Windsurfing: Nick Dempsey lays the ghost of Beijing flop with surfing silver


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The Independent Online

The nerves and the sleepless nights can finally give way to a family holiday as Nick Dempsey has two Olympic medals of his own – like his wife – after winning a silver in the men's windsurfer class yesterday in front of a home crowd cheering him all the way. They will have another British medal to cheer tomorrow.

Security men whose job it is to see that the spectators cannot interfere with the competitors found themselves having to put themselves between the competitor and spectators as Dempsey jumped ashore to hug his three-year-old son Thomas, watching on the Nothe peninsula, who asked: "Have you finished work now?"

Dempsey's five-month-old Oscar was not there and his wife, Sarah, herself a double gold medal winner, was on a boat watching. They will not, said Dempsey again, be teaming up for the new mixed-gender catamaran in 2016, but he has ordered a few kites as the windsurfer bows out of Olympic contention to be replaced by the kiteboards, and Sarah may be tempted by the new women's skiff.

After the race Dempsey – who said he hopes to continue Olympic sailing – paid generous tribute to his wife's decision to give up a crack at a third gold to look after the children while he set about tackling the demons of coming fourth in China.

The triumphant Dempsey – who has worked so hard since winning bronze in Greece in 2004 – was met back at the dock by eight sailing squad team-mates, who carried him ashore on his sailboard.

The gold had gone emphatically to Dorian van Rijsselberge, who turned the last race into a lap of honour, with Bryony Shaw, the bronze medallist in China, finishing in seventh.

There is still all to play for in the men's 470 class with Australia's Malcolm Page and Mathew Belcher leading Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell by four points. One will win the gold, the other the silver, but the British pair need to be two places ahead in the final race tomorrow to deny the pre-regatta favourites and current world champions the gold.

Their women counterparts, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, are four points behind the New Zealand leaders, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, with three races to go and, with the Netherlands pair, these three are well clear. Breeze suits the Kiwis, the Brits are happy with the light and tricky stuff.

In the women's match-racing, GB and Russia were 1-1 after their first two races in the best-of-five quarter-final round, while the United Staes was unexpectedly 2-0 down to Finland.