Three practice races today, with not all competitors sailing, unfortunately - or, in our case, fortunately, because we were only with 1,5 umpire boat. The last two of our team still have to arrive, and we had to miss some racing because of tow 'duty' to one of the teams.
Spending the day in this beautiful venue brought back memories from 30 years ago when I was also on the 'Arabic Peninsula'. Working as a young trainee at a building site in Dubai, we drove in our car to Oman on a short holiday trip and had a look at the Indian Ocean. That was in 1979.
A lot has changed, since then. But not the friendly Omanie people and the pride they took in their country.
As for the sailing and the teams, I have the distinct impression this will be a season where more than other years the goal will be "to win!". Everybody has been training very hard, has been preparing the boat as best as they know how and is sort of more serious then ever before.
We need to be at our best tomorrow - not only because of that, but also because of more than before, the eyes of the sailing world will be on this series - as a prelude to the AC45 events. more then one team here, has AC aspirations. We will see how that goes.
But for now, I predict more emotions, more risk taking and more hearings.
It wouldn't surprise me at all, if that already started here in Oman.
Even the Safety-guys are beginning to pick up on the fact that safety issues they are unable to enforce, but are written in de NOR of in the SI, can be protested and sorted out in the Jury-room.
Now I'm hitting the sack- and hope to catch up some of that sleep I missed yesterday. It's gone eleven already.