sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Challenges ahead for Olympic Sailors

Challenges ahead for Olympic Sailors

'Fog in Qingdao'   

The Games of the 29th Olympiad are looming as one of the most challenging ever since sailing became an Olympic sport in 1900. History will remind you that the first scheduled Olympic regatta, Greece in 1896, was blown away with wild winds.

A few weeks ago at Weymouth UK, the venue for the 2012 Olympic sailing event, several days of the 2008 Moths Worlds were blown away due to gale force winds. The opposite end of the wind spectrum is the potential problem at the resort city of Qingdao in the eastern Shandong province. Large tides and light winds prevail and Olympic sailors have been training for these conditions for the last four years.

Expecting lighter conditions than in any recent regattas, sailors have been embarking on a savage weight loss program. However Qingdao has thrown another curve ball. Qing in Chinese means 'green' or 'lush,' while the Dao means 'island.' and its nomenclature has been literal in recent times.

The sailing venue city's Yellow Sea coastline has been coated with a bright green algal bloom since late May. Its scientific name is enteromorpha prolifera. And prolific it is. It is a filamentous, very fast breeding alga, which grows from any break in its filaments. Some 300,000 tonnes of the algae have been removed, due to a giant human effort over the past weeks.

The Chinese have assembled two oil boom barriers to keep the algae out of the area. First a 20km oil boom barrier was completed, then a second 22 km barrier which can, theoretically block, algae at wind speeds up to 30 knots, was assembled 100 metres outside the first on the following day.

Earlier photo of the algae clean up underway in Qingdao -  Burling Media   Click Here to view large photo

As New Zealand sailor Finn Dan Slater reports, while the bulk of the algae has been removed, long strands remain in the waters of Fushan Bay and sailors will have to work hard to keep daggar boards, rudders and keels relatively drag free.

So all in all the Olympic Sailing regatta is probably going to be sailed on the most testing play field ever. During the event a combination of large tides, building towards three metres for the medal rounds, little wind, possible sea fog and humidity haze reducing top mark visibility and feral sea algae filaments, will test the resolve of the sailors.

Some already it seems, are unable to contain their frustration at the challenging venue, and for others a bad start will mentally confront their determination. Hopefully the winners will be the best sailors, although the conditions will surely deliver more than the usual number of hard luck stories.

The Olympic regatta program is in the normal format for the Olympic classes, a total of 11 races including the double-points Medal Race finale. The exception is the 49er class with 16 races. While there are two extra days that can be sailed in this regatta if lack of wind slows the scheduled program, the Notice of Race, just as it did for the Test event, declares that just one race is needed to constitute a series.

We can only hope, along with the Chinese hosts and the ISAF officials who signed off on the venue that Gold, Silver and Bronze are not decided in any class, with a tragically small number of races. However the threat of this possibility will have an affect on race tactics, as every race might be the last race, as sailors will not be able to assume an aggressive OCS will be washed away in race drops.

The cheering element is that in spite of concerns about windless conditions, the 2006 and 2007 test events regattas were completed on schedule and to most competitors' satisfaction and in both test events there was at least one day with 20 knot winds and similar conditions have been seen in the last few weeks.

And with Typhoon Fung Wong (Phoenix) now hitting the coast to the south, winds on Fushan Bay in Qingdao could gust to 30 knots today and the algae could again be blown over the oil booms.

British yachting journalist Bob Fisher, who will be in Qingdao reminded me this week that there is an old Chinese curse 'may you live in interesting times'.

It seems that at the very least the 399 Olympic sailors who will hit the water from Saturday 9 August are so cursed.




by Rob Kothe/Sail-World.com

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=47027

8:26 PM Tue 29 Jul 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2008 Olympics Qingdao

Related News Stories:

22 Aug 2010  Qingdao might spell the Future of Sailing
27 Nov 2008  Inspirational Meeting of the Medallists at RQYS
15 Nov 2008  Elliott 6 metre selected for 2012 Olympics
13 Nov 2008  ISAF Specialist Committees agree Olympic Equipment
12 Nov 2008  Ainslie and Sensini win ISAF Rolex Sailor Awards
05 Nov 2008  Boost for RS:X sailing down under
03 Nov 2008  Not time to change Olympic windsurfer says Pryde
21 Oct 2008  Tornado moots one design for 11th Olympic medal
06 Oct 2008  ISAF Working Party support NZ design for Olympics
26 Sep 2008  Day 1 of Nations Cup Qualifier - AUS and NZL
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World



























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,










Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT