This Friday evening, at eight seconds past eight minutes past eight in the evening, Central China time, on the eighth of August, two thousand and eight, the Beijing Olympic Games will officially start. That is 8:08:08 p.m. on 08-08-08 - a total of six eights – and Chinese tradition would suggest eight eights would be really, really lucky.
China is in the midst of typhoon season, last year there were a not so lucky eight.
The sixth of the 2008 season Typhoon Fengshen battered Hong Kong and Shenzhen province in June. Number seven Typhoon Fung Wong landed much further north closer to Qingdao this week.
Last week the residual effects of Fung Wong brought winds of 25-30 knots to Fushan Bay and in the following days there was 15-20 knots inside the oil/algae boom gated race course.
Thankfully the heavy onshore winds did not bring in any more algae so that threat has now receded, as sailors are now confirming.
Australian Tornado sailor Darren Bundock reported yesterday the green slime was no longer an issue in the Olympic sailing course area. ‘The algae has gone’ he said. ‘Its back to normal, big tides and very little wind.’
Now with just three days before the start of the Finn and Yngling races, weekend winds are expected to drop back into the 5-10 knot range. Situation as expected.
However some time in the next two weeks we have to wonder if Typhoon Number 8 might have Qingdao on its flight path.
We rather suspect the sailing event organisers have already chosen the last two eights to round out the six provided by the Olympic Games opening.
The wish list for race officials must be for two more lucky eights - knots and races - for each Olympic class at least, and the postcard conditions pictured a few weeks ago.
We hope too that the Olympic sailors get at least the ‘8/8’s’ and hope for ‘10/10’s’ or more.
Regardless the Sail-World team look forward to bringing you all the detailed news from Qingdao or better still Tsingtao.
Yes, we are sure the fog, algae, wind and tides will all look better, at least for the Sail-World media team after a few quiet Tsingtao beers when we have all arrived in town.
Qingdao’s Beer Gate -