Well, it didn’t get any better today. After a 2-hour delay waiting for the wind to settle down, we got under way around 16:00 in 6 knots of wind from 230. We had a very good start in the right hand side of the line and about three minutes into the race we tacked and went off to the right. The right was good and we ended up 7th at the first mark.
A lot of good people were in the back of the pack. We battled around the race course in the diminishing wind, in the top ten. at one mark 5th. Finally, up the last windward leg, the wind continued to die to the point were we started thinking that we were not going to make the time limit. Sure enough, the first boat, George Szabo USA) was about 2 minutes from the finish line when the 3.5 hours time limit ran out.
It is not easy to sail in a huge fleet in under 5 knots of wind so it was good for our training.
Since there isn’t much racing going on here, my mind drifted onto some other things. I was looking at the list of competitors and noticed that there were only 4 boats form the USA here. That must be a record low. Then I noticed that there were 8 teams from the old Russia.4 from Russia, 3 from
Ukraine, 1 from Latvia. So there are twice as many teams from Russia than the USA in the Star World Championship. That is a record high. What does this mean?
I figure that it means that the real winners from the ending of the cold war and the falling of the “wall” are the Russians; not the USA.
I then met an old friend of mine. His name is Alexander Musichecko and I first met him in Marstrand Sweden in 1979. Alexander came to Sweden for the
Star Worlds back then in a blue van with his skipper Valentine Mankin. They
had no money so they camped behind the van and cooked their meals inside it.
I can remember them getting out of the van and then 2 guys in back leather
jackets getting out of the back of the van. They were KGB who were there to
make sure Alexander did not defect.
Here in Italy, 25 years later, Alexander is driving a brand new Land Rover
and staying in a nice hotel. The moral of this story must be that the Mafia
is better for Russian prosperity than the KGB.
Those are my sarcastic observations after a broken mast, a wasted day, and a
light air training session. Hopefully we will get back to racing tomorrow!
The schedule is for two races starting at 11:00. The forecast is for 15
knots of wind from the SE.