January 09, 2014

Oman Open Worlds Videos - Day 6

By Doug
This is another good video, this time because of who is in this gold fleet start. We're at the pin and 15 seconds into the video, we have Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED 204567), Emil Cedergardh (SWE 204437), Philipp Buhl (GER 203170), Nick Thompson (GBR 201402), and Kristian (NOR 204758). To give you an idea of the talent, Rutger finished 4th overall, Philipp finished 3, and Nick had 7 top-five finishes but finished 17 (had to count an RET). It ended up being a general recall.

Note that Robert Scheidt chose not to start at this risky end of the line.

Restart, and we're watching another person Brett is coaching. James Espey (IRL 192703) gets sandwiched between David Wright (CAN 199330) and Francesco Marrai (ITA 205243). There's a big gap above Francesco but no one takes it. James survives and pinches off Francesco.

The camera moves up the line and we see Bruno Fontes (BRA 203765) and Tom Burton (AUS 199012) just below Kristian. Both James and Kristian get good starts.

The next start is committee boat favored, and we see Kristian starting with Philipp Buhl, David Wright, Tom Burton, Charlie Buckingham (USA 182345), Nick Thompson, Matthew Wearn (AUS 203770), Sergey Komissarov (RUS 202692), Marco Gallo ITA (196685), and former world champ Gustavo Lima (POR 202210). We hear Brett talk about how starting here is too high a risk. General recall. 

Note again that Robert again was not at this risky end of the line.

Next start, and we start watching James and Kristian line up under Lee Parkhill (CAN 197120). Kristian stays put while James goes further down the line and finds a nice hole that disappears when Joaquin Blanco Albalat (ESP 197295) to leeward pushes out his boom and works the tiller at 0:45 in the video.

This is a is a technique used (invented?) by Ben Ainslie that was considered legal because if tiller does not cross the centerline then technically it's not sculling. Now, it's illegal. There is no judge boat in the immediate area and Blanco gets away with it, although he was yellow flagged for a second time in race 9 and had to retire.

We see hear Brett asking James to squeeze up to close the gap to windward.

We then switch to the right to watch Kristian battling with David Wright with a lot of tiller movement that could have been yellow flagged. Kristian starts with top-five finisher Jesper Stalheim (SWE 204666) right below and is saved by another general recall.

This sequence starts with 1 1/2 minutes to go. We briefly see Robert (BRA 205239) heading further down the line. His starting technique is quite unique because he waits as long as possible to decide where he wants to start. In another start, I saw him standing on his transom, planing on port down the line, looking upwind with less than 2 minutes to go.

At 0.50 we see Tom Burton (AUS 199012) tack twice to close the gap below James. There a judge boat right behind and everyone is well behaved. We can hear Brett talk about a last-minute shift and how James is squeezed and rolled at the same time because of a mistake that he made.

Further to windward, we see Kristian with a good lane and start.


  1. These are Gold – thanks for sharing. It’s amazing how Brett’s advice to keep the bow up is so clearly effective, but the classic advice is to get the bow down asap. The video certainly highlights how important the timing is when it comes to bow up / bow down.

    1. Yes, we're very fortunate to have these videos. It's also great to have comments in real-time from such a good coach.

  2. (First video) Why did van Schaardenburg leave the pin end at the very last moment?


    1. I can think of 2 reasons. The first is that the fleet was drifting towards the pin and he would have been jammed, so he bailed. The second is that he may have known it was going to be a general recall from all the noise above him, so he just got out of there.

      From what I saw at these worlds, it was rare to see one of the top sailors start at the pin. It was much more likely to see sailors who were less experienced, and they usually got jammed.


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