Windsurfer Nick Dempsey got Team GB’s sailing medal tally up and running as he officially got his hands on a second successive Olympic silver before Giles Scott quickly ensured there would be a gold to celebrate.
Dempsey, who turned 36 yesterday, went into the men’s RS:X medal race on the Pao de Acucar course with nothing possible except finishing with silver, provided he completed it successfully, but still put in a shift to finish fourth.
The five-time Olympian enjoyed a consistent series to claim the Games medal of his illustrious career after silver at London 2012 and bronze at Athens 2004 with three wins before the medal race.
Dempsey’s silver is Team GB’s first sailing medal of Rio 2016 – Scott moments later guaranteeing a second in the Finn – and also sees him become the most decorated male windsurfer at the Olympic Games.
“I set out trying really hard to win the race and I had a lovely start but I made one little error and it became a bit of a procession and a cruise around to be honest.
“I couldn’t do a victory lap, I was sailing down wind and there was quite a big gap and the wind was starting to drop out and I could see them catching me up behind and I couldn’t, I just couldn’t cruise. I was a little bit frustrated I didn’t win.
“It is amazing [being most decorated male Olympic windsurfer], awesome, something I am incredibly proud of. It has been a long time, I have been working for a long time, and it is very hard to say at the top for that long. I am not sure I can do it again. I would love to if I could.”
Meanwhile four-time world champion Scott cannot be knocked off top spot in the Finn after and eighth and a second in the last two outings of his qualifying series gave him an unassailable lead going into the medal race.
Scott has a 24-point lead and now just needs to complete the medal race, where he will officially win Team GB’s fourth successive Olympic title in the Finn after three straight from Sir Ben Ainslie.
“If you had have asked me would I have won the Olympic Games before the medal race in Rio, I would have said absolutely not just because of the venue it is,” he said.
“But the racing we have had this week; I have managed to sail more consistently than everybody else at the top of the fleet.
“It has just landed me in this brilliant situation where I’ve got the points gap I need before the medal race and it’s such a privileged situation to be in.”