Sunday, July 3, 2011

Arrived in Helsinki

Jen here,

After a few weeks of rest and recovery in Canada, we're back on the road. This time: Helsinki!  This is the ISAF Open Europeans, meaning that all Olympic classes are holding their European Championships at once.  The match racing has just wrapped up, and Lasers and Radials began racing today.  Yours truly will trained here for five days and then begin racing on July 9th.
So far Finland is very beautiful, and reminds me of a mix between Vancouver Island and the Northwest Territories.  It's got the islands and the rugged coastal feel of the west coast, but that northern energy that comes from being above the 60th parallel.  Trees are a bit smaller, days are...well...they don't end really at this time of year...the sun sort of just rotates around the edge of the horizon all day and all night.  But there is a distinct feeling of wanting to take it all in and soak in as much summer as possible before winter comes knocking on the door.  Bet you didn't know that I actually lived in Yellowknife as a kid?  This is perhaps why I feel an instant bond with Finland, it makes me feel like I'm back home up north for a bit.

Today we set up the boat and went for a short sail.  We had intended to go for longer, but the wind died off completely and there were some ominous looking thunder heads on shore.  Helsinki is in the midst of a heat wave at the moment, and daytime (okay who am I kidding, it's always daytime!) temperatures are frequently above 30 degrees.  This translates into little wind for us, and the forecast for the week appears to be light light light.  Do any of you remember our posts from last year in Holland though?  Good old Den Hague was extremely light for the weeks leading up to the World Championships and then blew the dog off the chain throughout the regatta.  You never know I guess, so we'll train to be ready for anything. To be honest, after five weeks of 18-25 knots in Holland and England this spring, I'm craving some more of that beautiful breeze, so my fingers are crossed that we'll be able to stretch out on the wire, hike hard, and "make the boat go fast" as coach Bunny would say.

Take care!

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