History of the class in South Africa

China 2001

Team RSA China 2001. From left to right: Bronwyn Klaas, Matthew McCrystal, Finn Fitzsimons, Justin Onvlee, Greg Thijsse.

Qingdao. During our stay there, China was awarded the 2008 Olympics. I was invited to the venue where it was announced that Qingdao would host the sailing. The news was greeted with a big party in Chinese style.

Obviously they built a big and beautiful new marina and facilities for the Olympics, but when we were there, it was , let’s say, a bit different from what we had been used to in previous years.

The ‘clubhouse’ and ‘ablution facilities’ left much to be desired. Honestly, were these meant to be the change rooms? Later they brought a few of those portable outside loos, which were actually equally disgusting.

And the sailing conditions matched that: no wind and lots of current every day. There was a lot of pressure to sail, even when sailing was not really possible. In one race, the entire fleet had to scull it’s way around the weather mark. The Jury of course could only close their eyes to this.

Report and photographs by Hans Thijsse