One-off return for Mike McIntyre
1988 Star gold medallist Mike McIntyre is set to make a return to the Olympic keelboat at this year’s Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta being held over 4-9 June.
The pull of racing in Weymouth and Portland in the Star class was just too much, that McIntyre is set to return to the Olympic sailing arena to compete, once again, in the Star class. His previous gold medal winning partner Bryn Vaile has been replaced by James Grant this one-off appearance.
McIntyre explained his reasons for his unexpected return: “It’s largely nostalgia that has led me to race at this time. I have watched my daughter compete in the 470 at Skandia Sail for Gold over the last couple of years and thought I should be out there myself. This is the last chance I will get to race a Star in an open regatta in the UK, so we are going to enjoy every aspect of the event. I have only notched up about 30 minutes in a Star since 1988 and the first race next month will only be my 28th in total, including the seven from Games in Seoul in this class.”
McIntyre and Vaile’s preparations for the 1988 Seoul Olympics were quite different preparations of today’s generation who are preparing for this summer’s Olympics, “We’d only been campaigning together for 10 months (ahead of the Seoul Olympics) and I’d never sailed a Star previous to that. We were also both working full time and only got to sail every weekend. But we achieved so much in those two days because we had to stay so focussed on what we wanted to get out of each session. It was only when the sailing journalist Stuart Alexander started shouting at us “GOLD! GOLD! GOLD!” from the press boat we knew we’d done it,” Mike commented.
Stuart Alexander recalls that he was the only press guy on the boat, alongside Russian coach and multiple Olympic medallist Valentin Mankin. “We were on a Korean Naval vessel, the fleet were fairly scattered as Mike secured his win. My overriding memory is of Mark Reynolds saying “Goddamit – bet that guy never sails a Star again!”.”