Saturday, July 19, 2008

$10,000 Day in Qingdao

[Team Austin Sperry/ John Dane]
Hello from Qingdao.

Yesterday was a big day for us here in China. We have been working on a few items for the light winds we expect for the Olympic Games next month, but before we can race with them we need find out how strong they are and see if the stuff breaks and what its range is.

As you can see from the photos, it broke. Yes we found its range. Hence it was a the $10,000 dollar day (the cost for a new mast and a new set of sails).

Some people may look at this like, man that was a really bad day, but call me an eternal optimist. I look at this situation from a different angle.

1) It was blowing 20kts, with puffs up to 25kts (this is when the mast fell over) with really big waves out on the Yellow Sea. We knew the risks associated with what we were doing and went for it. You will never grow as a team, in business, in life or as a person if you don't take a few risks.

2) It was a brand new mast that had never been in the boat before today. You might say wow that's bad, but I say that's good because we will never know if it was a fast or slow mast.

3) When this happened, our team rallied around each other there was no yelling, no talking just the sounds of waves crashing over the bow and the sound of a torn sail blowing in a stiff breeze. Four guys got to work to clean the mess up get on the tow and make it back to harbor. We were about three miles to the SE of the harbor entrance when this happened. We had this yard sale cleaned up and off the boat ten minutes after we got back to the dock. Impressive, like we had done it before.

4) Team work and togetherness are really strong - I can tell that we are getting ready to peak for the Games. When someone is down we pick them up, build them up and get on with the day. No mulling around, no head down moping around...100% business.
Today is another day, seven knots predicted so more racing today against Marc Pickel. It's another opportunity to become better and faster.

It's been a great training camp. We have nearly everything sorted for the Olympic Games as far as equipment goes, just focusing on the basics now.

We have four more days of sailing left before we head back to San Francisco.

I have to roll, I need to rig another mast and make sure she is ready to race this afternoon.

More later