Brian has been in Qingdao for over two weeks now working hard with his Hong Kong Team, Ting and Choi. In his latest report back he gives us an insight into their training and we also have the results from the first days racing which certainly indicate that the hard work pays dividends.:
The HK team, Choi and Ting, are now well into their daily training schedule only compromised by any changes in the daily weather. Typically the last few days have been sunny with winds moving intermittently right during the day and increasing until about 5.00pm when, with the sun going down, it drops away. Like all locations ‘never say always’ and yesterday brought a small low pressure, some rain accompanied by 20kts of breeze from the east.
The team took a day off from the water to rest muscles and limbs, but not a day off on the boat work front, with many small jobs to do and things to check.
Today, Saturday, we are back on the case and with a forecasted 23 kts of breeze it could be fun. All the Nacra 17 teams are now here and the ISAF organisation will be arriving over the next few days .
For us these last few days are our final preparations before the first races of the ISAF World Cup event.
Well the windy sailing day turned into a no sailing day with 33kts across the bay and no one , apart from a few windsurfers hitting the water.
A further inspection of a hull that was taking in water showed up a crack forward of the front beam along the keel-line an area that could be easily compressed and very soft. Drastic action required so with the help of the local coach contacts, a borrowed grinder, resin and everything else to do repairs we set about fixing a problem that it appears numerous others have faced with their Nacra 17 hulls. A few hours later the best fix we can make on location is done and a flow coat of gelcoat is applied to the surface of the repair. Tomorrow we will cut it back and make good.
It is tomorrow already! The day is bright and sunny with a perfect 8-9kts training breeze. Boat sorted and ready to go the HK team Ting & Choi hit the water and start with some pace / tuning comparison with other teams, Bulgaria and Thailand followed by some fleet starting and short course racing where boat handling and instant decision making was everything.
Back to the beach and with everything recorded it was get pack up for the day and look forward to registration tomorrow.
After day one of the event with three races under their belt they have sailed consistently with two seconds and a third.
Day dawns , sun is out and the breeze is there it is just the wrong direction!
Team Hong Kong is up for it – the boat is on the ramp and ready to go. Currently just waiting for the on shore postponement to come down.
Off we go – out the race are about 4 miles away, a bit like Weymouth without the wind and the sea!
The ISAF Race team have trouble setting the line with current overwind so it is a lot of hanging around for me on the coach boat , but more importantly for the team .
Race one gets under way, the team do well and get around the Windward mark in the top 3 and finish up 2nd with the Singapore team just in front.
A few boat adjustments, something to eat and drink, a coach chat before the wind is swinging right and the race team make some adjustments .
2nd start and we get screwed over on the line and forced out the wrong sid , rounding the windward mark in the middle of the pack. Fighting hard they take every opportunity like their life depends on it (which it sort of does) and they claw back to finish third .
Final race of the day, tide has turned and is fast pushing against us upwind.
Team get away to an OK start and keep the pressure on the lead boat to finish second
So results 2, 3 2 , which is a good start but we are looking for some wins!
Early days but Singapore has set the bar and everyone else will have to step up to it including ourselves.
Follow Choi and Ting’s results here: http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/