|Good evening ma'am|
The competitors have had up to five training days including the practice race that we just finished. It's interesting to listen to people speak about their experiences so far. There is a consensus that it will be light, it's hard to see the wind patterns on water, there are some very strange variations in pressure, big shifts, and even talk of how current may be a factor. Some countries with lighter competitors could do very well.
Here's an example: yesterday I was sailing with a fellow from SUI on my hip just 10 meters away. In the light breeze, he was faster and he started to roll me. I thought, no problem, I'll get the breeze in a moment. Well, he rolled me and I never did get that breeze. Just 10 meters away!!! I told this story to a quick Aussie and she said that I had done this to her the day before. Go figure!
Normally light conditions are familiar to me because I sail in Dallas which is inland and only has small lakes. But nothing that works in Dallas works here - it's like learning all over again. This really gives you an appreciation of how consistently good Robert Scheidt was last week.
Our practice race confirmed what the conditions will be like - changes in pressure, shifty, and very tactical. And there are some people in our fleet with some real speed. One thing for sure - it will be important to look around to watch others for clues on the water.
I may have to use others to spot the pressure because of something that happened on Thursday evening. The US team had a Thanksgiving dinner, and at the entrance I was polite, smiled, and said 'Hi' to our hostess standing at the entrance ... only to realize is was a wooden mannequin. Boy, am I glad that no one was watching.