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Go for Gold, Bundy / Forbes

2004 Olympics Athens News

Fri, 13 Aug 2004 to Sun, 29 Aug 2004

Olympics: Tornado and Star previews

Sat, 21 Aug 2004

Racing begins in the Tornado catamaran and Star keelboat classes in Athens today with Australian crews among the favourites.

Darren Bundock and John Forbes, silver medallists in the Tornados at Sydney 2000, have completed a very thorough campaign towards this Olympics, down to having a spare boat that is equally ready to race as their ‘front line’ boat.

They undertook a comprehensive sailcloth analysis before concluding that Dacron, with the technology going back more than 30 years had better shape retaining qualities than more recent exotic cloths utilising carbon fibre, Kevlar and other ‘exotics’

The Australian team is the only one in the Olympic Tornado fleet using a Dacron mainsail. Their sails are by Ullman Italy, Giorgio Zuccoli’s old loft, now run by Pablo Soldano.

Forbes and Bundock looked at all the synthetic options including Cuben fibre, which gave promising results for the US team at this year’s worlds and against the initial scepticism of coach Mike Fletcher decided to keep using Dacron as they had for the past four years.

They decided to accept the disadvantage of a little more weight in the cloth but did save weight by going lighter on the reinforcing, like corner patches.

‘Shape is everything and we found Dacron has best qualities,’ Forbes said. ‘The only negative is the extra weight.’

They have practised for the past three weeks on the Saronic Gulf with the Germans, Roland Gaebler and Gunnar Struckman and the Greeks Iordanis Paschalides/Christos Garefis. Yesterday the Tornados sailed a practice race.

Forbes said this morning: ‘We are going alright.’

He expects the strongest opponents will again be the Sydney gold medallists, Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher of Austria and the current world champions Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola (Argentina).

The French, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron and Spaniards, Fernando Echavarri/Anton Paz, could also be up there, Forbes predicted.

Australians Colin Beashel and David Giles, world champions in 1998, Olympic bronze medalists in 1996, remain in the top frame in the star-studded Star keelboat class on form in European regattas over the past two years.

Newcomers from the Finn class – big boys who know how to hike hard – have made an impact in the class since Sydney 2000. One of them, Freddie Loof, crewed by Anders Elkstrom (Sweden) won both the world and European championship this year.

Another, Ian Percy (Great Britain), crewed by Steve Mitchell, won the world championship in 2002.

Multi-talented US sailor Paul Cayard, crewed by Phil Trinter in winning the US trials beat the 2000 gold medallist Mark Reynolds and are rated a strong chance by Colin Beashel.

by Bob Ross

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Simone Green, Monday, 23 August 2004

Races Three and Four

In extremely light conditions the Tornado fleet contested race 3 and 4 today. Among the eight crews protesting the decisions of the Race Committee, are the Australian's Darren Bundock & John Forbes who posted a 12th and 11th in the days races. The multiple World Champions are in 11th overall.

It was also a tough day on the water for Australia's Tornado boys. Darren Bundock (AIS/NSWIS) and John Forbes (AIS/NSWIS) are currently lying 11th overall after a 12th and an 11th in today's two races.

In a light wind and tricky conditions Bundock and Forbes were penalised in race three, costing them valuable placings. The Aussies were stranded in a path of no wind, unable to do more than just float along. The pair could not get out of the way when a rival crew came through on a puff and called starboard. As a result the Australia’s were faced with the challenge of completing penalty turns in no breeze, a slow frustrating task.

The Sydney 2000 silver medallists are seeking redress, with a protest to be heard in Athens tonight.

Sydney 2000 gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT) has been overtaken by American duo Charlie Ogletree and John Lovell in the overall point score.

Day 2 - Tornado (4 races)

1.John LOVELL/Charlie OGLETREE (USA) (2,2,1,6) 11pts

2.Roman HAGARA/Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) (1,3,8,1) 13pts

3.Santiago LANGE/Carlos ESPINOLA (ARG) (7,1,6,5) 19pts

11.Darren BUNDOCK/John FORBES (AUS) (9,7,12,11) 39pts

Full list of Tornado results here.

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Here is a quote from the Yahoo Tornado Forum.

So what do you guys think.


a sail maker for Ullman in Houston, discovered a new

laminate that is 20 percent lighter than what most

Tornado sailors use. "We created quite a stir in the class,"

sad Ogletree. ISAF ultimately approved the cloth for use

in the Olympics. This edge has helped make Lovell and

Ogletree one of the fastest duos in the fleet. [...]

The new laminate--both film and fibers are made of

Pentex, a polyester derivative--is the biggest breakthrough

in the class since [the new rig]. "The cloth is made of the

same raw materials as other Tornado sails," explains

Ogletree, "bit it's 20 percent lighter and stronger for its

weight." [...]

Ogletree secured exclusive

rights to use the new laminate

through the Olympic Games; it

is shared with training partners

The Netherlands and Great

Britain. The three teams,

working with Ullman's Jay

Glaser (California) and Pablo

Soldano (Italy), together have

developed sail designs. [...]

All three boats finished in

the top five at the 2004 Worlds [...].

So, the sails are exclusively available to just 3 teams...

I've no problem with the cloth. It's the exclusive supply agreement

that is unfair in a one-design class, IMHO.



Sail Magazine reports that US team Lovell and Ogletree are using a main

and jib where both the fibers and laminate are made of class-legal

Pentex, and which are 20% lighter than the sails other teams are using.

Furthermore, they have secured an exclusive license to the material

from the sole supplier through the end of the Olympics, according to the


It seems to me that this exclusive licensing from a supplier of emerging

technology is anti-competitive and unfair in a one design class and that

the sails should be forbidden under the "Fair Sailing" rule of the ISAF

RRS. I assume that the sails have already been measured and approved,

but I hope someone protests these sails if they do use them. This team

represents my country, I expect them to play fair.

What do you think?


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Nearly all of the modern progressive style catamarans are already using Pentex including the A class and the F18. Its no secret that its lighter than dacron. However i think that there is a lot to be said for good old dacron as discused in the previous post. Aido

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2004 Olympics Athens News

Fri, 13 Aug 2004 to Sun, 29 Aug 2004

Olympics: Australian Tornado team on the up

Tue, 24 Aug 2004

The Australian Tornado catamaran sailors Darren Bundock and John Forbes began a belated rise up the scoreboard with a fine win and a second in races five and six on the Saronic Gulf today.

With the worst placing discard also cutting in at race five, those performances lifted them from 11th to seventh on the scoreboard and with the three front runners scoring average places on the day, they are only 10 points behind the leaders.

John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree (USA) lead with 20 points from Roman Hagara/Hans Peter Steinacher (Austria) 21 and Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola (Argentina) 25. The Americans scored two ninths today, the Austrians 14-8 and the Argentineans sixth and 11th.

Bundock/Forbes in race five, from a sharp start and with great speed in the 7-13 knot nor’-wester, rolled over the Argentineans at the first mark rounding and duelled with them down the first run of the three-lap windward course.

The Argentineans led at the bottom mark. The Australians, again with better upwind speed, regained the lead on the second beat, then lost the lead on the second run to the Russians Andrey Kirilyuk/Valery Ushkov, who dug into a band of pressure on the shore side of the course.

Australia regained the lead on the third windward beat to lead around the top mark by 35sec from the Russians and hold it to the finish.

Race six became an extraordinary one as the nor’-wester steadily died from 11 knots at the start down to four knots at the finish and backed 90 degrees to the west.

The Netherlands team, Mitch Booth and Herb Dercksen, led narrowly around the first mark from the Russians and the Australians. Booth, who won a silver medal at Savannah in 1996 and a bronze at Barcelona in Tornados while sailing for Australia, duelled with Bundock/Forbes down the first and up the second beat.

The Russians again worked the right-hand (shoreward) side of the course to take the lead on the second run and hold it to the finish from Bundock/Forbes, with Booth/Derksen third.

The last windward return leg was an anxious one for the leaders. Although the race committee shortened the leg by more than half to ensure a result as the wind began to quit, the result became in doubt as the breeze began to fill again from the west and continued moving around to the south-west sea breeze direction.

Boats towards the back of the fleet began to set spinnakers on the last ‘windward’ leg while the Russians, Australians and Dutch edged around the mark and headed for the finish also under spinnakers. ‘We could see the sea breeze rolling in,’ said Bundock. ‘We did not know what would happen if it came in before we got to the mark. We could have been mowed down.’

The leaders held their positions to the finish while the tail-enders eventually had to beat to the finish.

Bundock said: ‘Once there is a bit of breeze, we have no trouble with our speed.

‘The situation is definitely a lot better than it was yesterday. We are only ten points behind the leader. I think a couple more days like that and we will be in with a shot again realistically. After yesterday, I did not think we had a hope in hell.’

Bob Ross' detailed analysis from Athens will be in the November issue of Australian Sailing and Australian Yachting.

by Bob Ross

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