Last weekend I was meeting with a friend and business partner in good ol´ Amsterdam. This way I could avoid a 6 hours trip on the plane into Dubai, instead I invested 5 hours in the car. If you add to the 6 hours flying time the time to get to the airport, all the hazzle with parking and safety control and such, the balance was BIG in my favour. Anyway, Amsterdam was so busy with bicylces and people walking all over the place, that one feels really uncomfortable, driving in a car within the citycenter.
When I was close to my friends home, I called and asked for final directions. "Yes, mmh, he said, there are red flags on the bridge opposite my house". OK, I found the right "Gracht" (waterway I would translate) and saw a bridge with red flags. Must be here. A nice parking lot (rare) convinced me further to leave the car. Took my luggage and after a hundred meters I realized that there were many bridges with red flags. I had to walk seven bridges until I reached my destination.
We did not go boating but we talked much about boating. There are a couple of very interesting projects in the pipeline which we discussed. One of my regular visitors here, Orkun, from: Sailmatchrace had sailed the thirty footers of the particular company in a Match Race. We discussed improving their quality or better say their equality as there were some minor weight issues. More interesting will be the series of 80 footers, of which my friend, the CEO in the company believes, he can show up with the first one during the final AC races in Valencia. I doubt this, but I will do my utmost to help get the ball rolling.
Talking about the AC next year. I have booked for my company a visit during the third race in the final. I hope that I find the time to stay until the last race and the celebrations. My colleagues will have to hit straight home the next day. Lot´s of work in the company, but as an aficionado since Newport 1983, I am following every move of the America´s Cup and hope to be able to stay in Valencia for a couple more days. The photo shows the German entry, GER-89 after stepping the mast in August 2006 in Valencia. We do hope that this boat will be faster than the old one and that Jesper and the boys will take some sculps during the LV Cup. We will not likely see them in the final but they should get their feet wet, as Michael Illbruck once said. I like my hometeam of course but my heart is beating for the Kiwis. The once underdogs, who took the Cup after several attempts. An interesting story about it had been written by Artist Jim Bolland.