Qingdao / China, August 9 2008 - Despite the commotion about the new ‘code zero’, Dutch Tornado sailors Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis stick to their strategy. They plan to use the upwind gennaker, especially designed for the predominant sailing conditions in Qingdao. The final decision is a weather depending call. Their measurement is scheduled on Sunday August 10th, so they have one more day to monitor the weather forecast.
As revealed earlier, the upwind gennaker will give an advantage in speed up to 11 knots. However, on the downwind legs there will be a disadvantage with a significant smaller sail area. Booth: “But the advantage upwind makes up for the disadvantage downwind.” For every Olympic Games the designing process of the best possible equipment starts all over again. Booth explains how they decided to work on the smaller and flat gennaker: “In Qingdao the current has a big effect on the race course. We already know quite accurately what the current will be. And with the predominant wind from the south east, it means that in terms of percentage the upwind leg will take a lot longer than on a normal course without current. The lighter the wind gets, the bigger the change in percentage upwind/downwind will be.” If this is the weather forecast, the Dutchmen will defenitely use the code zero. Booth: “But if the wind comes from the opposite direction then the numbers will reverse and we might reconsider our strategy.”
Pim Nieuwenhuis expresses the fact that they did not use a loophole in the rules: “We just designed a different gennaker that complies with the required measures.” According to Booth, they don’t have any doubt concerning the legibility of the sail: “Two coaches and three professional teams worked on it for a year. We all know the rules very well and we asked ourselves every possible question. In case there was only a small doubt, we would not have wasted a year of testing and developing. I have no fear that it doesn’t come through the measurement.”
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