WEYMOUTH, England - College of Charleston sailor Juan Maegli is currently tied for second place in the Men's Laser at the XXX Olympiad after completing two of the ten races which comprise the event.
Representing his home country of Guatemala, Maegli sits in a second-place tie with Tonci Sipanovic of Croatia. They trail current world No. 1 Tom Slingsby of Australia by eight race points.
On Monday, July 30, Maegli championed the first race of the event by a 27-second margin after rounding every mark ahead of the pack. In the second race of the day, Maegli rounded the first mark in 13th place but closed down the stretch to finish in 10th.
"It is pretty cool that he rounded the first mark in 13th and picked up three positions to finish 10th," said CofC director of sailing Greg Fisher. "That is rather impressive, especially given the level of the competition there."
Races 3-10 will be contested from July 31-Aug. 4 with the medal race scheduled for Monday, Aug. 6 at 4 a.m. (ET) - 9:00 a.m. (Local Time). Check your local NBC and NBC Networks listings for televised events or watch live video on www.NBCOlympics.com.
All of the races will use a fleet racing format (all boats in the same class race one another on the same course) where the winner of each race earns one point, and each subsequent place earns points in an ascending order. The boats contest a series of 10 races and the points are totaled, with the points from the worst finish discarded. From there, the top 10 finishers are placed in a single-medal race, which has the points doubled. Medals are then awarded to the top three boats, based on total points (including the medal race and series races).
The Laser is the smallest class of boat sailed at the Olympics and could end up the most hotly contested in 2012. The 14 foot, 130 pound craft is one of the most popular racing dinghies and over 250,000 of the boats had been manufactured as of 2011. As a One-Design class, all of the sailors have the same boat with matching specifications for hardware.
The simple setup of hull, single sail, centerboard, and tiller, doesn't allow for much tuning or adjustment of the boat, so the person sailing the boat and their tactics remain the most important key to winning a race. Sailors employ a variety of tactics, and body positioning maneuvers to keep their boats moving at rapid pace. A typical Laser sailor will weigh 185-200 pounds.