UPDATE 1-Olympics-Sailing-Van Rijsselberghe clinches gold; Scheidt hunts record
(Recasts to add additional sailing results, comment from sailors, medal race details)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO Aug 12 (Reuters) - The Netherlands's Dorian van Rijsselberghe clinched the first sailing gold of the Rio 2016 Games, winning the men's RS:X boardsailing class on points before the regatta finished, World Sailing, the sport's governing body, said on Friday.
With 23 points after 12 preliminary races, the Dutchman sits 21 ahead of Britain's Nick Dempsey, who has clinched silver, World Sailing, formally known as the International Sailing Federation or ISAF, said.
That is an insurmountable lead even if van Rijsselberghe is disqualified in the final medal race scheduled for Sunday and Dempsey wins, World Sailing said. The only thing now that could put Van Rijsselberghe and Dempsey's medals at risk, is failure to make a "judicious" effort to sail in the medal race, the governing body said.
"If they show up Sunday and sail, they win," a World Sailing press spokesman said.
Van Rijsselberghe racked up seven first-place finishes in 12 races, the most dominant performance of any sailor so far at Rio 2016.
"Its been great because the whole week I haven't talked to him, and it's been pretty tense because we're like arrggghhh...," Van Rijsselberghe said of his rivalry with Dempsey.
"If there's one opponent that makes me work for it and makes me sail excellent, it's him," he added. Continuación...