Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Congrats to Ben

Congrats to Ben for taking gold in the Olympic Finn. It was a good and spectacular fight, and Jonas even managed to produce a smile at the ceremony. Olympic silver isn't too bad...
Jonas, Ben and Jonathan
However, it is not just about winning. Sometimes it is also about how you win, and what a downer! After being in the lead in ten races, Jonas lost the Gold in the 11th race, the so-called medal race.
Something to think about
Duh! Fact of the matter is, the two top contenders are extremely close in performance. After 11 races Jonas is still ahead on points, so obviously Jonas is the faster sailor of the two. Even with the double points from the medal race, Jonas has 54 and Ben has 58 points. Then the throw away kicks in, and due to the double points from race 11, they end up as equals with 46 points. Now, had they sailed by regular ISAF rules, Jonas would have won by rule A8.1: If there is a series-score tie between two or more boats, each boat’s race scores shall be listed in order of best to worst, and at the first point(s) where there is a difference the tie shall be broken in favour of the boat(s) with the best score(s). No excluded scores shall be used.

Yeah yeah! I hear you... sour grapes and all that. However it is obvious from the scoreboard, that Jonas was the faster, better sailor. Jonas knows, Ben knows, and Jonas knows that Ben knows. That's probably why he smiles after all.

How very strange and sad that the Olympics is no longer about "Faster, stronger, higher"...


  1. That last race was very tough on Jonas - I did feel sorry for him. Ben was in a way brutal, but then its a gold medal we're talking about here and he sailed within the rules. Or to put it another way, Ben displayed superior tactics compared to Jonas.

    Reminded me of Sydney Olympics, equally aggressive sailing.

    Needless to say the matter of ISAF rules on scores in case of draw did come up in discussions on the Nothe!

  2. Thanx JP. Let's just say I had a feeling they'd discuss that on the Nothe :-D Oh, and I agree... Jonas could have chosen to sail differently in race 11.

  3. Deffinately sour grapes on that post, it's neither gracious nor sporting. Ben won because he understood the course and the race that day better than any other sailor. Not only did he control Jonas's race, but he had an overview of where everyone else that mattered was. Plus the strategic view of the course, that's some feat. the Best man won.
    Had it been the other way round I would have said an unequivocal "Well done" to Jonas, I find it sad that you have not done the same.
    Not the other anonymous guy.

  4. Hey Anonymous Dude... I'd be glad to add a well done; That just doesn't change the fact that - by the numbers - Jonas clearly was faster. Where we differ is that you only look at the win. In this post here I discuss how the win came about, and it is pretty obvious that it didn't come about because of superior sailing abilities. The point is not to take the glory away from the winner; The point is, that there is something wrong with how they find the winner. Olympics is no longer about Citius, altius, fortius. Now that's sad...

  5. The Other Anonymous Dude.09 August, 2012 01:48

    Sour grapes Noodle. All scoring systems are somewhat arbitrary. They both knew the rules and how the scores would be calculated. Ben won based on the scoring system that everyone knew applied. Ben is by far the better sailor. Jonas knows, Ben knows, and Jonas knows that Ben knows. Get over it.

  6. The grapes are fine. Thank you very much. The problem is, that you are right. Ben won because of the Olympic scoring system, not because he was faster. By ISAF standard scoring Jonas would have won, and by simply looking at the numbers on the scoreboard it is obvious Jonas was faster. Winning like that is neither gracious nor sporting, which leaves us with another issue: What's the point of the Olympics?

  7. Oo Noodle, don't be so grumpy. It is not a "problem" that Ben won because of the scoring system. It's a fact.

    Your argument is silly and pointless. Jonas's scores don't prove he was "faster". There wasn't a speedometer on his boat. All the scores show his where people finished in the race. A sailor can sometimes be faster than all the other sailors and still not win the race if he doesn't play the shifts right. Then there are rules that define how the scores from individual races count and how ties are broken. And based on those rules, Ben won.

    Even under the ISAF rules it's possible for sailor A to beat sailor B in the majority of the races and still sailor B will win the regatta, depending on how many other sailors finish between them in all the races.

    In baseball the team that gets the most hits doesn't win the game; the one with the most runs does. Nobody whines that the best hitters should win.

    What's the point of the Olympics? To allow athletes to compete in games according to predefined rules to fins the best athletes in the world. Ben is the best Finn sailor in the world and the best Olympic sailor of all time.

    Jonas knows that, Ben knows that, Jonas knows Ben knows that. You know that too. Quit whining.

  8. I think the title and opening sentence are clearly not sour grapes! However simply going fast is not what fleet or match racing is about - unlike (say) those AC drag races, which end up being rather boring

    Note it could have been worse - also feel for Annalise Murphy who was the fastest for several races then came 4th.


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