Ian Walker's Olympic Diary - 11th September


A couple of millimetres has the British Olympic Star team getting the files and filler out - Ian Walker writes from Sydney
So near and yet so far! We passed everything in measurement apart from a small radius on the bottom of the keel. It was only a couple of millimetres out, but the measurers have made us correct it. That's meant grinding back to the metal and re-fairing the curve on the leading edge. A small problem, but one that has taken a couple of days to fix, because it took a day to get permission to remove the boat from the compound and get it on a crane long enough to fix it. It also takes time for coats of filler and paint to cure, before we can sand them back. How frustrating, but what a relief for that to be the only problem. The bureaucracy is always difficult at the Olympic Regatta. Security is very tight and at times it really gets in the way of what you want to do. Every time we go in and out of the regatta site we have to remember our accreditation and go through airport type security. For the equipment the checks are even tighter. After the horror of the bomb in Atlanta I can understand this and we are prepared for it. But at times like this when you want to just fix your boat and get on with sailing it is frustrating. We are not the only ones with problems. The rigorous measurement has found one boat with a keel 3 mm too deep, which has meant them grinding that amount off the bottom. It's a good thing that things are checked properly, to create a level playing field for everyone on the water. None of this is deliberate cheating by any of us, just inaccuracies in construction when pushing the tolerances to the limit. Another small problem is that I now

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