تحياتي لهذه الأرض القديمة التي كانت الحضارة الأولى لاختراع البيرة وأول من حظره (غير معقول جدا).
Friday 3.30 am signaled 2 events.
The first was the end of Eid, which is the post Ramadan celebrations. Now I actually love the sound of a mosque at the beginning or end of the day, but around 20 started up at once and woke the entire hostel up. Some of them were in tune, but the nearest three had deep baritones that sounded like a lovesick goat interbred with a cat!
The second was the arrival of the much feared but anticipated Egyptian Enteritis. No one at breakfast was owning up much but on the way to the regatta center, when the translator got the bus to stop outside a pharmacy, everyone jumped off and ordered the same anti-gippo medicine. In fact there were locals from the street buying the same thing, so somethings going around. Claire, Wendy, me, and the Tanzanians were affected, but seemed to be OK. What really makes us nervous is that the regatta center is based amongst several restaurants and has one toilet that is jealously supervised by a cleaning lady who insists on spring cleaning the place between users. And there is usually a queue. During yesterday’s race, several coaches were seen jumping off their boats for a special little swim.
And then it was the opening ceremony. And.., the Egyptians pulled off a very special occasion. I sent the photos last night, so you should have an idea of what it was like. And I have managed to compress the video down to 37 Mb which is the maximum allowed here. The shirts were a major hit – well done Axel. We were completely swamped by entire families wanting to take selfies with us and it all got rather jolly. We held babies, posed with moms, dads and children, gave out SA flags and I daresay we were the most popular team there. There was high security with lots of police and navy boats patrolling around. Each team had a chaperone provided by the local sea scouts and it was all very well done.
And then onto today’s racing. We knew it was going to be difficult with light winds and a short choppy swell – completely the opposite conditions the team has trained so hard in. The Egyptian are all but one local from Alexandria. The Angolans have exactly these conditions at Luanda as do the Algerians. The Angolans are starting to look VERY good with 3 outstanding sailors in the mix. There is a theme of lots of full time pro coaches who are regularly sent to Europe on courses, or recognised coaches visiting them. It is something we are going to have to look at if we are to stay abreast of the rest of the Oppie world.
Richard and I spent the day aboard a very old motor yacht with a seasick Egyptian TV crew, which was hilarious, but we had to abandon the last race as they couldn’t take any more. “iinani ‘amut – iinani ‘amut – la ‘akthiru, yrja hifz li”.
Anyway – you have the results and photos from the day – more tomorrow, so I will sign off
لا يزال هناك النبيذ، ولكن لدينا عدد قليل من الخيوط! ما سلامة،
Download Results Day 1: http://2017africans.optiworld.org/uploaded_files/Document_6292_20170701202954_en.pdf