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12 July 2001, 12:42 pm
Competitors Gather in China
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Optimist World Championships

The 45 national teams, some 212 sailors, are assembling for the 39th. Optimist World Championship in Qingdao, the proposed venue for the 2008 Olympic sailing events.

Travel is proving a problem for a few teams, most notably the South Africans who had to fly via Frankfurt due to the closure of Hong Kong airport, but upon arrival teams are finding a warm welcome and very efficient arrangements. The Fuxin Hotel is comfortable and the food is universally found to be excellent. Tonight the pile of excellent hamburgers was almost ignored in favour of fish, chicken and veal cooked in a variety of delicious if unfamiliar ways.

Down at the shore venue measurement is proceeding smoothly with 21 teams measured to date. Measurement of the mandatory charter hulls built by the local Dragon company has been discontinued after sample measurement showed that they were all, for some mysterious reason, exactly 300gm heavier than the certified weight! Measurement of sails, spars and foils is proceeding with few problems.
Weather conditions are not great with fog and little wind, but forecasts are of change on Friday, well in time for the start of racing.

Optimist website/News Editor
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