2008 IFDS Qingdao International Regatta
Reports by Brian Todd.

Thursday May 15.
After only a 1 hour postponment on shore the race committee sent the fleets out to some very light winds 4-5kts, very lumpy seas and about a knot of current running from the top mark toward the start. This is very reminesant of last August.

Paul Tingley port tacked the fleet for the second time this week but went a little too far to the right and was passed by boats on the left which had a simple 5 degree shift but it was enough to lose boats in this very competitive 2.4 fleet, despite that he finished 4th in the race and 2nd overall for the Silver Medal at this event. Paul has been sailing better and better at each regatta as he builds his campaign for September.

In the Skud 18 class John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit had a reasonable start but went to the right side when Left definately paid, they finished 7th in the race and 4th overall

The Sonar team of Marc Shaw, Don Terlson and Danny McCoy finished 9th in today's race and 11 th overall. Ken Kelly by the way is doing well in the Hospital and should be fine to travel back to Canada on Saturday

Prize giving and medal presentations are this evening and we pack up the boats in containers tomorrow and hopefully finally get to enjoy Qingdao.

Our team did an excellent job sailing here, they were the first ones on the water every day and worked hard in very competitive fleets. Keep looking for their results this summer as they prepare for the big event in September.

Wednesday May 14.
The Canadian Paralympic team continues to put up good results here in Qingdao. Today the wind turned again to come out of the South east on a compass bearing of 110 to 135 - the forecasters were predicting 11-15 kts but over the course of the day it was generally 5 to 8kts. The current played a bit of a factor in the first race start but other than that it has not been a factor in the results. Temperature warmed up slightly today for a while which was a little easier on the racers (and coaches).

Paul Tingley (RNSYS) continued his winning ways in the first race today but got caught on the wrong side of a pressure line in the second race and finished in 6th place, Paul and Damien Sequin from France are 2 points apart at this point going into the final race tomorrow, neither can finish worse than second.

In the Skud 18 class, John McRoberts had a 4th in the first race but turned things around and finished 1st in the second, he is now in a tie for third place with Australia. There is a virtual lock on 1st and 2nd so the race for John tomorrow will be for the podium.

In the Sonar Don Terlson, Marc Shaw and Danny McCoy had an eleven in the first race but vindicated that with a 4th in the second. they are slowly coming back after Ken Kelly's broken leg earlier in the week

There is one race tomorrow so we are excited to continue!

Tuesday May 13.
Another nice windy day in Qingdao, the wind was from 310 to 350 on the compass and changing regularly, the seas were fairly flat with slight swell and the wind ranged betweeen 6 and 17 with most of the time in 8 to 12 knots. a good but chilly day on the water.

Paul Tingley had another great day with a 2 and 1, he is solidly in second and only 1 point out of first. In race 1 today he lead at every mark but had some downwind problems and was just nipped at the finish, in the second race he again lead at every mark anda protected his lead to the finish.

In the Skud 18 class, John McRoberts and Stacie Loutitt had 2 - 5th place finishes today to end the day in 4th place overall and only 1 point out of 3rd, as John says we are here to learn about Qingdao and the information we have found will be valuablle for the Games.

With Ken Kelly resting well in hospital, Danny McCoy took over the helm and along with Mark Shaw and Don Terlson had an 8 and a 10 in the very competitive Sonar fleet. They had moments of brilliance but the changing conditions took their toll on the score card.

So we are 3 days into the regatta and over 7 days here training and the wind gods have been very favourable, hopefully this will be the case in August and September.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Monday May 12.
Day 2 was cool and windy - winds were from the north wes at about 310 on the compass and the current was in the same direction (approx) for the racing period. Winds ranged from 15 to 22kts with 10-15 degree shifts. There were 2 races each with 3 laps, so it was a tough day on the water. The temperature here has been quite cool (13-15C) and by the time you factor in the windchill there are some cool racers and coaches out there!

The sad news of the day was an accident on Ken Kelly's Sonar - while trying to tack he lost control and fel into the cockpit and broke his leg in 2 places, I have just come back from the hospital and he is fine and being well looked after by the chinese doctors and nurses. On the positive side, Danny McCoy just happens to be here in Qingdao and has the same classification as Ken so he is going to sail the Sonar for the rest of the regatta to keep Ken's crew, Marc Shaw and Don Terlson sharp.

In the races today Paul Tingley, RNSYS, showed his strength and consistancy by ending the day with a 3 and 2, to put him in second place overall, Paul is sailing very well in the competitive 2.4 fleet which is being lead by Damien Sequin from France who was the Gold medalist at the last Paralympics.

In the Skud 18 class, John Mc Roberts and Stacie Louttit from RVicYC had two third place finishes and still hold on to second place overall. Leading the fleet is Niki Birrell and Alexandra Rickham from England. Coach Steve McBride felt they sailed well but maybe a little oversheeted and over vanged fo the conditions put their speed slightly off their usual pace.

Day 3 is predicting similar winds so the team has already headed for bed to try to regain their strengths. More tomorrow.

Sunday May 11.
Day 1 of the racing in Qingdao for the Paralympic test event was not bad at all for the Canadian team. In the Skud 18 class John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit from RVicYC are in 2nd place after 2 races with a 4 and 2, the Aussies are in first and China in third, racing is close so it will be an interesting series.

In the 2.4 Paul Tingley from RNSYS had a 6 and 2 to sit in 3rd overall, Paul thought he was over on the first start and returned to restart so had to slog back through the fleet. In the second race he showed good speed and great smarts to get 2nd.

The Sonar team from RVicYC ended up the day with a 7 and 10 for ninth place overall. They were often in good position in this very competitive fleet but missed out at the finish line.

The conditions were not bad today, it was overcast but the wind was generally in the 6 to 10 range with shifts that ranged up to 15 deg but they were fairly predictable if the wind had been in one quadrant for some time. Seas were back to the sloppy conditions we have been used to. It was a great start to the event and the weather tomorrow promises to be similar but damper.

For results and information go to the ISAF website.

Saturday May 10.
The test event for the Paralympic classes officially started today with a practice race. Race committee did a very good job and the racing was fair in 4 to 5 knots of breeze from about 100 on the compass, it was shifting 10 deg but that was not the make or break for the racers. The start said it all - Stacie Loutitt and John McRoberts had the best start and lengthened the rest of the race to win by a significant margin.

In the 2.4, Paul Tingley had a run in with another competitor just before the start so got off the line slow and had to work hard to get back to mid fleet at the finish. The Sonar with Ken Kelly, Don Terlson and Marc Show were also off on the start and struggled for most of the race.

So what about the current? Well we were on A course and the current in this area was not too bad today, however, the race was about an hour before tide change so the full ebb was not felt. The interesting thing about today was the seas - there were none, it was probably the flatest I have seen the water here in the 2 times visiting here quite different from the constant and varied swell.

Racing starts tomorrow - more then.

Friday May 9.
We had a nice wind for practice with about 12 - 14 knots at 70 to 90 degrees on the compass. This created nice big seas accompanied by chop from a strong current. Paul Tingley trained for a while with the British team then we worked up wind to check out the rest of the race area and then focus on some downwind. After about 2.5 hrs the wind dropped significantly and we headed back to the Olympic center to haul the boat and prepare for measurement.

John McRoberts and Stacie Loutitt's container arrived so Steve McBride was busy preparing it for the water. We successfully completed the job and launched late in the afternoon so they will be sailing tomorrow also.

The team of Ken Kelly, Don Terlson and Marc Shaw has not arrived yet but are expected tonight some time; by tomorrow we will be a complete team be and ready for the racing which starts on Saturday.

The Chinese put on a great show for the opening ceremonies this evening with a variety of entertainment that showed the diversity of their culture.

They sure know how to put on a show!

Brian Todd
Canadian Sailing Team

First Report

This is the first of what we hope will be a regular report on the Qingdao Paralympic Test event. Like last August for the Olympic test event, the Chinese have gone over the top to make people welcome and provide an excellent venue.

The Athletes accommodation is now just about finished and I might say that 5 star might be understating it a bit! This is definitely 5 star ++. At the moment Paul Tingley and John McRoberts are here along with Steve McBride, Stacie Loutitt arrives tomorrow then Ken Kelly, Don Terlson, Marc Shaw and coach Don Martin arrive later this week.

Weather here is sunny today with a light 5 knot breeze (what else is new)We will unpack the Skud and 2.4 later today and hopefully have them ready for some sailing tomorrow. Other teams also arrived yesterday so there is a good deal of activity on the sailing site.

All for today,

Brian Todd
Canadian Sailing Team