Tuesday, July 29, 2008

12 days to go...

Austin's Update
Back in San Francisco with 12 days to go

Friends, family and great weather make San Francisco better and better each time we visit.
On 23 July, we finished a two week training camp in China so Rodney Hagebols, Mark Reynolds, JD and I arrived in SF last Wednesday. Our training camp was very productive on all fronts. We have chosen our boat for the Games, we have three masts we're confident in and our sail selection looks fast.

Upon arrival in San Francisco, we all went different directions for the evening. I headed for the Erickson's in Tiburon for some of their great hospitality. Then JD and I met up in the next morning to travel together to San Jose State University for Olympic team processing. At SJSU, we hooked up with the rest of our teammates and our team leader, Dean Brenner.

I have to say, I loved every minute of it! I enjoyed all 16 years of college, so I was naturally excited for one more night in a college dorm with my buddies and teammates.

The US Olympic Team is sponsored by Nike and Ralph Lauren, so we got some very cool gear that I will be wearing proudly at the opening ceremony and around town. They gave each of us a shopping cart and a clipboard with a list. I visited every station where we loaded up on everything, from four pairs of shoes to an Olympic leather jacket. We were even sized for our Olympic rings. We were also fitted for our opening ceremony blazers and trousers (Ralph Lauren even made the alterations while we waited!).

Then on Friday night, we were at my home club - the St Francis Yacht Club for a team send off party. Close to 50 of my family and friends came to party and did we ever celebrate! My childhood buddy CJ and his parents came along too, so I let them in on a secret that we've kept for 11 years. Back in 1995, I ran away from boarding school and when I arrived in San Francisco I hid out at their house, yet they only found out the details on Friday night!

It's been great hanging out here in SF. Sally is here and helping me tick a few things off the list with some last minute shopping for Qingdao. Rodney has also been fantastic. He never stops working, I am not sure I could live without these people.

So all is well. I can't wait to get this started!

I am enjoying sharing this unique experience with you and really love reading your feedback.
The best part is yet to come, stay tuned!