Spotting Tornados and Stars in the murk

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008.
There are slow days and dull days, and grey days, and then there are slow, dull, grey days watching the Olympic regatta in Qingdao when you cannot see the horizon around a full 360 degrees. It makes you wonder what we are breathing here.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. There’s a Star fleet out there somewhere.

The promised treat for this afternoon was the Tornado fleet zooming around the race course while the Stars followed along behind in slightly more sedate fashion. Reality was no more than a crumb of breeze that pushed both fleets part way round the course, changed direction, and then fizzed completely. ‘N’ flag, three guns, race abandoned.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. "Ummm that way, I think." Plantier Santos shows Domingos (POR) the way to the bottom mark.

After that it was a long windless wait under aching grey skies. The Tornados cruised around (slowly) like sharks looking for a dinner, and the Stars stayed out of their way. Most of the Stars had taken down mains and were rolling up jibs when the RO signalled ‘AP over A’ and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and headed for home.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Packing up to go home.

We couldn’t actually see the coastline at that point, so the driver headed north until there was something visible, then turned a bit lefty until the Qingdao marina tower loomed out of the murk.

But there was something out there to cheer us up...

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Cheeky Australian suppporter spotted on teh racecourse.