Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Qingdao International Sailing Centre, Qingdao
Date Started: August 15, 2008
Date Finished: August 21, 2008
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best 10 of 11 scores to count for final placement. Medal race points count double.
The Tornado class had been held since the 1976 Olympics, but after the 2008 Beijing Games, no multihull class was held at the 2012 London Olympics, but the Nacra 17 multihull class is scheduled to be held at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
From 1900-1980 all Olympic sailing (yachting) events had been mixed. From 1984-2008 some of the events were mixed, but in 2012 all events would be fully segregated by gender, although again, the Nacra 17 class at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 is to be a mixed event. The Tornado class in 2008 had 15 boats entered, with 30 sailors, with Belgium’s Carolijn Brouwer the only woman.
The two favorites were Spain, World Champions in 2005 and 2007, and Australia, World Champions in 2006 and 2008. Fernando Echavarri and Antón Paz had a narrow lead over Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby entering the medal race. The Spaniards finished fourth in the medal race, one spot ahead of the Aussies, to clinch the gold medal. In the medal race Australia fluffed their start and then broke a mast swivel which cost them dearly. The bronze medal went to the Argentine pair of Santiago Lange and Carlos Espínola, who had also won bronze at Athina in 2004.
Bundock had also won a silver medal in Tornado in 2000, with a different crew member. He also won six Tornado World Championships, winning in 1998, 2001-03, 2006, and 2008. The bronze medal for Espínola was his fourth Olympic medal, after winning silvers in windsurfing in 1996-2000.