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Beijing has Olympic wind problems
Olympic sailors are told to expect weak winds for the regatta in the Yellow Sea.
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2007 09:25 GMT
The 2006 Qingdao Regatta was the first official test event for the 2008 Olympics [GALLO/GETTY]
European and US competitors in the yachting events may have to endure long spells without wind in their sails during next year's Olympics regatta in the Yellow Sea, according to organisers.
"On China's sea at that time of year, compared with Europe and the United States, the wind is not strong," Zang Aimin, a top yachting official with the Olympic organising committee, said on Thursday.

"These American and European teams will just have to adapt themselves to those conditions."

Foreign sailors complained angrily about the lack of wind during a regatta held at the Olympic yachting venue at Qingdao, a picturesque port 500 kilometres southeast of Beijing, last year.

The Qingdao regatta was billed as the first test event for the 2008 Olympics and a second test event will be held next month at the venue to clear up problems encountered during the previous regatta.

"From the (2006) event we discovered 184 problems," Zang, who is vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic organising committee's yachting panel and also vice mayor of Qingdao, told a press conference.

"All those problems will be addressed during the August 9 to 24, 2007 Qingdao international regatta," she added.

"We have adopted some countermeasures and we have acted accordingly to (cope with) the big problems and the minor problems."

"After that I am sure that this year these problems will no longer be problems."

Possible late gusts

Zang did not specify what the problems were, but admitted there was not much she could do to stop criticism over the lack of wind.

Studies of wind patterns off Qingdao show that winds are strongest late in the day, Zang said, adding that the racing programme would be modified to reflect those findings.

"From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm the wind will get stronger progressively... so in the morning (racing) will not start early."

Source:
Agencies
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