage they can."

Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED)

On what went well for him on Thursday:
"A steady start, good speed and smart sailing."

On conditions on the Weymouth South course:
"It was really gusty today, especially downwind, so you really had to be outside the boat, and you are looking around you for the gusts."

Zach RAILEY (USA)

On his performance so far:
"It's been a tough week. Obviously things haven't gone the way I wanted them to. It is disappointing to set high goals and not to be there at the end of the week."

On his prospects of making the medal race:
"If I could be in the medal race that'd be great."

On sailing at Weymouth and Portland:
"We've spent a lot of time here. We thought we had a good understanding of what needed to be done."

On the future:
"If you set high goals sometimes it doesn't work, so I'm going to have to set new goals. We're going to set a new goal after this one and just move on."

 

Rafael TRUJILLO VILLAR (ESP)

On breaking his kicking strap during the first race:
"It just broke. I don't know why it broke because it has to be strong."

"Last time out my rudder broke and the time before that my sail halyard came undone."

"Things never happen in 20 years of experience. The only reason is that I'm stupid or someone has made a voodoo."

 

TUESDAY 31 JULY

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On leading competitor Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN):
"He is sailing really well. He is a good sailor and a big guy. He is having the regatta of his life. He likes upwind and for whatever reason he is nailing it every time. If I keep pushing hard he might slip up. It's a difficult place to sail here, but he keeps nailing it. He is sailing well and at some point the tables have to turn. He's on fire."

On his own performance:
"It's tough. Sometimes these things work out, but unfortunately for me, this week it isn't. I was really frustrated yesterday but it has been better today."

On spending the lay day on Wednesday when the Finns are not sailing:
"I don't think I will go on the water. I'll see the physio."

On the future performance:
"At the end of the day it's about winning. I'll keep going to the end whatever happens. It's never over until the fat lady sings. There is still a long way to go."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)

On the day's racing:
"I had a great day. In the first race it was a great start and good speed. Got a bit of wind pressure to help (me) over the line so (I) relaxed towards the end. In the second race I had to fight my way back up and was pretty happy with that."

On preparation:
"We have been working a lot on my speed in the last six months."

On the future:
"I do believe I could win the regatta. It's so open. We will take it one day at a time."

On Wednesday's forthcoming lay day when the Finn class racers will not be racing:
"You have got to take your breaks when you can. I am an old man in the fleet and I definitely need a rest, a big steak and read up ready for Thursday. Go to the gym then off for a good night out with the boys ... NOT."

Jonathan LOBERT (FRA)

On the day's racing:
"I'm pretty happy as it was quite a complicated race. The wind was intense and you never knew which direction it was going to come from."

On hopes to beat Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN):
"That's a dream. It will be hard to beat the Dane as he isn't making any mistakes. I am still smiling though."

GONG Lei (CHN)

On his Tuesday performance:
"Pretty much the same as last two days."

On the future:
"I am quite happy as long as I can do better than before."

Pieter Jan POSTMA (NED)

On race three:
"I was leading the race and I broke the outhaul so I had to drop the sail to fix it. I finished the race, but I was 10 minutes behind."

 

MONDAY 30 JULY

Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED)

On the conditions:
"Tricky again. I didn't have the shifts right. There were really big shifts. It's not an easy pattern. There is no current at the moment so that makes the wind shifts more important."

Rafeal TRUJILLO VILLAR (ESP)

On his performance so far:
"Yesterday I lost my boom, then today in the second race my rudder popped out and I capsized so had to swim to recover the rudder. This has never happened before in all my years of sailing."

Zach RAILEY (USA)

On the racing:
"I didn't go well today, my results haven't gone well. There's nothing I can do about that. I feel I am making sound decisions, but they haven't been the right choices. I am very resilient."

Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC (CRO)

On his performance:
"Today I've been surviving most of the time. I didn't have any brilliant moments. It wasn't easy today."

On the conditions:
"Conditions were tough. Anything can happen. You have to be prepared for anything."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)

On recovering from starting last in the second race to finish seventh in race four:
"It was a big fightback. I got angry with myself for the mistake I made. I can get fuelled up with myself - it's a way to get the adrenaline running."

Jorge ZARIF (BRA)

On the conditions:
"Mostly all week it will be the same. My goal is to do better. It is not impossible to be in the medal race."

Dan SLATER (NZL)

On the conditions:
"It hasn't changed all the years we've been here. And there are now a lot of guys at the top."

On his relationship with Ben AINSLIE (GBR):
"We have been good friends since we have been about 15 years old. We tune up between each race together."

Filippo BALDASSARI (ITA)

On the conditions:
"These were very tough conditions and tomorrow will be worse."

 

SUNDAY 29 JULY

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On his race performances:
"It wasn't the greatest of races in the beginning, but that spurred me on."

On pulling back through the fleet from the start:
"I have been better, but it is where you finish."

On Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN's (DEN) sailing to protect Paul ELVSTROM's (DEN) four gold medals record:
"I think he is doing the best he can for himself right now."

On the cheering from the ticketed spectator area on the Nothe race area:
"I could hear it clearly and it really spurred me on."

On how he felt after a tiring day of racing:
"I have to go and see the physio about my knee."

Jonas HOGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)

On the racing:

"It was a good day. I got the shifts right on the Nothe course. It is very early in the regatta."

On the spectators above the Nothe course, the first to buy Olympic sailing tickets:

"Great crowd, great experience. I felt like a football player walking into a stadium. Hearing the crowd was an excellent high."

On his preparation:

"We did a lot of good preparation and I felt good and confident going into the regatta."

On protecting the legacy of Paul ELVSTROM's (DEN) four gold medals record:

"That was not my main focus. Paul ELVSTROM (DEN) was the greatest sailor of all time. If I get a chance to protect that legacy that's what I will do. I hope I can protect that legacy."

On the forthcoming races:

"Keep cool. Take it one day at a time and keep focused."

Piotr KULA (POL)

On the races:
"Had two good starts. Had a small collision at the last mark. I was fighting to get back in the fleet and had a small collision."

On the sailing conditions:
"Very shifty and tricky; had to be really focused."

On the second race:
"Good at the beginning, but lost it on the second upwind."

On a capsize:
"It happens."

On the future:
"Tomorrow is another day."

Brendan CASEY (AUS)

On his performance. (He did not finish the first race and came seventh in the second):
"We are lucky it is this length of an event and I am confident I can come back from this result."

Zach RAILEY (USA)

On his performance, after placing 10th the first race and 15th in the second:
"I just didn't have a great race. There is not much to say about the second race. Just brush it off and move on to the rest of the week. I am just going to worry about the third race. There is a lot more to go in the regatta. Then I will concentrate on the fourth race."

On the Nothe course:
"That was fine. It was exciting to have everyone there watching. It was a fantastic atmosphere."

 

FRIDAY 27 JULY

Alican KAYNAR (TUR)

On the weather:
"We are expecting wind for the regatta, so today's wind was good for us."

On the Weymouth sailing conditions:
"It's not easy, with all the currents and tides."

On his team:
"There are five sailors from Turkey and one coach. I've been sailing against Mike MAIER (CZE) a lot and we share a coach, Roman TEPLY (CZE)."

On the coach's potential divided loyalties between the Finn competitors from Turkey and the Czech Republic :
"The best of us will be the winner."

 

Ben AINSLIE (GBR)

On Rita, the boat AINSLIE will use for his third Olympic Games:
"This boat certainly has a bit of history because she is the boat I used for the last two Olympic Games, in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008."

On why he prefers to use his double-gold medal winning boat:
"They don't make them like they used to."

On Thursday's sailing weather:
"There is a bit of breeze, finally, so I am going out sailing now."

 

THURSDAY 26 JULY

Michael MAIER (CZE)

On his favourite wind conditions:
"I've been sailing for 33 years so I can deal with every weather condition."

On the weather at Weymouth and Portland:
"I've been here since 26 April and we've only had one week of sunny weather. For many people from other countries the weather looks a little bit horrible."

 

Brendan CASEY (AUS)

On Australia having to leave the (sailing) Olympic Village for a night because of sewage problems:
"I think there was a cracked pipe and there was a quick response. We were put up in a hotel for the night."

On his Olympic debut:
"I've got one shot. It means a lot. I'm probably an unforseen threat to the rest of the fleet, so there's no pressure on me. I'm a dark horse. It may be my Olympic debut, but I'm by no means a rookie to sailing."

On what brought him back to Olympic sailing after taking a break from Finn competition in 2008:
"
The Olympics is a childhood dream and ambition."

On taking part in Saturday's first race on the Nothe course:
"It'll be interesting to see how close we get to the rocks. You're sort of in a chamber there, with the hill on one side and the other (side is) rockfall. Then, once we have that, it'll be back to traditional sailing way offshore."

 

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