A half dozen Tornado teams slipped their boats through their paces in training on Saturday, among them World Champions and favourites Darren BUNDOCK (AUS) and Glenn ASHBY - sailing an 18-month old Marstrom.
Other teams, like Americans John LOVELL
and Charlie OGLETREE
(USA), have put their trust in older vessels that carried them to past victories; after arriving in Qingdao on Thursday the USA team started to prepare 'SiIver Bullet', the boat in which they won silver at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
They would be working on preparations into Saturday night, aiming to take to the water on Sunday, 3 August.
"It was the boat that gave us the best result,"
said LOVELL, fastening the boat gudgeons. "We did well with it at the Worlds and made the decision to go with it. These hulls stay stiff forever. The boats may get twisty after a while but it is easy to reseat the beams."
The USA Tornado may be more than four years old but an Austrian boat is older still. Roman HAGARA
and Hans Peter STEINACHER
(AUT) say they will sail the same boat that whisked them to gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the Athens Games.
All of the teams have been testing sails.
Among those who managed to train on Saturday, Mitch BOOTH
(NED) and Pim NIEUWENHUIS
(NED) have said they would use a gennaker to help them on the light air reaches and runs.
Said BOOTH of Saturday's light winds and strong opposing current, "We've been on this tack for a long time and have not gone very far."
Since last November OGLETREE and LOVELL from the USA have been testing a gennaker with sailmaker and Olympic Silver medallist, Jay Glaser, and are waiting for long-term weather forecasts before deciding between a gennaker or a spinnaker.
In contrast HAGARA definitely has his mind made up. "The gennaker is good upwind, but it is bad downwind. The sail area is too small and there's too much wind loss. It is also hard to control. For me it is too much to lose and too little to gain."