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Letter from Qingdao- Fushan Bay blots its copybook

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World on 14 Aug 2008
2008 Olympic Regatta - Qingdao - Day 6 - seawall in fog © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Greetings from Qingdao, on this the sixth day of the 2008 Sailing Olympics.

The grey sea mist had rolled into Qingdao by the time it came to get this morning.

The bay was a flat calm, with the mist conveniently hiding the algae gatherers.

It didn't look good for racing to day, and sure enough at around 1130hrs the postponement flag was raised, and there it has stayed for almost the past couple of hours.

the media conference this morning the topic of conversation had shifted from the presence of a 100metre long oil slick to the wind, or rather lack of it, and the options with medal races looming on Saturday.

Like that old line about 'women and cats doing as they please, and men and dogs should get used to it,' so it is for the organisers of this Olympic Regatta.

The media's curiosity being raised by the fact that on one course the racing was being held up yesterday for the wind to increase from six to seven kts, while on another the racing was recorded in official reports as being conducted in 2.5kts.

After batting away specific answers on the question of minimum wind limits and the standards for this regatta, the media were finally advised that the lower limit was in fact 4kts and the upper limit was 25kts.

However these were only guidelines, and if officials were happy with running racing outside these limits then they would do so.

Later we were informed that the 2.5kts was in fact a typo in the race report and that they had keyed 2.5 metres per second, which equates to around 4-5kts, so that box was ticked. On the question of waiting for the seven kts to arrive, this was not apparently the case, but the official line was that the officials were waiting for the wind to settle in direction.

Either way, it is small change. We are all a little bit the wiser. But with racing still on hold for over two hours, Qingdao has joined all the other world regatta venues, who cannot guarantee wind.

However, credit, where credit is due - very few people in the world would have put money on Qingdao getting away racing on the first five days of the 2008 Olympic Regatta.


Good Sailing!

Richard Gladwell


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