February 5, 2010
Late arrival, early up.
After getting to the headquarters hotel, Hotel Flamingo, at 2 am, we woke at 8 eager to get on the ice. Most of the competitors are staying here, so morning included lots of hugs, hellos and smiles as we all met our ice friends again. The hotel is wonderful, and includes a health spa. In fact, the whole name is Flamingo Wellness Hotel.
Registration was well organized (oops, net time remember to convert money to Euros). The US team is Ron Sherry, Aaron Stange, J.R. Francis, Dan Connell, Hal Bowman, Bob Cumins, Wendell Sherry and Ken Smith. You’ll recognize us with red knit hats, which came with registration, and black jackets, which required more Euros. Both feature the host Swiss graphic, and no we are not paramedics.
After an excellent breakfast and registration, we headed to the ice. The launch area is a campground in other seasons, with a nice waterfront park/beach area. We were not first, but managed to get the trailer near the water’s edge. Unpacking and assembling boats was next. It was snowing and winds in the 15 mph range (7.5 meters per second).
Adam wanted to try and compare masts, so he set up to sail. Only a few boats were zipping about and visibility was only a half mile. Most of us looked at the 2 inch drifts and wind and pondered. The snow soon stopped, and I decided to wring out the new boat. Plate runners are the order of the day and likely the week.
About 30 boats practiced around a mile or so long course. One lap races were the norm as a rather large drift formed behind the leeward mark. There was a premium to finding clear lanes and accelerating up to speed after a gybe. The new boat is excellent and roomy and moving very fast.
The afternoon passed quickly, and the opening ceremony was held and well attended. Lots of countries represented since my first worlds. Some new, some just providing competators. I think there were seven countries present when I started competing, about 1985. US, Canada, Germany, Holland, Poland, Sweden, and Russia. The Baltic states divided themselves later by sail designator then politically, and many additional countries began participating. Thus year there are 15 nationalities on the ice. Wim Van Acker would have been proud.
Back to town for a dinner at an excellent local pub. Great local food and lots of pointing at menus as there was no common language we could find.
And more snow. We are hoping for enough wind and low drifts, but that is hope. The reality will be known tomorrow.
Morning update. Waking to the sound of snowplows at work is not a good sign.