Monday, 14 September 2009

It's Not Every Day You Can See So Many Olympians

Olympic sailors underway


A few of the Many Nations Flags

Estonia Forever!

Agreed, sailing isn't exactly a spectator sport, but it sure brightens up a dull day with colour, skill and speed. Today was the first of the Olympic Selection Regatta, centered at the National Sailing Academy, Portland, and was the highlight of my day. I was heavily involved with this event back in 1976 as Skipper of the F/T Lechlade, laying and recovering the various courses and acting as the official end of the start/finish gate, while carrying the race officials. The skill of these sporting mariners is never in doubt not only handling their craft with great skill, but also anticipating even the slightest change of wind, and using it to full advantage. As for colour, sails, hulls and kit certainly add to that, but for me, as something of an amateur 'vexillologist', it's the ranks of national flags that adorn the NSA. Those in the top flag photograph depict, (from fore-ground) Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russian Federation, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, China, South Korea, USA, Morocco, Ukraine, (forgotten & obscured) and Thailand. No difficulty with the one center stage in the bottom photograph, 'Estonia' (I just hope Ille reads the Blog tonight) but never mind if she doesn't because I'll be able to show her when she arrives on Wednesday. The flag on the right is Finland.

While this short clip isn't going to blow any minds, it is hoped to give some ideal of just how many birds do migrate over the North Sea. It is no exageration to describe numbers, on some occasions, in the 'hundreds of thousands especially at night.

This Merlin enjoys a Redwing oblivious of my presence just a few feet away.