Windsport coaching is out in China over the next few weeks in the run up to the last ISAF World Cup Event of the year.
The venue is Qingdao – host venue to the 2008 Olympics sailing event. Whilst Windsport coaching has been to Hong Kong many times this is the first time in China and it brings its own challenges , not least understanding what is going on and organising things.
Having got over the jet lag , it was day one to check out the chartered coaching rib, the venue and sailing waters before getting into the nuts a bolts of preparing for a major event.
The weather to start has so far been warm and moist but with some wind. The venue has changed somewhat from the 2008 Olympic venue , the buildings are still there and they still say Olympic theatre, museum, etc, but what they host is very different including dinosaurs. The actual sailing facility is a small part of the large harbour which hosts a marina full of tourist style semi sailing charter boats that will take you for your first sailing experience for a few hundred Yen, eat your heart out picture!
The China Nacra teams are already here training with Mitch Booth and my Hong Kong sailing teams boat has just arrived in a container so step one is boat build up and go sailing.
The next day started with a trip to a local Chinese tool store (a Windsport favourite) to try and buy a set of taps that cleaned up the beam bolt hole threads in the HK race boat hulls. You might think Nacra hulls use metric threads on their beam inserts but if so you are wrong and the Chinese tool store only understand metric M10 as the closest fit.
Put plan B in motion! use a good bolt with thread with a lot of grease and careful use clean the threads in the hull insert.
Job done and we are back in business or so we thought until a bolt sheared in the beam box.
Time to put that project down and hit the water which is now 20 its and a big swell is running just out of the harbour.
Rig the training boat and Once tuned, the HK team Ting and Choi, head out for our training session and some practise races . 10 minutes later we are back in the harbour! Why is it that the N17 mainsail always fails in the same place in the panel close to the head, I have seen it so many times and you would of thought by now they would of found a solution and recalled those sails that have the problem!
Either way back to the beach change sails and back out on the water, in the rain. By now the wind has swung 65 degrees , dropped and we are left training in light breeze, ripping tide and huge swell, nothing like yesterday’s sun and 7kts of breeze.
Nothing wasted , the team worked hard to keep the boat moving in these tricky conditions with just enough daylight to get back the beach (which is a floating pontoon) get the sheared off bolt extracted and the race boat finally bolted up.
A taxing day for the team that did not go as planned , but hey tomorrow is another day!
Onwards and upwards.