Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Rushcutters Bay Marina, Rose Bay, New South Wales
Date Started: September 23, 2000
Date Finished: September 30, 2000
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best nine of eleven scores to count for final placement.
The class was led mostly by Brazil’s Torben Grael and his crew member, Marcelo Ferreira. Entering the final race they had a five-point lead over the American and British boats. At the start of the 11th race, New Zealand’s Gavin Brady started early and pulled six other boats along with him. Grael did not realize this and continued on, and was eventually disqualified. The American skipper, Mark Reynolds, knew he had crossed early and re-started. He was able to catch up and finish second in the final race, just ahead of British skipper [Ian Walker], which brought the Americans the gold medal.
Reynolds was competing in his fourth Olympics, and this was his third Olympic medal, and second gold, also winning this class in 1992 with Hal Haenel, instead of his 2000 partner, Magnus Liljedahl. The British crew of Walker and Mark Covell starting racing together in 1999, after they each lost their original partners under tragic circumstances. Walker and his first helmsman, John Merricks, were riding in a van in Italy in 1997 when the driver lost control and crashed. Walker was OK, but Merricks was killed. In December 1998, Covell’s original helmsman, Glyn Charles, was swept overboard by a huge wave during a race in the Tasman Sea.