With the Olympics done and dusted, we can finally turn to the really fun stuff – loud, fast, wet beasts tearing around the world at speeds that make powerboats nervous. In only a couple of months, they’ll be off, and history says the two-boat teams have the best chance: That means Ericsson and Telefonica, but of course, there are other factors to consider.
To date, the favourites seem to have been training and sailing their qualifiers in relatively benign conditions – but that does not apply to Team Russia. Its training base is in an England that has had one of the nastiest summes in memory, and their qualifier was around those grey, dour, and windswept isles. Minor teething troubles apart, the qualifier went very smoothly, despite survival conditions at times, and the big, funky-looking chiner seems to be the only contender to date that has proved itself in seriously heavy weather.