Hello from Bodstedt, today we start racing in the world championship! We have had a great training week and partaken in the invitation race and opening ceremony.
Prior to this we had a rest day as intended, a few of us caught the ferry over to Prerow, a delightful little town on the Baltic with a really nice beach. After a swim in the Baltic, we rode our bikes home stopping for a Gelati along the way. Apologies to all those back in Oz dealing with the winter blues.
Yesterday we had a very busy day, a coaches meeting in the morning with Technical Director Nick Hutton, Nick is a renowned Australian Race Officer overseeing the event. Following this we had an Australian meeting with sailors and parents.
Then a few of us Geelongites and Big Alex (our German host) had a Skype call to attend. Former Cadet parents David and Allison Goodfellow have in the last few years hosted a get together for all the former family and participants from previous worlds. It was great to see you all and it made me and all attending the call on this side of the world appreciate the support we have, both now and leading up to the regatta. Thanks guys, it made the heart swell with pride to see.
Then we got out on the water for the aforementioned invitation race, this is a practice race for the event management to test launching procedure, race management and recovery of boats as well as a pre series hit out for the sailors.
We had a bit of a wait under the AP as the 8-10 knot wind would not settle. But eventually we got away. The results were mixed with the feedback pretty positive from our sailors. Archer Ibbott and James Gough in ‘Little Devil’ were in the leading bunch all day and finished third with Jacob McConaghy and Sam Hooper in ‘Hurricane’ coming through to take fourth.
A few of our sailors were well back at times but improved their placing significantly and all got a lot out of the day. “No point crying over spilled milk” is probably one of the most apt idioms for sailing. If we make some mistakes, you can’t change what has come before, only learn from them and move on to the next challenge.
Then we had our opening ceremony, all the countries walking in together behind a brass band with lots of jingoism and chanting (boy, those Belgians are loud). A few speeches of welcome and then the national flags were delivered by none other than Captain Jack Sparrow on one of the traditional German wooden yachts that abound in these parts. The flag raising went ahead with Team Captain Jacob McConaghy and youngest member Ash Rawstron raising the Aussie flag.
The timing of the finish was perfect as a wind and rain squall swept through the area a short time later. Very dramatic with thunder and lightning.
Today we have our first day of racing, it will be interesting to see if the storm has an affect on the weather following. One thing I do know is we had a lot of tired kids last night, so the days of multiple races will be very taxing. Extra care needs to given to ensure our little champs come through that now and on the subsequent days.
A bit long-winded today but a lot going on, let’s go racing!