Sail-World.com : Today is huge. There is wind!
Today is huge. There is wind!
With yesterday's lack of wind, the schedules are a little backed up, and the race committee will attempt to catch up a bit today. Every class races today:
On Course A, Tornados and Stars have the first two races of their regatta. 1pm warning signal.
On Course B, RS:X men and women each have two races. Noon warning signal. And then, once they are done, 49ers will take over course B and shoot for three races. No warning signal before 2pm, and the word from on high is that they will stay out as late as possible to attempt three races.
On Course C, Laser and Radials will go for three. Noon warning signal.
On course D, 470 men and women will have their regularly scheduled two races. 1pm warning signal.
On Course E, Ynglings and Finns will go for three. Noon warning signal.
BIG DAY! The whole team is in action, which means it will be quiet on the 15th floor where some of the staff will be watching. But it also means none of the team will have to watch me stressing and freaking as we watch the results on TV and online.
I've been up for a while already today, earlier than normal. I can't sit still, my knee has been bouncing hard for a while, and the heart is pumping. And I don't think anyone else on the team (or in the venue, for that matter) will be up for a while. Good thing I don't have my annual physical today. My blood pressure might be higher than normal!
When I start to see the team later this morning, I'll be my normal self, and I'll do everything I can to hide my excitement. But I'm sharing it here, because I am popping out of my chair right now. This is one of those days that makes being Chairman and Team Leader great and terrible at the same time. It's great because I get that front row seat to some wonderful athletes doing what they do.
But it's terrible because I care so damn much about these people, and I am fully invested in what is going on here. About four years ago (3 years, 9 months, and 16 days... but other than me, who's counting?) I put all my chips on the table, pushed everything to the middle, and said 'I'm all in.' I made the life decision to invest fully my time and effort, and in many ways my reputation, in our Olympic Program. Today is one of those days where we'll see what the ROI was on that wager.
But then again, I'll contradict my previous sentence, because the ROI on that decision several years ago is not solely tied to results. I have spent the last four years talking publicly and privately about the need for results. And our results do matter. If we don't perform, there will be criticism. And if we do perform, the next steps for our program become more clear and easier to take. But regardless of this reality, I'm happy with the personal wager I made, no matter what the results are. This has been the experience of a lifetime and it is an honor and priviledge to work with the staff, volunteers, coaches and athletes in this program.
So, back to today. It's a big day. Why? Lots of reasons...
For Ynglings and Finns, tomorrow is their medal race. Zach, Sally, Debbie and Carrie are all in serious medal contention as of now. Today is the day that they can consolidate their leads, and make tomorrow more comfortable. Or, something else can happen.
For Lasers and Radials, at the end of the day today more than half their regatta will be over. Anna is leading the pack, and Andrew is lurking right there, fully in the hunt for a top spot. We'll know a lot more about how their regattas are going to go after today.
For 49ers, Tim and Chris have the opportunity to keep the momentum going and continue their assault on a poldium position.
For 470s and RS:Xs, all of our teams are further back, and they all know at this point that medals are a long shot. But it's the Olympics and every day is an opportunity to produce a memorable performance.
And for Tornados and Stars, today is day 1 of their regattas, and we'll get an idea of how they will fit into the pecking order in their fleets.
Anyway, I'm pumped. I'm all in, and ready to see how my hand plays out.
Stay tuned. Today is huge. Did I say that already?
by Dean Brenner Team Leader US Olympic Sailing Team
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12:19 AM Fri 15 Aug 2008 GMT
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