Forty-fifth (45th) spot was not the position T&T’s Andrew Lewis was hoping to be at the end of day one of his sailing event, yesterday at the London Olympic Games in England. It was a frustrating start for the local sailor, who is making his debut at the prolific sporting event. The blue skies, bright sunshine and the cold, crisp wind made it a perfect day for sailing at Weymouth and Portland in Dorset, a cool three-hour trip from London. Competing in the laser category—a men’s one-person dinghy event—Lewis finished race one in 46th place, improving somewhat in the race two, placing 43rd, giving him a total of 89 points at the beautiful secenic, Weymouth Bay South course. “I think it is best to say that I did not expect to do how I did today (yesterday). Yesterday (Sunday), I sailed the practice race and had a really good feeling for the boat. “I sailed really well and I thought I was going to sail like that today (yesterday) but I went out there and did not have two very good races,” said Lewis, who was visibly bothered by the outcome of the both races.
“The second race was better than the first race which shows I am improving. I had two good starts though, which indicates that I am starting better and I expect things to improve from here on.” Australian Tom Slingsby with a total of three points emerged the top performer for the day. Second was Guatemalan Juan Ignacio Maegli Aguero with 11 and third was Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic (11). Cy Thompson, the only other sailor from the Caribbean competing in the men’s event, ended in 24th spot with a total of 46. Other sailors from the region who were on show were St Lucia’s Beth Lygoe and US Virgin Islands’ Mayumi Roller, who placed 37th and 41st, respectively in the women’s laser radial. Lewis will look to step up in races three and four of the 10-race series today.
The races will be on an entirely new course which Lewis feels more confident in his approach as he looks to finish among the top 10 in the coming races, to get a chance to compete in the medal round on Sunday. “It is going to be a little bit different conditions. I know this race course a little better and it will benefit me. “Basically, I have to not let those technical mistakes happen and not make those mistakes that I shouldn’t be making anyway after all these years competing,” shared Lewis. T&T ace swimmer George Bovell dives back into the pool today at the Aquatic Centre in Olympic Park, when he competes in the men’s 100 metres freestyle event. In the Olympic bronze medallist first outing at the Games, he set a new national mark in the men’s 100m backstroke, swimming a personal best 55.22 seconds to place 29th overall.
He merely used the event as a warm-up for his pet event, the 50m freestyle which is scheduled for Thursday. Bovell will swim in lane two of heat four. There will be eight heats in all which starts at 10 am (5 am T&T time). While Bovell will be aiming to add to his collection, T&T boxer 19-year-old Carlos Suarez will make his debut at the Olympic Games in boxing at Excel South Arena2. Suarez will fight out of the blue corner against Ferhat Pehlivan (23) of Turkey at 8.45 pm (3.45pm T&T time) in the light flyweight class round of 32.
By Rachael Thompson-King