Pin badges, chess and tiddlywinks

This man at the 2012 Olympic Games likes pin badges (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

This man at the 2012 Olympic Games likes pin badges (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

The unofficial Olympic sport of pin-badge collecting and trading has taken off during the lulls between competition for the real bling on the water here in Weymouth.

One security guard around the Weymouth and Portland sailing regatta venue is sporting a chestful of team badge souvenirs on his chest accreditation lanyard but, rather unsportingly, he and his colleagues  insisted on keeping tight-lipped about their pastime. When asked for an interview and a picture of the collection – Asian pins are the most sought after this games – they would only say they were under strict orders not to speak to anyone, and would not even say which company they were working for.

Perhaps they should lighten up, as the winds have done overnight, preventing the medal race for the men’s 470 dinghy race getting under way at the scheduled 1pm race-off for the medals.

British pairing Stuart Bithell and Luke Patience, guaranteed at least silver, are going head-to-head against Aussies Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page.

With just four points separating the two teams at the top of the leaderboard there was everything to play for in the double-points race, which is expected to turn into a match-racing duel.

But there were ominous warnings from weather guru Chris Atkins, in charge of field of play liaison at the regatta, at this morning’s briefing that it could be “time to get the chess and tiddlywinks out”.

Opening his remarks with: “Welcome to the lack of weather briefing”, he went on to explain that a high pressure system sitting over the UK together with an extremely slight prospect of any sea breeze kicking in later was making any racing (and therefore medal winning in the 470s) very unlikely today though slightly more likely tomorrow.

So spectators are turning their attention to other activities while cloud-watching. One mystery windsurfing enthusiast has painted a post box in Weymouth’s Wyke Road silver to mark Nick Dempsey’s medal in the RS:X discipline. Dempsey and his family live near the postbox. Royal Mail has launched an investigation to find the culprit. More spoilsports?