We got on the water later in the afternoon and were immediately waved over to join in some training with the Croatian and Turkish mens teams. The coach would emphatically shout and wave at us "Girls! Tack!" Then we were joined by the German national team for some small races. These proved to be a bit of a gong show for us as we haven't done any short course work in a while and with a new boat and all the systems in the boat in constant flux we weren't very quick off the line or around corners.
Tuesday we launched with the Australian boy's and girl's teams and tuned up with them upwind. It was about 8-12 knots from a dark cloud in the SW with big short waves that were hard to get over smoothly. The Australian teams sail like skiff sailors - footed off and lots of sheeting. It was a bit strange to sail with them as we sail totally differently. We rarely were pointing the same direction; sometimes they had more speed but we were sailing higher, and sometimes we had equal speed but were sailing lower. We did some upwinds and downwinds together for a few hours until the cloud moved through and the breeze died down and swung around to the SE. The Aussies headed in, we stayed out for a while and worked on our boat handling.
Tuesday evening we met up with a French Canadian who has been living in Den Haag for the past two years. He works for the cartography company and gave us free charts and a current book for Den Haag, which is amazing! We cycled into Central Den Haag and he showed us the International Court of Justice, the Palace and the Legislator. We then went to a local pub to watch the Spain vs. Portugal match with a whole bunch of Spanish people.
Today when we arrived at the Marina a fog and a bit of rain was moving in. We did a bit more boatwork and the fog blocked our view of the marina entrance. It retreated and we headed on the water around noon. It was hard to tell how windy it was with the big short waves, fog and current, but somewhere around 16 knots. We were sailing around in the fog by ourselves when we found the Singapore mens team, and tuned up with them upwind. We were fairly evenly matched for speed (they don't sail like skiff sailors) except they were doing a better job of managing the big waves. By this I mean they did NOT get washed off the boat while I did! Eventually the fog cleared and the wind died down to around 6 knots. We joined the other boats for one race and then headed in. We had yet more boatwork to do. We have been trying to nurse along our spinnaker halyard by replacing some core and splicing in some extra line but it is a losing battle, so we are going to have to replace it.
Our boat parking spot has slowly been moved by some Australians who have arrived over the past two days. I guess we will be nice as one of them is the Bejing Men's 470 Gold medallist. I found this out after asking if he was the coach. Whoops! Maybe they will have some tips for us? Pictures from around town below.
|Den Haag, NED|