Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's Time for Bled!

Racing is finally underway this morning here in Bled! The whole city is literally abuzz with the regatta. The announcer's booming voice can be heard over the whole lake. The starting line is just feet away from our hotel window. And the racing is on every TV and computer screen! It feels a bit like waiting to start your race at C.R.A.S.H.-B.''re ready to race, but you're also never able to stop thinking about the fact that you're going to be racing!

We've seen nearly the full spectrum of weather since we've been here--the week started out HOT and sunny, then warm and windy, and then a huge thunderstorm yesterday, perhaps trying to give us a small dose of Hurricane Irene? It's calmed down a lot, but more weather will be rolling in by the end of the day--more challenges for all the small boats starting racing today!
The view from my office...
The course, town, and buses have all filled up in the last two days. This morning, we were joking that our odd-fitting USA team jerseys were the reason we were almost run over by crews at both ends of the course--they must have wanted to see them up close for themselves! We finally escaped the ITA LM8+ that seemed intent on clashing oars. The bus ride back had a bit more breathing room than this morning's: we were so jammed in that the doors wouldn't close, when the UKR W4x decided that that was the sign to also get on!
On the bus, everyone gets a bit of the your elbow-to-my head move...
We haven't had too many adventures here--we're in racing mode, so it's mostly just lounging around our hotel rooms...or around the hotel lobby...or eating...or sleeping. We're sharing a hotel with the Kiwis and Aussies, and even though the seating in the dining room is separated by country, we at least have the "DMZ" of the lobby to catch up with each other. The lobby has also been the source of nightly entertainment--from the "A Minute to Win It"-style show shooting a nail-driving contest to Slovenian folk dancers performing--which makes up for the consistently terrible lounge music playing on repeat. (I love Whitney Houston, but I don't know how many more times I can listen to "I Will Always Love You"!)
Slovenian folk dancers invading the lobby!

I'm rooming with Elle Logan, whom I've had the pleasure of rooming with since 2007. One of our favorite things to do is to watch bizarre Euro MTV music videos; this year's top find has been the slightly scandalous "Love Banana". We may have also watched a bit of the "William and Kate" movie, which was on TV *in English* last night!

Today, it's just watching racing, and our last practice before we start racing tomorrow! We are on tomorrow (Monday) at 11:06am (that's 5:06am Eastern); you can listen to live race audio and follow the live race tracker at, or check results for all races here.

Keep cheering for the USA crews--great racing so far today from everyone, with props to our LM1x, W2-, M8+, and M4x, who all qualified for their respective A/B semifinals!

I also put together a slideshow of our trip from Munich to Slovenia and the goings-on so far in Bled:

That's all from Bled for now. Go USA!

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