تحية من مدينة اللامع الإسكندر الأكبر، منزل كليوباترا، مكان المنارة الأولى، وحيث أننا لا تزال لا يمكن العثور على أي النبيذ!
Today was a small milestone in that we finalised all the accounts with the organisers (with a tiny surplus!), and the team manged to get on the water. The days have seemed to have fallen into a routine of Breakfast, Bus to the Watersports Centre, and at 4.30pm – back to the hostel. I managed to wrap up all the accounts with the organisers, which meant that we could get the coach boat and the kids could get on the water with their boats. The sailing conditions are are a little tricky with between 9 and 12 knots, but with a short chop that is typical of the Eastern Med. However by the afternoon session most of the team seemed to be getting the hang of things.
Teams are arriving thick and fast now and the whole atmosphere of the event seems to be taking on a life. Many kids and adults know each other from Angola last year and from previous ‘African’ and other events. Nellie, the Tanzanian manager (who is actually from the Seychelles), is now on her tenth African Champs, so I am really the new kid on the block.
The regatta is being held at the Montaza Watersports Club, which is situated in the Elmontaza Gardens, which is home to the Palace of Montazah. All of this was founded by the last Ottoman governor of Egypt in the late 1800s and was used as his summer lodge. Every day at 10am, the bus deposits us at the bridge to the club and fetches us at 4.30pm. The traffic is chaotic, and how the bus driver threads a such a large vehicle through the mayhem is beyond me. That said, as unorganised as the traffic is here, there seems to be very little agro and when the bus is busy with a 16 point turn, everyone becomes an expert and helps to guide the bus out of it’s predicament. Yesterday, a pedestrian got bumped on the head from behind by the passenger side mirror, and then proceeded to help realign it to the driver’s satisfaction.
Back to the sailing. Out team looks very slick in their white sun-tops and we are ready to go. Just the practice race and opening ceremony tomorrow and then it’s showtime!
All for now,