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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesBLASTOFF FROM SYDNEY

BLASTOFF FROM SYDNEY

Life here in Sydney is what you'd expect with a city gearing up for the games. There is almost a buzz in the air as the games draw closer. Olympic stuff is everywhere: Olympic rings on the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Olympic logos on newspapers, billboards and TV commercials.
I went out on the water today with the Russian. We were the only ones out: It was blowing at least 28 to 30 knots with gusts to at least 35.
We went blasting out of the harbor on a broad reach just hauling butt and jumping in and out of the boat to try and keep her flat and fast, as the heavy wind turned the mast into some strange, curved modern art piece. It looked like some sort of contortionist model.
Blasting downwind as fast as you can and getting blasted with waves and water to the extent that you have to hold your breath while hanging on or just revert to swallowing a lot of water. All the time praying for the bottom mark to come so you can stop this out-of-control blasting from wave-top to wave-top.
Finally the bottom mark comes, and you breathe a sigh of relief as you turn upwind and drop your butt over the side. Every wave douses you with water, but at least you can start breathing, and breathe you do as your legs start to tense up and you shift from one to the other, and your arm is steering wildly through the waves as you remember to hike harder on those sore legs. Finally your legs and arms are hurting so much you start to pray for that top mark to come so that you can relax.
Yeah, right. I am not sure which is harder, but damn –- it sure is a lot of fun.
We had a great time until he broke his mast, so I took that as an omen and went in as well.

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