Monday 3 July
تحيات الآباء المحترم للبحارة رائعة الذين يمكن أن تدفع المدربين اليأس في بعض الأحيان!
سلعم أليكوم ….
Today, the group is in a somber mood, and the team and coach is feeling a little bit down.
Yesterday was not a good day on the race course, with many hard lessons learnt. You all had my WhatsApp commentary during the races, so I won’t go further except to say that the results so far are not a good reflection of our kids ability and for all the hard work they have put in. Added to that the conditions are exactly the opposite of what we have been training in.
Insult to injury today when Team RSA was knocked out of the team racing after only 2 races. Admittedly this is not something the team has worked on at all. Angola successfully defended their team racing title against UAE in the 3 race final with a race to spare and their camp is over the moon. And so other than the Angolans, it was a bit of a glum ride home.
However . . .
Tomorrow heralds much stronger breeze and the forecast looks much more suitable for the SA sailors. There are 4 more races left in the regatta and I am sure with stronger breeze, the results will improve.
There are huge variances in sailing techniques and boat set-ups on the go here. The Angolans are sailing with tight vangs and stiff leaches, but the Egyptians seem to like everything on the rig much looser, to the point of being floppy. Yesterday in Race 6, Egypt 88 sailed by one of the smaller kids won by nearly a minute and a half. His sail set-up was a lot of twist in the sail upwind and the leach completely loose downwind. This seemed to make the sail a lot livelier – almost fanning the boat downwind. See the pic below. But the Angolans who are are winning the regatta at this stage have almost the opposite setup with board flat sails both up and downwind. As far as the Tunisians go, there is not a sail in their team that is less than 8 years old!!!
Rule 42 has not caused to many problems so far, but there is a discrepancy between what are planing conditions and not. Yesterday it was marginal and the lighter kids could pump and plane. I asked the rules lady at large about the heavier kids and the thoughts were that if they couldn’t get on the plane, then they weren’t entitled to their one pump per wave. This obviously penalises heavier kids in lighter airs quite badly. I am meeting with the IJ tomorrow to see if I can get some further views from him and will pass on to the worlds team.
Another area that is being addressed quite severely is misconduct and bad behavior – both on the water and off! The evening before the regatta started, two Egyptians were indulging in a bit of horseplay in their room. Short version is that a football went through a sliding door window and one of them was cut quite badly on his leg. Both kids were immediately sent home with no refund – both due to misconduct and one with an added injury. The Egyptian Federation will hold an investigation separately, but both are facing impending RRS69 hearings – instituted by their own federation. SAS – take note!
Other things they are clamping down on is dishonesty in jury hearings, verbal abuse of competitors or officials, and not doing penalties for whoopsie-daisies on the race course. There is a ‘confessional’ form to be filled in at the end of each day where you state which rule you may have infringed during whichever leg on whatever race e.g. leg 2 – Race 4 – Rule 31 – one turn. Then the IJ’s look over that list and compare it with what they observed during the day. Woe betide you if you are on their list and not the confession form.
That is all for today.
The Imam goat-cats were in their towers again at 3.30am, so it’s been a long day – in fact the closest tower was late and only got going as the others were finishing. And he is really close, you can hear him warming up. The microphone goes, “click….tap..tap….…tap…..cough…..and then….ألااء أكباعاء ..اكي ياكي يخرج من السرير …..and so on.
Team Racing Results: http://2017africans.optiworld.org/uploaded_files/Document_6314_20170703204128_en.pdf