November 20, 2013

Oman Open Worlds - Day 3

By Doug
The size of my little boat for veiwing
The forecast was the same but it felt windier because the waves were bigger and I had a lot of trouble taking videos while being bounced around. And I was under doctor's orders not to have much sudden movement after my eye surgery last week. And the boat did not have an anchor. So the videos are pretty bad, but I learned that even bad videos can be useful as you will see.

I'm always looking for something different, something special to remember, but this can difficult in an event that lasts for 7 days. I saw something at the end of the first race today that I thought would be the highlight of the day. It was the bottom reach in the first race and at the beginning the two leading boats had a comfortable lead and were very close. By the end of the reach, one had pulled ahead by what looked like about 100 meters. I thought, both are world-class sailors... how can one be soooo much faster? And who was it?

Two minutes later, they finished and it was Robert Scheidt (BRA) who had pulled away from Nick Thompson (GBR), who is not at all slow. I thought wow, that was fantastic!

Nick is also in this report because in the next race there was a collision and he was disqualified. While unfortunate, that's not news. What is news is that he was in the 40's, which shows how brutal the conditions can be. Here's your new phrase of the day, spoken by an Aussie: anyone can have a shitter of a race.

But what made this day memorable happened back on shore. There was an unsolicited comment from one of the coaches about a US sailor who was 'yellow flagged' twice today. Translation - too much kinetics. Translation - cheating. The comment was made in the context of coaching. I added how US coaching at the college level is a disgrace because of the illegal (by international standards) kinetics that are actually encouraged. The international judges aren't stupid and know this, so the US coach here has a tough job having to un-train their sailors of the techniques that helped them get here. It's unfair, and the results were seen today. The coach I was talking with summed it up by saying that talented US sailors are nowhere close to their potential.

Robert had a great day with a 1, 2, 1. I congratulated him after the racing and the first thing he said was "I got a 2." From anyone else in the fleet, this would have been a statement of pure joy. From Robert, it sounded more like an apology.

The highlight from this memorable day happened after dark. There was an incident at the end of race 4 when Kristian Ruth (NOR) was fouled on the finishing line by another boat and I happened to video the incident. So my video was used as evidence which several people have told me is very rare because it has to be conclusive. The other boat also had a witness from Korea. We waited several hours before the protest hearing was held which Kristian won. It was the Korean's word against my video.

Here's the funny part - it could be the first time in sporting history when it was the Asian who did not have the camera.

[Warning - this video might make you seasick]


  1. So did you pick up any tips at all from watching Scheidt and Thompson on the reach? What was Robert doing differently?

    1. No, they were too far away. My guess is that Robert was just a little better at catching the waves. But on the reaches the leaches in general are tighter than I've seen recently.

  2. Excellent stuff Doug! I'm looking forward to the video. I wonder also what Robert and Nick's body weight's are and if there is much difference. Interesting about the leach tensions on the reaches. I wonder if there are significant differences in the outhauls as well on the reaches?

    1. The videos are late because of the very slow Internet connection (many hours/video).
      My guess is that they weigh about the same, but Robert always looks more physical in the boat.
      The outhauls looked tighter, so the sails were pretty flat with very little twist.
      Looks a little old fashioned.

    2. That comment is from Doug. He's logged into my YouTube account.


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