WEYMOUTH, England ● Dorian van Rijsselberg of the Netherlands and Spain’s Marina Alabau Neira won the last Olympics gold medals of the RS:X windsurfing event on Tuesday.
The RS:X class is unlikely to be raced in Rio following a decision by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) in May to replace it with kite-surfing, though that decision is being challenged by the International RS:X Class Association Ltd.
Van Rijsselberg had an unassailable lead before the medal race on Tuesday and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere though he still finished second behind France’s Julien Bontemps.
“This was proper sailing. I’ve had lots of fun,” van Rijsselberg said. “We were having a nice medal race hearing the crowd and everyone cheering.”
The 2004 bronze medallist Nick Dempsey captured silver in front of a home crowd putting behind him the agony of missing out on a medal in Beijing.
Dempsey and his two-time British Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton and two sons live in Weymouth in the south-west of England, which is the venue for the sailing competition.
“It’s just amazingly special being here. I’m usually thousands of miles away,” he said.
Poland’s Przemyslaw Miarczynski won bronze.
“I’m very happy. My dream has come true,” the veteran of four Olympics Miarczynski said. “It’s amazing. It’s my fourth Olympics and probably the last in windsurfing”.
Spain’s Alabau Neira clinched the gold in the women’s competition by sailing serenely over the tricky shoreline Nothe medal course, ahead of Finland’s Tuuli Petaja, who clinched silver and Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka who claimed bronze.
“It was super exciting,” Alabau Neira said.
“I managed to do everything I wanted to do. I feel I had a really good week and a really good medal”.