Olympic Predictions

Ed Gorman has put together madforsailing's country by country guide to the form book in Sydney
Predicting medal-winners in Olympic sailing is never easy. Too many factors can come into play and most competitors are aware that Sydney Harbour may well have a decisive say on the outcome of more than one class in this Olympic regatta. Australia No surprise then that the team with home advantage is being widely tipped to carry off more medals than any other, though they are unlikely to rival the USA's performance at Barcelona in 1992, when American sailors took home nine medals, one gold, six silver and two bronze. The Australians are in the medal zone in the Men's Boards with Lars Kleppich (world champion last year); the Tornado with Darren Bundock and John Forbes (world champions 1998); the Men's 470 with Tom King and Mark Turnbull (world champions this year); Women's 470s with Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell (second at the worlds and current European champions); the Laser with Michael Blackburn (fourth in Savannah); the Star with Colin Beashel and David Giles (world champions last year), and the 49ers with Chris Nicholson and Daniel Phillips (world champions in 1997, '98 and '99). As if that is not enough, the home nation also has outside chances in the Europe with Melanie Dennison and the Women's Boards through Jessica Crisp. Britain The British team - the strongest sent to the Games in recent years - is second on paper with clear medal chances for Ben Ainslie in Lasers (former world champion, silver medallist and triple European champion); Iain Percy in Finns (European champion); Andy Beadsworth, Barry Parkin and Richard Sydenham in Solings (fourth in Savannah, third in this year's match racing worlds), and Shirley Robertson in Europes (second in this year's world championships and fourth in Savannah). There are also outside chances in the Star through Ian Walker and Mark Covell and