Another windless day

Competitors are struggling at the Olympic Test Event with only a third of sheduled races completed

Sunday August 19th 2007, Author: Lindsey Bell, Location: United Kingdom
Qingdao may be branding itself as the ‘sailing city’ of China, but sailing at the 2007 Olympic Test Event proved impossible on Sunday (19 August) as weak winds persisted across Fushan Bay.

Event organisers had posted an ambitious schedule of three races for most classes on Sunday in a bid to recapture some lost ground, having only completed a third of the planned race schedule so far in some cases.

Even though the majority of the 400 sailors at this regatta did manage to leave the dock for their race areas, they faced a long stint out on the water as race officials waited to see if the expected light breezes would materialise.

By mid afternoon, with the wind buoys registering only around two knots, any hope of seeing some action had been abandoned and the sailors made their way back to the marina.

With no racing again today, the regatta results remain unchanged from Saturday. Skandia Team GBR top the tables in four classes, with double Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie in the Finn class, Yngling World Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson, Laser European Champion Paul Goodison, and RS:X windsurfer Bryony Shaw all leading their respective fleets.

In spite of the frustrating conditions so far, Skandia Team GBR’s meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh is confident the situation will improve over the next few days.

“Things should get better from now on,” said Greenhalgh. “There’s a typhoon to the south that will slowly fill and track north, which should provide us with a gradually increasing south-easterly breeze as the week goes on.”

Asked whether he was frustrated at the lack of racing so far, Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented: “Unfortunately these are the conditions that we’re beginning to expect in China and it will now be interesting to see how the regatta progresses, and whether or not the organising authority will utilise the reserve days at the end of the regatta to try and increase the number of races in the series.

“The situation is the same for everybody – but it’s a great opportunity for learning about living in Qingdao in what may be similar conditions for the Olympic Games.”

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