Norwich’s Nick Dempsey adjusts sights to London Olympics windsurf silver lining
Nick Dempsey admitted he had long since given up on gold at London 2012 – but while he is all but guaranteed himself a medal, he only has eyes for silver in Weymouth.
Mulbarton windsurfer Dempsey will head into Tuesday's RS-X medal race virtually assured of a medal, having chalked up finishes of ninth and second in Sunday's two races – giving him an overall tally of 35 points and a firm grip on second place.
With Germany's Toni Wilhelm 11 points behind the Brit and Poland's Przemyslaw Miarczynski 17 points adrift, Dempsey would have to finish last in the medal race to lose a place on the podium – and even then Miarczynski would have to win it.
Out in front is Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberghe, who had long since wrapped up the gold medal even before failing to finish in race 10 – he has won six of the races so far and has streaked ahead.
As a result Dempsey, who won bronze at Athens 2004 in the mistral class, can only win silver – but he's willing to do so by any means necessary.
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'Silver has been the goal since half way through the week,' said 31-year-old Dempsey. 'Dorian has done an amazing job – he always has the potential to do that but he rarely pulls it off – he normally makes a couple of mistakes.
'He sailed better than I did this week and he 100pc deserves the win.
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'In the medal race I will be keeping any eye and a close cover on the guys just behind me and try to control what they do around the race course.
'If it's possible to take them down I'll take them down. I'm content with where I am – I just want to win the silver medal.
'I don't really care about putting on a show for the spectators – I just want to beat the others and win the silver medal and it must be silver.'
Light winds were causing havoc throughout the classes on Sunday and while Ben Ainslie was able to capitalise and secure a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, defending champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson were undone by it in the star class and had to settle for silver.
But Dempsey insists that the lighter conditions suit him – and asked the sailing gods to produce more of the same on Tuesday.
'It was a pretty good day for me; it was a bit disappointing to lose the five places in the first race – it knocked the wind out of my sails a bit,' he added.
'But in the second race the wind died down a bit and I was pretty up for that – I know I'm quick in the light winds, quicker than the other guys.
'And I probably sailed one of my best races ever – I had a reasonable start and then controlled the race which was really, really good. And I'm very happy to come out of the day with a bit of a lead over third.'