Four years ago, with the Olympic regatta done and dusted and the journos and photographers departed from Qingdao, I received a phone call from the Media Centre. "Hey, Guy, what are you doing? There are only two journalists here, and we need a photographer. Come back to Qingdao and you'll have a scoop!" The Paralympics have long been perceived as a second string event, and I was just as much at fault as everyone else. We hear much of the dedication, self-sacrifice and 'true grit' of the Olympic athletes, but a great deal less about the tenacity and courage of the Paralympians. Sadly, I already had other other things in the calendar four years ago, and could not get back to Qingdao, but I wish it had been otherwise. I am not in Weymouth now, but (bar the fact that the event is not the subject of saturation broadcasting) but I will be 'watching' the performance of the sailors in the SKUD18, 2.4mR and Sonar classes just as closely as I can.
In 1980 Tim Colman's catamaran Crossbow II hit 36kts and everyone held their breath and asked, 'How much faster is possible?' The outright speed record in now held by Alain Thebault, l'Hydroptere, at 51.36kts, but equally importantly ETNZ are reporting speeds of 40kts+ on their new AC72 - a boat designed to race against other boats, not just go in a straight line - and they haven't even let the beast loose yet. Once again - 'How much faster is possible?'. Hold on to your hat and find out. One way or another, it'll take your breath away.
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