Locals and visitors took advantage of the panoramic views at Sandsfoot Castle gardens in Wyke Regis, Weymouth, today as Great Britain’s Nick Dempsey and Spain’s Marina Alabau sailed to victory at the Windsurfing races in Weymouth and Portland bay.
The venue, which is free of charge, and not far from the ticketed events being held at the Nothe Fort, was an excellent location to witness Nick Dempsey scoop his Silver for the Windsurfing men’s RS:X class – a huge personal achievement for the athlete who missed out on a medal in Bejing four years ago. Spectators of all nationalities shared in his success by waving huge GB flags, cheering and singing, creating an electric atmosphere for us all to share.
Shortly after the GB celebrations, Spanish supporters took front row places at the ruins of the Castle. They watched the BBC coverage of the race on their ipad whilst the live action unfolded in front of them as their Olympian, Marina Alabau sailed into first place in the Women’s Windsurfing RS:X class, winning Spain its first Gold medal in the Olympic games so far.
I spoke to Spanish spectators, Alma and Juan, who had taken advantage of staying with English friends in Gloucester for the duration of the games: “We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the live sailing. Marina has performed consistently well and we wanted to witness the moment all her hard work paid off – and it certainly has! We are very proud.” Sandsfoot Castle was recommended to them as a spectator site for the sailing by locals: “It’s the perfect location” added Juan.
It was a privilege and a pleasure to observe the Olympic Sailing from such a close vantage point today, which was not only a once in a lifetime opportunity for us all personally, but a great chance to show off our beautiful coast line to the world!
Olympic sailing events will return to our waters on Wednesday 8th August at 12.00 with the women’s 470 sailing, and the men’s 49er medal race at 13.00.
By Sally Welbourn