Qingdao – Day 8
Well today was a good but long hard day. The sun was out and the humidity and temperature was down making it quite pleasant here. There was also a good breeze most of the day.
We launched at 10h15 for an 11am start however on the way out the wind died and we had to tow all the boats including the Russian team who we were sharing with. The RO laid the course and started the sequence in around 3 knots of wind. It was a short course and most of our sailors didn’t get a good start. Jared capitalized on the run and made up a few positions and finished 18. Ross 30, Hamilton 34, Rivaldo 38, Eurios 49 and Damita 25 in the girls. Not a good start, our sailors were struggling in the super light winds. At the end of the race the RO put up the AP over H and we towed all the boats back in. As we arrived on shore a nice breeze picked up and half an hour later the RO sent us out again.
The second race was also the short course and the wind was around 5 knots. Jared had a cracker start and held his position to the first mark. He struggled to release his sprit on the reach and lost a place but made it up on the run and finished in 11th. Ross 30th, Hamilton 24, Rivaldo 38th, Eurios 44 and Damita 22.
The RO called for another race even though the wind was fading and the boys got going with Jared getting another great start off the bridge. The wind was now super light and flukey and they all struggled to keep moment. Jared finished in 14th, Hamilton a great 16th, Ross in 35, Rivaldo in 43, Eurios in 33 and Damita in 22.
It was quite late when we got back to the hotel so a quick shower and dinner. The sailors are all now playing games with the Ozzies and Kiwis.
Final day tomorrow and I must say that as much as I miss home I have really grown to love this place and its people. I asked Rivaldo if he was missing home and he said no ways he just wants to stay here forever 🙂
Qingdao – Day 7
Well today was certainly interesting, but we got two races in so that was good!
I woke everyone half an hour later so they could get a little more sleep instead of standing around waiting for the bus. We arrived at the Olympic Center in a light rain which was quite refreshing. It was overcast and much cooler than before. After rigging and checking the boats we once again sat around waiting for the wind. We saw “Pallada” leaving harbour so we zipped out to say goodbye. Around 1pm Bev decided to take the sailors to a local Mall with our interpreter and we stayed in contact via cellphone in case racing would start. About an hour later the RO decided to go pricing even through there was still only 3 knots, so I called the sailors and they came running. We were on the start line in plenty of time still with around 3 knots.
The RO quickly set the course and start line and with 3 knots blowing got the start sequence going. With the current running straight through the line at around 1 knot and a headwind of 3 knots it was very tricky to hold still on the line but all our sailors managed it and we had no OCS under the I flag. Hamilton was the first South African at the top mark followed by Ross and then Jared. They were all middle of the pack. Jared took about 5 to 10 places on the run and the reach. Jared finished 23rd, Ross 33, Hamilton 37, Rivaldo 46 with Eurios just behind him but as he had forgotten to sign out when going on the water. We discussed this with the RO and asked for redress tomorrow. Damita had a good start but on the beat the little Chinese girls flew past her in the light winds. She finished off a credible 19th.
During racing the Jury was relentless with his whistle and sculling and pumping as well as this trick the chines use to scull once when tacking was penalized even though its not legislated yes, however the use the VMG (Velocity Made Good) rule during a tack to penalize them. This is something we need to teach our sailors to do.
The second race started in similar wind but they added a sausage to the previous course for some reason for the boys only. The Sailing Instructions have a 10 minute cutoff after the first finish so 50% of the fleet earned a DNF. I don’t like this as it demotivates the sailors at the back. Jared had a great race and finished 14th, Ross 20th, with the rest of the boys getting a DNF. Damita again struggled against the lighter and also earned a DNF despite getting another good start.
Both Eurios and Rivaldo got seasick but Eurios managed to finish his race but Rivaldo went in which was not a train smash as with these rules they would have earned a DNF anyway.
We returned to the marina just after 5pm and packed away and took the bus home. Everyone is now watching the Olympics and cheering on Cameron Van Der Berg who just got a second place in his heat.
Qingdao – Day 6
Not much to report on today. Very much a case of hurry up and wait. There was no wind on the course, however there was breeze on land which was quite strange. As a result it was a cooler day. The kids swam a lot and played with the other sailors. They are making life long friends here.
The RO hung out until 3pm before calling it off then the kids were asked to do their perfomances for the closing ceremony again in country sequence.
We headed home for a dinner and they are all now in one room with a few ozzies and kiwis.
Some useless facts about China:
1) They seldom have stop streets or center lines yet traffic flows smoothly. I still haven’t worked out who has right of way. On the bigger intersection they have traffic light with timers on them telling how long you have to wait.
2) There are no beggers on the street.
3) There is no litter on the street.
4) There is no animosity or aggression to be seen anywhere despite a few horn honkers.
5) There is complete respect here for everyone.
6) For a communist state there is literally no military anywhere.
7) The price of food and goods in China is pretty much the same as South African.
8) The Chinese are fascinated with black people. Its like they have never seen a black person before.
Ciao for now.