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Tokyo2020 - Day 1 Preview - Enjoy it while you can

by Richard Gladwell/ 24 Jul 2021 23:56 BST 25 July 2021
Final practice ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics © World Sailing

The opening day of the Tokyo2020 Olympic sailing regatta will get underway in light winds, after the fresher overnight conditions are expected to moderate later today.

However today is forecast to the last of the fluffy weather, with the wind predicted to swing south this afternoon, before going back to the NE and increasing to 14kts gusting 17kts, overnight.

Predictwind is forecasting those conditions will prevail for the rest of the week - through to Saturday, with tomorrow Monday at 8-17kts in the morning and 9-11kts in the afternoon, being at the lighter end of the range for the week.

The drive down on the bus was uneventful, but when able to see Sagami Bay it was clear the Wind God had gone elsewhere - glassy as, with a faintest puff of breeze just visible in small patches.

At the Main Gate there was a lot of fast talking going on, as the entering media were subject to yet another round of "Computer says No" - this in the shape of a new Venue Booking system - where media have to book their chosen venue at least a day in advance.

That of course assumes that you can log-in to yet another system (four so far) with all the right logins, passwords, and authentication codes.

In such situations it is always a basic move is to consider what the late Bob Fisher (who should need no introduction to sailing fans) would have done faced with such a challenge - the sort that seemed to make his day, and provide a story on his favorite subject of bureaucratic incompetence.

First option is to have a major blow-up and see if the front-desk and their beloved computer retreats. But here that is a very, very last resort.

Second option is to find someone you know, that speaks Japanese and see if that works. As Bob knew so many people, Option 2 was usually a decision that was made for him. Usually they were already there and awaiting his summons.

Long story short, after a lot of fast talking the various media photographers were admitted - with top international photographer Soehata-san saving the day for me.

Weird as it may seem some of us are here to try and cover the sailing, rather than battle with computer systems, as has been the case for the past two months.

But we, the foreign media, certainly get put through the hoops.

From what we have been able to see of the past few days, light winds have been the staple diet, and in the media centre we are warned to expect more of the same, and no rush to get on the water.

Yesterday our walkabout revealed there was more wind than today. This is very much an ocean venue - with a long lolloping swell raising the boats that were out training, but with a steady trickle of wind being barely enough to trapeze.

Today looks to be less of the same.

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