Ian Walker's Olympic Diary - 9th September


The weather continues its relentless efforts to derail the preparations of the British Olympic Star team, but they're working round it - Ian Walker writes from Sydney
The gale force westerly winds remain, battering us in Sydney. On Friday we couldn’t sail, and so we finished all our boat work jobs in the morning. We have been trying to make the boat a bit lighter so that it is within one kilogram of the 671 kgs minimum weight. Every little helps and we estimate that we have taken the best part of five kgs out of the boat by minimizing all the controls and lightening some of the structure. One key area we have worked on is the mast and rigging. A friend, Tom Hutchinson from Future Fibres, has made us some runners and check-stays out of PBO, a new man made fibre, that is a quarter of the weight and 50% stronger than the wire we had before. This should reduce the weight aloft significantly and help the boat's motion in the waves off Sydney. We have tested them for 20 days now, and they show no sign of failing. So we have decided it is worth the risk of using a new development at the Games, and we will measure them in. We need all the help we can get! We have also been working on the surface finish of the hull to ensure it is as smooth as possible. The boat is now absolutely ready and we used the rest of Friday to move it all by road to the Olympic Marina at Rushcutters Bay. We decided this was also a great opportunity to change our mental approach and pretend we were just arriving at the regatta. We even thought about driving round the block a few times to lengthen the trip! In our minds we have just turned up two weeks before race one of another regatta, with a boat that is perfectly ready and our

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