The day off did him good.
Rob Crane shot up to eighth place, by far his best showing at the Olympics, in race eight of the Laser sailing stakes, 1:34 in back of Australia’s Tom Slingsby in first, in Weymouth, England on Friday.
“A rest day yesterday, so I was feeling a little bit better today,” said Crane, 26 of Darien who is now in 26th position with two races to go before the medal event — competed in by the top 10 — on Monday. “Energy came back a little bit. It wasn’t completely back to where I normally am. But I was doing a little bit better, and that was nice, so that was part of the change for today.”
A slow start this week, that finds Crane now all but mathematically out of the medal race running, according to US Sailing, has not had anything to do with an injury, or, with anything tangibly dragging at his sails, it appears.
“Honesty, I have no idea,” said Crane. “Eight, 10 days ago when we were training here, and training in the breeze — I did well in the breeze — I physically felt good.”
Many sailors in competition have bemoaned the choppy conditions. But what’s made Crane’s Olympic experience all the more dicey is something he can’t explain.
“But then the regatta started, and there was no gas in the tank,” he said. “I’m not really sure what happened. It was a bit disappointing.”
Yet, improving from day one, every day — he also finished 18th in race seven Friday, 1:16 behind winner Julio Alsogaray of Argentina — Crane is on a trajectory to quite possibly do it once more with races 9-10 on Saturday.
“I just want to have the best day we can and see if we can move up a bit more with two good races,” he said.