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Keeping up with the Olympics!

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Sailing for the Gold — Rio Letters
2016 Olympic Sailing Report #2

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Mental Toughness

August 8, 2016
By Gary Jobson
Winning Medals in Rio is going to be very hard in the challenging wind conditions off Rio de Janeiro. Day One showed us just how capricious the winds can be on every race course. 

Each day the classes move to a different circle. It will be difficult to master the changing wind patterns from one day to the next. The winds weave around the surrounding mountains and high city buildings. One moment you are sailing in 14 knots of wind, and then suddenly the wind just stops. Every boat experienced emotional highs and lows during the first races in the Lasers, Laser Radials, and Men's and Women's RS:X sailboard classes. To paraphrase former President, Bill Clinton, I could feel the sailors' pain. Overcoming adversity, so that one can consistently finish in the top ten in each race, will be the key to winning. 
The RS:X classes schedule three races each day over four days leading to the Medal Race. The top ten boats go on to the Medal Race. Medal Races are worth double points. Great Britain's Nick Dempsey got off to an impressive start with two firsts, and a second. He won the Silver Medal in 2012 in Weymouth, and is hungry for a Gold. Based on his performance he is on his way. 
Marion Lepert - USA Women's RS:X. Photo credit & © credit Sailing Energy / World Sailing.
In the Women's RS:X Division American Marion Lepert finished a respectable 10-3-10. She is 20 years old and is sailing in her first Olympics. She looked comfortable in the moderate winds off Rio today. She grew up sailing on San Francisco Bay and is used to sailing in a strong breeze. The big test for her will be in light winds, which are forecasted later this week.
The most interesting race of the day was in the Women's singlehanded Laser Radial Class. All eyes were on China's returning Gold Medalist, Lijia Xu. She has not been sailing for three years, concentrating instead, on earning a degree in Naval Architecture at the University of Southampton in England. In Race One she finished third. America's Paige Railey finished 15th in the first race, and came back strong in Race Two.
USA - Paige Railey - Laser Radial. Photo credit & © credit Sailing Energy / World Sailing.
The wind on the race course was shifting 30 degrees and ranging from 14 knots down to four knots at times. Railey got off the line with a clean start, and was running between sixth and tenth on the first leg. She avoided getting tangled up with other boats and worked every wind shift. The Laser Radial tacks efficiently, so it is worth taking advantage of every wind shift. At the first mark China led the fleet, and Railey was in fifth. Croatia, Belgium and Lithuania's Gintare Scheidt were all in the top five. On the second beat back to the windward mark, Scheidt did a better job picking wind shifts and passed Xu. Railey sailed brilliantly approaching the same mark and moved into third. On the final approach Xu failed to cross Railey on port, and had to perform a 720-degree penalty. Railey moved into second all the way to finish line. 
The top seven boats in the Laser Radial class are all returning Olympians. Three of them have won medals, including Xu, Scheidt and Marit Bowmeester, NED (Silver 2012, London). The winner of Race Two, Gintare Scheidt, won a Silver Medal in 2008 in Quindao, China. She is married to Laser superstar Robert Scheidt, BRA, who is racing in the Laser Class. At 43, he is the oldest sailor in his class, but also has five Medals — two Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze — that he earned from the last five Olympics. He opened with a 23rd in the 38-boat fleet, but quickly recovered to win the second race.
USA-Laser - Charlie Buckingham. Photo credit & © credit Sailing Energy / World Sailing.
Charlie Buckingham, from Newport Beach, Ca., had a 20th in the first race of the day in the Laser, and moved into seventh in the second race. The sailors drop their worst race of the series. It is tough to have to drop your first race, because it means you have to sail flawlessly for the rest of the regatta. Both Scheidt and Buckingham will have to work hard to work into the top ten. 
TEAM USA's Pedro Pascual, Men's RS:X
The pictures coming off the water are riveting. You can see the determination on the faces of the sailors as they work their boats through the choppy waves off Rio. Both the RS:X sailboard and the Laser sailboats are provided to the sailors. Every piece of equipment, including the hull and the sails, are identical. It is the sailor who makes the difference. The wind certainly has an effect on the outcome. How a sailor deals with a bad shift or light spot is critical. You simply can't get upset when the wind disappears, or get too excited when luck into a great breeze. A positive attitude is important. Paige Railey avoided taking big risks and picked off one boat at a time. But it’s early in this regatta. The other six classes that start racing later this week are well aware of the challenges ahead. It will be great theater to watch. The outcome in every class is wide open.
Our television coverage continues on Tuesday on MSNBC at 4:35 Eastern time. We will focus on the Finn and Women's RS:X. San Diego's Caleb Painemakes his Olympic debut, and Marion Lepert looks to extend her strong first day. Later this week, my co-commentator Randy Smyth and I hope to be able to add live commentary to the World Feed that is being broadcast on NBCOlympics.com every day at Noon ET.
Be sure to visit OlympicSailing.nshof.org to read every day's report, plus additional info including Sailing Instructions and course maps. 

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What is trending and hot in the sailing world....

Dan Feltham!!!  Author "www.dansstories.com

The Edge of Time by Dan Feltham

A grieving widower decides to take his 18-year old twin daughters and other family members on a sailboat cruise to the South Pacific. They visit the Marquesas Islands and then on the way to Tahiti, are suddenly hit by a mysterious storm. The merging of a rumored Mayan doomsday prediction, a unique date, time and set of mid ocean coordinates all result in a time warp back 200 years. They reach O’Taheiti in the year 1812 and are welcomed and entranced by the local islanders. They are individually torn between remaining with new native friends on the island or attempting the unknown risks of a return to present time. Love affairs and black pearls complicate matters. The story is a combination of sailing, time travel, history, fantasy, and South Seas romance. Come aboard and enjoy the trip. You may want to share their adventure, if only in the reading.

Book’s Genesis

In my lifetime, I have not traveled as extensively as I would have liked, but I have traveled perhaps more than my fair share. Whenever someone has asked, “What’s the most beautiful place you have ever been?” I have always answered, “Tahiti, and specifically the magic island of Bora Bora.”

I have also had more than my fair share of mistresses – inanimate floating objects made of fiberglass, wood, cloth and aluminum – all sailboats with names like Heather, Premier, Patriot, Makani Kai, Williwaw, Goblin, Spindrift, and Cherish. They were all ladies of one personality or another to which I devoted far too much time and money in payment for personal satisfaction. It would figure then that a sailing venue would form the basis for another book.

In late 2012 there was a great deal of speculation about the Mayan doomsday predictions – the world would end according to the Mayan calendar, or there would be great floods or other worldwide cataclysmic disasters. It made good news; it also made a good background for a time tested travel plot. The well known moviesBrigadoon and Somewhere in Time and classic novels such as Lost Horizons andGulliver’s Travels have all captured the imaginations of adventurers and dreamers. I am both.

Out of these three topics came the reality, fantasy and hopefully your reading enjoyment for The Edge of Time, a story soaked in tropical ocean waters, trade winds, and romance.

Note: this novel is an e-book available through Amazon and most other services.
How to Anchor Safely So You Sleep Well!

Being safe out on the water is so important and Malcolm Snook knows just what to do!  This is a must read before heading out on your next sailing adventure! 

How to anchor a yacht, or motor boat, safely in a wide variety of circumstances. Includes advice for people who just want to anchor for lunch, right through to those who plan to live on their boats and travel extensively, or even spend months at anchor in one location to save on marina fees or harbor dues. Includes information about a wide range of associated issues including: getting to and from your boat, what to do when things go wrong, storm preparation, equipment, security, communication, power supply and even illness. Written in a conversational style by a man who has lived the life of a boat gypsy for eight years it has straightforward, simple advice and anecdotes, the book aims to both inform and entertain and in this respect is like no other book on the subject.

Buy directly:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1466392878