Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Europeans Day 1: Waiting for Wind

Jen here,

Well it seems that we're playing that old cat and mouse game with the wind again: we wait...and it taunts us.  The only difference this time is that it's unbelievably hot here!  It's nearly 3:00pm and we've been postponed since 11:00am.  Our garden shed has proven its worth though today. The air conditioning has given us a place of refuge from the heat. We've been hiding inside with the Germans and Israelis all day!
Yesterday we took the day off before our seven day event.  I went into Istanbul with our Israeli and German friends to see the sights and have a good day away from the boat park.  This all proved to be a bit trickier than we had originally planned, though, due to some sensitive politics.  Remember that political conflict back in June between Turkey and Israel?  Its likely far from our Canadian minds, but things are still a bit tense between Israel and Turkey.  Our Israeli friends, Gil and Dana are required to bring a bodyguard with them when they go out, in order to prevent any problems that might arise due to their backgrounds.  With bodyguard in tow, we set off to Sulthanamet, only again, things became slightly more complicated.  Before we knew it, we were being escorted by four additional Turkish police!  Here we were, a gaggle of six girls with five bodyguards.

Left to Right: Dana, Leon (bodyguard), Gil, Tina, Jen

Basilica Cistern
The trip into town was a great break from training, measuring, fixing, and all the general preparation for the event.  I think the highlight for me was seeing the Basilica Cistern, a Roman water system that was built in 532AD.  As I walked down the stairs to the underground building, I received the most welcome reprieve from the late afternoon Turkish heat.  Then I turned a corner to see damp, ancient Roman pillars supporting a massive underground structure which is meant for supplying water to the ancient Constantinople.  When I think of how young our country is and compare it to something like the Basilica, it makes me realize how very small we are and how much history there is in this part of the world. I've attached some photos from our day in the city as well as two photos that will interest the more sailing savvy of our supporters.  The 470 class association is considering moving to tape drive sails, and there is a set of North Sails here on display for demonstration.  Their not yet legal, but we may see them in the relatively near future.  Check out the picks of these new sails.  What do you think??


New Demo Sails

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