by Brian Todd
The SKUD 18 of the Canadian team, leaves the Olympic Marina for the 2008 Paralympics Practice Race
Qingdao delivered a beautiful sunny day with a surprising 7-10kt breeze. Things started out a little slow but as race time came there was a 4-6kt breeze out of the 100-110 range and this built as the practice race moved along to reach 10 kts at times.
The famed Qingdao current was a little late on course A plus it was not quite as strong as predicted (maybe that happened after racing)
Portugal’s SKUD 18, 2008 Paralympics Practice Race
The Canadian sailors on course A in the Skud and 2.4 had excellent starts and set themselves up well on the first beat. John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit (RVicYC) led at every mark and showed excellent tactical and covering skills as they 'worked the fleet' . I the 2.4 it is a little more difficult to fallow the action from the coachboat in the 'coachboat zone' which is an area behind the startline that has pretty tight constraints, eventually the race committee put up code flag U allowing the coaches to wander up the course slightly to see more of the action. The 2.4 fleet was very tight that made for exciting racing.
Canadian Sonar team, 2008 Paralympics Practice Race
Speaking of tight, the Sonar fleet went around the course like they were tied together, plenty of bumping at the marks and the occasional raised voice.
But all this was just practice – the big show begins tomorrow, teams were cleaning their boats down and doing last minute prep following sailing today and all the Canadian team at least are ready to get the racing started.
Hopefully will have some results following tomorrow’s racing.
Canadian Sailing Team
Aboard the Canadian SKUD 18, 2008 Paralympics Practice Race
Building paintings are a feature of the 2008 Paralympics