Boards at the Olympics: Medal Race Day - Boards Windsurfing

Windsurfing Magazine



Boards at the Olympics: Medal Race Day

Four years after the heartache of Beijing, Nick Dempsey takes home a silver medal after a brilliant medal race.

Nick celebrated in style, being the first sailor to make a swim to the Nothe.

“I wanted to go and say hello, the boys were on there, with friends and family, these moments don’t come  around that often so being able to share it with them made it even more special.”

Nick was seen on the BBC giggling with his son Thomas on the shore.

“He said to me ‘Have you finished work now Daddy?’ which was brilliant.

I didn’t really sleep last night I was very nervous, but once the count down starts the nerves kind of go away and you concentrate on the racing and the situation.

It feels so good, it feels amazing to have won silver. It doesn’t entirely make up for four years ago, but almost.”

Ahead of Nick, Dorian who had already won gold did not hold back in the final race, taking yet another victory and showing the rest of the fleet why he deserved to win.

“It’s not been easy at all, but I have been enjoying myself a lot this week and I think when you’re enjoying yourself sometimes things look easy.”

As soon as you’re sailing on the course and everyone’s rooting for you, you cannot not laugh! So, you get a smile on your face and goosebumps a little, it’s great.”

Dorian just had to complete the final race, so did it feel like a lap of honour to him?

“Secretly a little bit! From the second lap on when I was in the lead yes, it felt good!”

Przemyslaw Miarczynski had a fantastic medal race, to overtake Toni Wilhelm and take the bronze medal.

“I am very happy, my dream has come true. It is my fourth Olympics, and probably the last in windsurfing, so that’s why I am even more happy! We’ll be celebrating for sure today!

It was not so difficult for me, the final race. Maybe for Nick or Toni it was worse, but for me I was just attacking. My plan was to start at the pin end which I did, I went to the left side and then all the race went to plan.”

In with women’s fleet it was Marina Alabau that took victory, clear of both of her competitors and finishing in style with another race win.

The medal race was super exciting, the conditions were really good. I was really with a lot of confidence going into the last race, I did all that I had to do and I am super happy now!”

Tuuli Petaja also had a fantastic medal race, which put her up into silver medal position.

“It was really gusty, shifty conditions today and these conditions probably suit me better, I am more on the technical side of the racing. It was really, really fun racing out there today. I knew that I needed to be ahead of Germany, Poland and Israel, so that was my main goal, then I think the results were changing a lot as the race went on.”

Zofia of Poland came from nowhere in the race to take the bronze medal, after the race Zofia was protested by the Ukraine but we can confirm that this has not been taken through and Zofia officially has bronze.


Dorian already has the gold secured, Nick is in a good position for silver and Toni from Germany is sitting in third.

We already know Dorian is out to race his best and finish in style, Nick is planning on racing hard and taking silver, but what is the approach for third placed Toni? Does he think he can catch Nick?

Boards caught up with him just before the race to find out more:

How was your regatta?

“It was really good, I am really happy to have sailed really consistently as well. Of course the last day was not as good as I hoped, but in the end I am really happy about it. I am in a position to fight for a medal and I think that’s the greatest thing you can achieve.”

Toni Wilhelm © Boards Magazine / Adam Duckworth

Are you chasing Nick or defending bronze? 

“First of all I want to sail my race, but of course I am going to have an eye on the Polish, I have to defend him. Six points is not a lot in the medal race. I’m not really chasing Nick, more concentrating on the Polish I think. It’s too hard of a mission to catch up to Nick, for that I have to go for a win and hope that he’s doing a really bad race, this in the end is risky. If it’s happening I’ll be really happy, but I think that would be too crazy!”

Views on Dorian

“Dorian’s a fair sportsman, of course he will finish the race. But most of all he will just enjoy it I think, he’s coming in first all week so I am sure he will want to do the same again. It was funny because the rest of the year at most regattas he would have one race he messed up and this sometimes put him into difficulties. It was just extraordinary how he has managed to be so consistent and that consistent in the top three, he never even got out of the top three.”


Today the top 10 men and women in the RS:X fleets will take to the water, in a final fight to take home the medals.

The men will hit the water first, at 13.00 followed by the women at 14.00, both competing on the Nothe course in front of the huge crowds lining the shore. The conditions look to be a fairly consistent 15knots with cloud, rain and then more rain towards the afternoon.

Nick Dempsey fights Poland and Germany for the silver medal. © Boards Magazine / Adam Duckworth

Dorian van Rijsselberghe has already secured gold in the men’s fleet, only having to go out and complete the race, however knowing Dorian he will want to put on a show and finish in style. Nick Dempsey is determined to take silver and is in a brilliant position, 11 points clear of Germany in third, and a further six points ahead of Poland in fourth.

Marina Alabau of Spain is in a commanding position in the women’s fleet, with a 14 point lead ahead of Lee of Israel in second, who in on joint points with Tuuli of Finland in third. The points gap behind them is incredibly tight, with Bryony Shaw in 7th just 11 points behind silver. This means in the women’s fleet it really is all to play for.

All of the racing will be televised live by the BBC, plus we will bring you interviews and images of the sailors before and after racing.

Full women’s results.

Full men’s results.


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