Race Day 1

The first thing that happened today was that the organizers decided at 10:00 ( today ) that all classes could not race at the same time. There are four racecourses and 11 classes so some courses have three classes on them. So they told the Star, 49er and Tornado classes to stay in and their races would follow the finish of the others on their course. So we had to sit at the venue for four hours in sweltering heat waiting to go out. Now don’t you think they could have figured that out yesterday, if not two years ago?

We finally left the dock at 2:30 and started out first race at 4:00 . We raced in the northerly breeze called the Meltemi here in Athens . This wind comes off the land and is very hot but more importantly to sailors, very shifty. That is to say that it is neither steady in velocity nor direction. This makes race sailboats very tricky. The general strength of the wind was about 12-14 knots so that was good. The temperature here is about 100 degrees every day so you sail in a T-shirt and shorts, which is pleasant.

The races were about 8 miles in length and took about 90 minutes each to complete. In the first race we finished 10 th . This was frustrating, as halfway through, we were fourth. What happened to us is that we go out of phase with these wind shifts and when that happens, you end up sailing a much longer course to the buoys. How does one get out of phase well, partly being stupid and not reading the wind well and partly getting into traffic with other boats and having them dictate which way you go. We got tangled up with the Swiss boat on the second windward leg and missed a few shifts and next thing we knew 6 boats had passed us. OK. That was the first race.

The second race we finished third, which was much more enjoyable. We battled the whole race with Bermuda , Brazil and Great Britain , which are the strong competitors in this class. At the world championship last year the British team won, Brazil was second, we were fourth and Bermuda was 6th, so we are used to battling it out with these guys.

After two races, Great Britain is first, Bermuda is second, Germany is third, Netherlands 4 th and USA 5 th .

It will be a long regatta