Racing cancelled for today. Matthew Sheahan reports
Since the gates opened early this morning, spectators have streamed along the brand new, purpose built waterfront boardwalk filling the giant sailing venue. By midday, thousands had lined the harbour wall and had set up base camp for the day under the sea of parasols that form part of the spectator viewing area.
Unlike Athens in 2004, where the impressive new harbour and sailing facility was almost completely spectator free, this event has a sense of occasion that befits an Olympic competition. Sure, the pier is not yet full to bursting point, but it is only Thursday and two days away from the medal races. But the Qingdao locals are determined to engage in an event that they are clearly very proud to be hosting.
Whether youâ??re in the city or the Olympic venue, for every question you may have there are at least five people willing to have a go at the answer.
But today, all anyone really wanted to know was whether there would be any racing. Be you expert or volunteer, the answer remained frustratingly simple to second guess. With a sea surface calm enough to see your face in, todayâ??s decision to postpone ashore was less about lower wind limits and more about common sense.
No wind meant no sailing. Given Qingdaoâ??s reputation, many had expected such a situation to have been more familiar from the start, but most who are here have been pleasantly surprised at how the programme has panned out so far. Indeed, given the frustratingly light conditions where wind speeds have rarely broken into double figures, itâ??s the sailors who seem more relaxed with the situation than anyone else. But that could be about to change.
The loss of a dayâ??s racing could mean the loss of at least one raceâ?? worth of points for the Finns and Ynglings if three races arenâ??t run tomorrow. For those looking to play last minute catch up, today may have been a further set back.
Tomorrowâ??s forecast (Friday) looks more promising, with 15knots of breeze on the cards the conditions could be a little spicy. After that itâ??s light for Saturday, then with a chance of 18knots on Sunday, albeit with some torrential rain.
The Dutch team will be using their conventional kite for the Tornado racing which starts on Friday. The forecast for unusual and breezy conditions has meant a change of heart in the Dutch camp. The American team has declared its small code zero sail. With the forecast breeze in the teens, itâ??s anybodyâ??s guess which sail will prove to be the better choice.
Could the code zero be game set and match? Andy Rice explains why the new sail has caused such a stir and what we might expect for the first race for the Tornados.
BRITS IN A NUTSHELL (Overall results so far)
470 men 3rd
470 women 11th
RSX Men 5th
RSX Women 5th
Laser Radial 5th
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