Olympic News - Day 6

14 Aug 2008

Editorial: Hurry up and Wait!

The seawall at the 2008 Olympic Regatta - Qingdao as the sea mist rolls in.  Richard Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.Com's Olympic newsletter for Day 6 of the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

Today was the first in the 2008 Olympic Regatta when Qingdao lived up to its reputation as the windless sailing venue, with the first full day's racing in six, being lost completely.

Prior to this regatta the region's reputation for not exactly having wind by the bucketful, caused the International Sailing Federation to write a specific sailing instruction, that allowed just one race to be sailed to constitute the regatta.

In hindsight that action has proved rather unnecessary, and Qingdao has delivered its fair share of wind – just like any other venue.

Today it was a case of hurry up and wait, before the pin was finally pulled on the racing around 1530hrs.

Sure enough with the racing off, the breeze kicked in with an easterly breeze of 12 knots – easily the strongest of the regatta, almost rattling the media centre windows. Predictions for the rest of the week are for more of then same – with relatively strong winds forecast for the first of the medal races on Saturday.

See our story with the graphics from PredictWind for a full analysis of the weather expected over the next five days. PredictWind is the brain-child of Alinghi weather team member, Jon Bilger, and has been proven to be very accurate, in our experience over the past few months.

The Australian Team Management day off - Rob Brown and Emmett Lazich go round and round the mulberry bush  Guy Nowell ©

The outcome of the abandonment of racing has caused tomorrow's program to be compressed, with all five course areas being used for the first time in the regatta. And all 11 classes will be sailing for the first time.

Tomorrow the Star and Tornado classes are due to start racing, and will be on Course A, just off the seawall at Qingdao.

As so often happens on these occasions, some issues grows ashore to be the main interest of the day, and today was no different, with the Code Zero question occupying the minds of many competing in the Tornado class.

After having issued a media release just a day ago saying that he would be using one of the smaller spinnaker developments that can be carried to windward, the Dutch decided to revert back to conventional spinnakers for the regatta, after hearing the weather prognosis - which is for winds of around 16knots tomorrow and staying at that strength for the rest of the regatta.

This is well outside the effective range for the Code Zero, which is about 11kts.

The mountains of Laoshan with the golden Mazu, the traditional godmother of Chinese fishermen, in the foreground  Richard Gladwell

Sail-World understands that only the US crew have opted to use the Code Zero. Interestingly, their crew, Charlie Ogletree is Chairman of the International Tornado Class Technical Committee – and is highly experienced in the clas. They will have weighed the options carefully. Sail-World understands that the US crew measured in two small spinnakers (one is a spare), while other crews were intending to hedge their bets with one of each.

Certainly several other top crews had run major development programs with both the Code Zero, and regular sized sails before making the decision to stay with a conventional sail, late this afternoon.

There won't be too much spare space on the media boats for Course A tomorrow, and the Tornado race promises to be the major point of interest, thus far.

We'll have full coverage and photos on the Sail-World.Com website as soon as the race is over.

Good Sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Sail-World Olympic Editor

Day Six blown out in Qingdao sailing
Rob Kothe,
Postponement flags at the Beijing Olympic sailing venue in Qingdao this morning. There was early morning light rain and a mist which reduced visibility to just a few hundred metres. Until 12 noon there was not even enough wind to ruffle the flags along the Harbour sea-wall.... [more]

Seppos tanked!*
Bob Fisher,
Mitch Booth, the master of mind games, has produced the master stroke in his Tornado campaign and probably destroyed the chances of the United States sailors who were his training partners. Booth, who was the progenitor of the Code Zero movement in the class, made the last minute decision to use the conventional gennaker instead.more]

Round and round the Plaza
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
With the AP drooping sadly from its flag pole all day, there were plenty of people looking for something to do. Hanging out can occupy just so much time, and as for shopping, well... So what do sailors do when there's no sailing? And just as importantly, what do the team management do?... [more]

Kidman supports Australian sailors
Actor Nicole Kidman is lending her support to the Australian Olympic team. She has sent messages of support to our 470 dinghy sailors, who have called their skiff Australia after her latest film.... [more]

Whether weather
Bob Fisher,
After a day spent looking at the grizzly murk and the flags around the concourse hanging limp and damp, the racing on all courses was abandoned and reserve days came into play so that on the seventh day of the regatta the organisers will be praying for wind as all 11 classes are slated to race, bringing all five courses into action.... [more]

PredictWind has more breeze for Friday
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
PredictWind is showing more wind for tomorrow , Friday at the Qingdao Olympics. Racing today has been all but cancelled, with Finns and Yngling just being canclled for the day and they were already one race down going into this regatta. However www.predictwind.com!Predictwind is showing winds blowing at 12 knots tomorrow maybe more.... [more]

Banner Day for USA Sailing
Andrew Campbell,
Andrew Campbell's Olympic report. 'What a day for our team today! With Zach and Anna still in podium positions, the rest of the US team picked up the slack yesterday taking first place finishes in all three 49er races, the Yngling race, one of the men's 470 races, and on the Laser racecourse.'... [more]

Hectic schedule for Olympic sailors
Derby Anderson,
After losing one race to yesterday's two-hour postponements and losing two more races today, the Olympic Sailing Regatta is running nineteen races behind schedule and does not have the capacity to make up all those races tomorrow at the same time. Six courses would be needed to do so, and there are only five available for the event.... [more]

Letter from Qingdao: Fushan Bay blots its copybook
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
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... [more]

Collective purpose and the Team USA dynamics
Dean Brenner Team Leader US Olympic Sailing Team,
I think there is something very interesting going on here in Qingdao, and it's not happening on the water.... [more]

Cough, and they're off: light and funky in Qingdao
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
The opening days of sunshine and clear air only served to make a contrast with yesterday's hazy, muggy visibility. There wasn't any more than a capful of breeze, either, with the two 470 fleets racing 2/10th of nothing, and the Yngling and Finn fleets racing only once. The 49ers of course move with no more than a cough from the RO... [more]

Images of Qingdao: Day 3 - 470 and Womens
Richard Gladwell,
Images of Qingdao: Day 3 - 470 Mens and Womens racing on the spectacular Course E, with the Laoshan Mountains as a backdrop... [more]

2008 Olympics Qingdao
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