Humour is one thing the Brits do well, and the opening ceremony included some fantastic little touches that said: “just in case you’re taking this too seriously... think again!” Like the Queen apparently parachuting into the opening ceremony with James Bond… and Mr Bean, who joined the symphony orchestra to play Chariots of Fire. In case you missed it, he became so bored of playing his single note that he got up to all sorts of antics.

Australian 49er sailors wear snorkel

Aussie 49er skipper Nathan Outteridge donned a mask and snorkel, acknowledging his team's ribbing for a capsize the previous day. It didn't slow the Aussie boat down much - they're leading the fleet. Photo: Onedition

There’s been a fair amount of humour at these Olympics. The thing is, whether you’re hurting or you’re winning, humour is a good cure and a helps to keep your feet on the ground. Let’s face it, with 20-degree windshifts, tide changes not quite according to the timetable, and the wind doing strange things, you need a good sense of humour!

And it’s not just the Brits that do humour; the Aussies are pretty good at it as well.

In the 49er class capsizing is all part of the game… but that doesn’t usually mean sailing with a snorkel… especially at an Olympic regatta. Unless, that is, you’re Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. The Aussie pair, who entered the event as hot favourites, can certainly take a joke. After capsizing yesterday, they obviously got a fair amount of teasing from their mates, to the extent that they were presented with a snorkel. They duly turned up for today’s racing suitably clad… and it didn’t seem to do them much harm as they posted a second and a first to take a 13-point jump on the fleet.


Gael Pawson is the founder of Creating Waves and has been the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine for over 10 years. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.