What's in store for Day 3 - Matthew Sheahan reports
SWEEPING THE COURSE
Several hundred local boats littered the race course area right out to the horizon, (which is a surprisingly long way this morning thanks to the overnight rain), as the flotilla cleared up the infamous weed that had started to stray onto the course areas late in the afternoon yesterday.
By 11am the flotilla had disappeared, the course swept and ready.
A busy day today with 6 classes racing on four courses.
The 470 men and women are out for their first day of racing.
The Finns and Ynglings have their third day of racing before taking a breather tomorrow.
The 49ers head out further to sea onto a new course area (yesterday was close to the sea wall) for their second day of racing. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes will be looking to extend their one point lead in the overall stakes after a consistent performance in each of their three races.
The RS:X boardsailing fleet will be out for their first day’s racing. While they might be nicknamed the wind whackers, a reference to the endless pumping that’s required in light winds, UK sailor Nick Dempsey puts a day’s racing into context.
“We do 11 races over six days, two races a day at generally about 35-40 minutes a race. In heart rate terms, you’ll sit there above 90-92 per cent of your maximum heart rate so you’re on that threshold of your maximum endurance for those 40 minutes and we do two races a day. I don’t know what other sports would compare to that to but it’s probably like doing two 10,000m races in a day.”
WEATHER – Borderline?
This morning’s weather forecast from GBR meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh:
Mixed bag of conditions today with a short period of intense showers this morning and even a rumble of thunder! However this does not bode so well for racing today.
A shallow low pressure to the west maintaining a weak E veering S airflow.
Once the showers clear through this morning we are expecting weak thermally driven conditions to develop with a light E-SE
Showers are likely to develop and remain inland – but while racing may stay dry, the showers will disrupt the thermal development.
Temperatures are again high here expected to reach 30-31 Celsius but feeling more like 40!
By start time 1300 the tide is expect to be EBBing (going E)
HW 0046 LW 0608
HW 1156 LW 1912
Kinetics and the Greek problem?
In such light winds and sloppy seas, Rule 42 (propulsion) has already proved to be quite an issue in the Finn class. A first offence, indicated by a whistle and a yellow flag from the jury boat, gains a 720 penalty. A second offence means the sailor concerned must retire from the race.
Every subsequent offence results in a disqualification and a DNE (disqualification not excludable) where the sailor must carry the score.
The Greek Finn sailor Emilios Papathanasiou fell foul of the yellow flag twice on the first day and a third time on the second, landing him with 27 points to count in his final score.
Some, including Britain’s Ben Ainslie, who is clear of any penalties so far, feel that the punishment is too harsh for the crime. (Watch out for our podcast in which Ainslie gives his views on this). If the weather remains light, expect this to continue to be an issue.
Code Zeros & Tornados
The Tornado issue regarding code zero sails gathers pace as measurement of the fleet continues. As the days roll by each team has to place its cards on the table and decide on whether to take a code zero instead of a conventional kite. The Dutch team have registered their code zero and a good source tells us that the Americans will also be using the sail.
The Australians have also been experimenting with the kite, albeit rather late in the day, but as yet we don’t know whether they will be using it. If they do and the weather stays light, could these three steal the show?
We are told that the rationale for using the code zero upwind spinnaker appears to be that the sail is blisteringly quick in light airs uphill and works well downwind in the heavy stuff too. It’s only the mid range 10-18 knots that is a problem on the downwind leg. But then, some of those that believe in the code zero claim that there are only two types of breeze in Qingdao, barely on and full on.
Ben Ainslie after the second day of racing plus comments on penalties – 10 Aug
** USEFUL LINKS **
British Olympic Organisation website