Getting Ready for Worlds!
We finally have internet in our bungalow here in Medemblik, so I can do a blog update!
Racing starts tomorrow (Monday August 21st) and goes for six days, with two races scheduled each day. You can look up results (and possibly live tracking and/or video) at the event site (click on results).
We have been in the Netherlands for a week now, training and getting everything ready. This is a mandatory charter regatta, which means we have to rent a laser provided by the class. I rented mine for the pre-training, which meant I got it on the 14th and it was brand new (still in bubble wrap)! We did this to get some training time with the new hull and spars, but it also turned out that some of the charters that were used by the regatta before ours (which was on going while I was training) were quite damaged, so it worked out well that I got a brand new boat! We’ve had no problems with it so far.
It has been a mixed bag of weather so far, mostly colder than when I was here in May, and a range of wind speeds from very light, shifty days of 5 knots at best, to stronger offshore days up to about 16-18 knots. I’ve been feeling fast in all our training conditions so far, so I am looking forward to whatever the next week throws at us. Most training days have consisted of about half an hour of warm up and tuning with a few other North American sailors, and then 3-5 short scrimmage races with all the various teams out on the water (usually 15-30 boats). It is great to have these practice races to have a chance to size up the competition and relax about racing before the actual regatta begins. I can get a little nervous lining up next to a couple Olympic champions on the start line, so it is nice to get the nerves out in a practice race before it really counts!
Yesterday was our measurement day, so we spent the morning making sure all the rigging and equipment was ok, and then got it approved by the regatta officials. They check your sail, foils, spars, and rigging to make sure it all passes the class rules. It was a pretty easy process this time, and everything passed the first time through.
Now the preparations are done, and all I can do is sail my best for the next week, one leg of the race course at a time. Keep checking back in here, I’ll do my best to post regular updates. For now, here are some photos out and about in Medemblik:
Historic cargo boats, originally used for cargo transport, now tourism rides.
A cute town nearby called Twisk that I cycles through one evening on a cool down ride.
An American radial sailor Hanne Weaver and I tuning up a few days ago.