In my morning mail today I got a letter from Roland Gäbler, German Tornado Sailor, (see picture) who has an Olympic Campaign underway for China 2008. Will it be his 4th Olympic participation if he manages it? He has got a Bronze, lucky him. What puzzled me in his letter is the criteria set by the German Sailing Association (DSV) for the Tornado Class to qualify for the one berth available. Actually we have three hot shots in Germany and the Tornado class had always been a hotly contested class. What I find strange this year in the elimination trial is the following:
Our German sailors have to participate in a regatta in New Zealand in February, have to sail one in March in Spain (Mallorca) and another one in April in France, Hyeres. All in the year 2008 of course. Just think about the logistics involved. The travelling. The Money needed up front. Than you easily catch a flu in the aeroplane. The jet-leg, which sometimes last longer in the body than you might believe. (Mmh, I heavily suggest the use of salt-water-spray for the nose to help avoid any such illness or bad feelings). Personally I think that this is not a good plan by DSV but my days are over and things have changed dramatic over the last years. We used to sail on the River Elbe. More hours in the boat, less travelling. Not that I got close to a berth in the ´76 Olympic in the FD class. Just a runner up. There were some better sailors like me. The Diesch brothers, the König brothers, the Batzill cousins. Silver and Bronze medal Winner winner Ulli Libor tried it again. Jörg and Eckard Diesch won Gold in Kingston. Rodney Pattison came second. I will never forget this as I had sailed together with Jörg and with Rodney. With Rodney on his Endurance 35, but that is another story. Nevertheless, I am wishing Roland fair wind and smooth sailing. May the best Team win the elimination trials.