Wales welcomed us with a deluge of rain on Saturday morning, prompting an unscheduled trip to the local Millets Outdoors store, where Team USA picked up 13 pairs of "Wellies" - the local rain boots - before heading to the boat park to collect our yachts. After losing the prior day to canceled flights, delayed bags, and a host of other issues, we worked late into the evening pounding lead, drilling foot straps, and splicing on new blocks and lines to get six new 29ers up to racing standards. Most of the team has raced in Europe before at other events or in other classes, but the excitement of being in a foreign country for a World Championship, surrounded by 100 other teams creates an energy in the boat park that's easy to get swept away in, so productivity was low and by 2100h a few teams were still trying to get their boats up to the class legal weight limit by adding lead.
Our already compromised concentration was wavering, so we packed up the boats and headed for the nearest grocery store to grab some food and check into our new home. We are staying in a caravan park, that feels like Disneyland might feel if you replaced the Disneyland resort hotels with a big trailer park. Inside the main gate to the caravan park there are water slides, go karts, mini golf courses, ropes courses, arcades, and all kinds of other toys for the British vacationers who stay in the park. We have four small apartment units with kitchens, and a few bedrooms each, about seven minutes from the sailing venue, so we should be pretty set up for the rest of the time we're here.
Looking forward to getting on the water!