Trough a couple of heavy rain showers, which impeded our speed severely, passing some very staggered but in total very long road works, we arrived in Kiel around half past five. The trip took us five and a quarter hours, with one short stop for a coffee. By driving during the day we at least avoided the congestions round Bremen and Hamburg.
In Kiel everything is the same and also new and different. This will be my fifth Kiel-week, with many familiar faces and some interesting new ones.
We didn't have a long time for greetings since the first Jury meeting was already scheduled for 18:00 hours. But I must tell you that several new people on the jury immediately started telling me they very much enjoyed reading LTW. It was very nice to hear this.
I will endeavour to meet their expectations.
After the first meeting, where a policy discussion about Jury protest was the main topic, we went straight on to a meeting with all the MR competitors - all 21 teams!
And after that the topics were discussed in our first umpire meeting.
To start with the first meeting: The Organisers of Kiel-week wanted to have a more active role of the Jury on the water regarding rule infringements. The SI give the Jury the possibility to show a red flag and blow a whistle when they observe a boat breaking a rule of Part 2. After some discussion we ended up with a clear policy: When we see an infringement where we can clearly identify the boat which broke the rule, we can show the flag and blow our whistle. Depending on any boat protesting or taking penalties, we then can decide if we want to hand in a paper protest.
I'm curious how this is going to work. I'll hope to get back to this issue in the second half of Kiel-week in the International part, after the Match Racing is done.
The new Elliots have been sailing today! Each team had the opportunity to practice. I haven't seen them on the water yet, but asking the teams in the meeting, two things were discussed: - The acceleration of the boat is very fast! And due to a restriction on the helm.. the turning circle is quit big. I'll have to see tomorrow.
I'm certainly going to keep my distance for a couple of matches before I trust myself closer to these new boats.
The plan is to have four MR-umpires who will stay with the event the whole time. And then have others from the Jury - who have umpire skills - rotate in and out every day. I will be with the Elliots until Wednesday.
21 Teams equals three groups of seven, who will do a Round Robin in each group. The first two in each group go through to the quarter finals and all the others will do a repecharge in two groups (seven and eight teams respectively)
With the winners of those RR, we will do another with the final eight boats. Semi finals in a knock out and finals as well, will complete the program. A very full schedule. It will take us long days on the water to do this in five days… Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
I'll tell you how this will develop in coming day's.