Jensen and Outteridge sail to silver
19 August 2016
SAILING: Defending Olympic champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen closed their 2016 campaign on a high by outsailing Germany in a nerve-wracking final race to claim silver in the 49er class.
With the gold already sewn up by New Zealand, the Aussies started the day in third place three points behind Germany.
To win silver they needed to finish two places ahead of Germany in the medal race, worth double points, and they achieved their goal by crossing the line fourth with the Germans back in eighth.
They also needed to stave off any challenge from Britain, 10 points behind them, or they might have surrendered a medal altogether.
“If we weren’t at the top of our game they would have passed us,” said Outteridge.
“It was stressful but we held our nerve.
“We had to keep passing boats and we kept our heads and did that, and kept the race in our control.
“There was always that thought in our heads that it could slip out of our control.”
A good start was the key for the 30-year-old from Newcastle, who said: “To be ahead of the two guys we needed to beat relaxed the nerves a bit.”
He said he felt more pressure as defending champion than he did going into the London 2012 Games.
“We’ve managed that pressure and fought hard the whole week,” he said.
Outteridge and Jensen also had to keep their thoughts from straying to the shoreline where fellow Aussies Matt Belcher and Will Ryan were celebrating a silver medal in the previous event, the 470 class.
“We had to try not to get caught up in their celebrations and get carried away with the victory they just had,” he said.