Australia’s pairing of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have secured an unassailable lead in the 49er skiff class.
Having killed off the gold-medal aspirations of their nearest rivals, New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, in the 15th round, their final race on Wednesday has become a formality.
Their success came less than three hours after Tom Slingsby, from Gosford, won Australia’s first individual gold medal, and only the nation’s second in all sports at the London Olympics. "I hope this kick-starts the Australian campaign, brings out our fighting spirit," said Slingsby.
Australia also has high hopes of further medals this week, with its women’s match racing team, skippered by Drummoyne-based Olivia Price, unbeaten in racing so far, and the men’s 470 pairing of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page still in contention.
Outteridge said he felt relief rather than euphoria over the result. ‘‘We’ve worked so hard for this. The win hasn’t really kicked in but, yes, it’s a great feeling. Everything fell into place this week. So, yes, we’re pretty pumped about it.
‘‘It was just awesome to go out and see Tom [Slingsby] win his medal.’’
Indeed, the pair almost missed the start of their race because they were celebrating with their teammate.
‘‘Goobs [Jensen] was saying come on, we gotta get going.
He revealed that Slingsby eventually told them, "Right, it’s your turn now, guys".
The pair’s tactics were simple. ‘‘All we had to do was go out there today and keep it simple. It turned out fine. Not even stressful,’’ said skipper Outteridge, who comes from Wangi Wangi on Lake Macquarie.
Crew member Jensen said it was especially satisfactory to have won the gold with his long-time mate Outteridge.
‘‘I guess we may share a beer or two tonight.’’
The Australians were pleased to see their New Zealand rivals claim the silver medal.
‘‘We have been training with them for three years. It was good to see it all work out.’’