If the weather continues like it was today the main challenge isn’t going to be the other 3 competitors but the weather, and not the light wind around Qingdao but the lack of visibility, at times down to 50m today.
A grey day as the 4 surviving VO70s took to the water for the practice race and the best news for any fans of the race was that it was 4 and not 3 as Green Dragon had indeed had the new ring frame fitted and bonded and the water tight bulkhead repaired and of course a new forestay fitted.
At the briefing for Chinese media briefing in the Puma pavilion a tired looking Ken Read was introduced to the media. Heading towards the media centre we spotted Ian Walker heading the other way who confirmed some minor adjustments required to one of the keel rams that had become apparent during the practice race but he expected this to cause no real worried to the team.
A true mark of the man, when I asked of there was any way for a team autographed, Green Dragon t-shirt for a charity auction to be held at a regatta in Shanghai in the near future he immediately shifted gears and phoned Lucy from the Green Dragon PR Team and arranged an introduction, her follow up was in the same vein and we were promised the item before the end of the weekend – well done Team Green Dragon.
Perhaps the main challenge for Volvo in Qingdao is the accuracy of the material being supplied to the Chinese media and public with a Bowman being translated as “First Rower” on the posters and as “Jibber” in the Chinese official guide and other positions being given equally inappropriate names. Perhaps worst of all, especially of you are Tracy Edwards, Dawn Riley was given the credit of being the first skipper of an all female crew in the race and I wonder if Ian Walker knows he has won two “America’s Cup Race Championships.” The Volvo Ocean race really needs to look carefully at its QA in these areas if it wishes to effectively penetrate emerging non-English speaking markets.