Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Andrew Campbell: Rough Start to the Laser Worlds

With four days of rain and onshore breezes and swells, New South Wales and the Central Coast is trying to wring itself out and get settled before the Laser World Championships starts here on Wednesday. While most of the counties have been in months long drought, the top stories are about flash floods swallowing objects such as Rescue Fire Trucks and small villages. The entire month of February’s expected rain has arrived in it’s first four days. All the while the swell has rolled in bigger and bigger each day onto our little beach under the faint protection of a natural jetty beside ‘The Haven.’

I know of at least four boats in the last week that have been gobbled up by rogue breaking sets of waves and come ashore with broken masts, torn sails and thoroughly embarrassed sailors amongst cheering crowds of onlookers. Last night apparently the race committee boat, which was peacefully anchored alongside the local fishing fleet, broke loose from it’s ground tackle and rode ashore to be found this morning full of a mix between buckets of rain water and sea water from the waves breaking into it.

All that and our forecast is calling for the swell to potentially increase over the next few days as the low pressure system intensifies. That could make it difficult getting through the already meter-high beach break, but we’ll see what happens.

After taking Super Bowl Sunday (or Monday by Australian eastern standard time) to watch the big game, I’ll be heading out on the water for a last bit of training before the regatta starts. Taking proper care to sail around the reef that is gaining a toothy reputation, I’ll spend a couple of hours making sure that the gear is set and ready for a seemingly traditional Laser Worlds: lots of wind, lots of waves, and lots of miles around the racecourses. All is relative after the Korean Worlds a couple of years ago where we had to sit out a few days waiting for a hurricane to pass over.
More to come from down under…http://www.campbellsailing.com/