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Olympic Update - Opening Ceremonies and Race Day

Light winds and strong international fleet make first day tough

August 11, 2008

The Opening Ceremonies were amazing. We were flown to Beijing arriving mid day on the 8th. We had all day to check out the Athletes Village - it was huge and very well done and it was really neat to see all the different athletes too. Checking out the Athletes gym was quite amazing, seeing all the different body types doing all their pre-games prep. At 6pm all of us were herded together to take buses to the Stadium to wait....there were over 300 buses waiting for us. It was an unbelievable sight of just rows and rows of buses. First we got taken to the Stadium where they hold the Gymnastics events. We were to wait there until Canada was called to walk into the Opening Ceremonies (63rd country). While I was waiting I walked around, traded pins and met lots of athletes. Perhaps you might even recognize a few of them on the pictures??? A long wait later we finally got to walk into the stadium. The roar of the crowd was unbelievable and there were so many distractions of where to look in amongst all the excitement. A few of my teammates and I got to pole position in the Canada line up and made several pictures in newspapers. I carried my big Canada flag that had lots of good luck wishes on from the West Van Community Day, friends and family!!! You guys were all there with me! Thank you! We stayed the night in the Village and left the next morning back to Qingdao. Full VIP service, the plane stopped on the tarmac, we walked off the plane straight onto the buses that were waiting for us and were shuttled back to the front entrance of our village. That was very welcome after a very short and tiring night.

And now for the racing...

We started on Course Area A today. It is the closest to the harbour and thus perhaps the trickiest due the land effects, the current and back eddy, the waves that bounce back off the break wall etc&. On the way to the race course the wind was super&it was getting windy so that we could plane downwind. That all changed by the time our races got underway.

For the first race of the day, the wind dropped drastically. I had a mediocre start near the pin end - I was shot out the back by the two boards around me but was able to go low and muscle back into a good position. A few good decisions upwind had me 9th to the top mark. I fought hard the rest of the race but wasn't able to keep 2 boards from passing me. I finished in 11th.

The second race took forever to get started. There was a switch in the current from our first race to our second race. We had 2 or 3 general recalls before the race committee decided to up anchor and move the course. By the time this was all done, it had been another hour of waiting for us. Finally we got the racing under way. I had a pretty good start at the boat end of the line, tacked to go right and was going pretty well. I misjudged the lay line with the new current direction, which means I over stood the mark and let a whole bunch of boards get by me. Stupid mistake but hopefully I've learned that one now and won't do it for the remainder of the regatta. I never gave and was gaining down the run. With all the crazy waves and chop, the nose of my board dug into the water and stopped, but with my continued forward momentum, I ended up dropping my sail in the water. This was another costly mistake. Ouch. I got back in the race and was able to place some more boards behind me each leg on the way to the finish to end up 15th.

I am pretty happy the way the regatta started for me. I have two solid scores that put me in 13th position. Tomorrow we have another race day; I'm hoping to add to the positives of today!

Thank you all for the supportive emails.


Added by KC5555

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