A herd of shiny butterflies

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008.

Very sorry, but the finer points of windsurfing escape this observer. They all take off a gallop (assuming there’s enough breeze, which there was today) and then scatter in different directions, flapping like a herd of shiny butterflies. For the next however-long they dash about all over the racecourse, apparently in random directions. It is really very hard to actually ‘read’ the race.

Halfway through today’s first race the camera boat was waiting patiently in the general area of the start when one of the competitors appeared at a rate of knots from somewhere outside and downwind of the Committee Boat. Explain that on a trapezoid course.


Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Chan Wing Wai Kei (HKG) starts with the leaders.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. RS:X Women's. Zofia Klepacka (POL) happy at winning race 8.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. RS:X. FRA, GBR, BUL and ESP girls line up.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Bryony Shaw (GBR) gets a little air.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. RS:X. Ek Boonsawad (THA), Wang Aichen (CHN).

The wind strength had dropped off a little by the second race, and we watched proceedings from the top end of the course, which somehow seemed to make a lot more sense. Someone told us the other day that the energy expended by a windsurfer in a light airs race (when lots of ‘pumping’ is required) is the same as a runner in a 10,000 metre race… and then they do another race. No wonder some of the fleet looked absolutely beat by the end.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. RS:X. Very close finish - Jessica Crisp (AUS) chases Alessanda Sensini (ITA), just in front of Yin Jian (CHN).

Me, I prefer my sailing sitting down, no less than 40 ft, and no getting wet either (it’s not good for the camera - like yesterday).