Hello again from beautiful Michmoret, Israel, where we are the most royally welcome guests of the Michmoret Emek-Hefer Sailing Club, for the 2019 Techno293 European Championships, the climax of the European Techno season.
It's a stunningly beautiful location in every respect, home to World Champion Windsurfers, who know how to share the space with the sea turtles and other incredibly diverse marine life in what is a Sea Nature Reserve, an idyllic place to sail, and especially to hold a major competition.
And how well the whole event had been set up: everyone staying in accommodation with everyone else, the true "Olympic" village atmosphere, with social activities to match: morning pilates sessions, movie nights, lectures and water sports. Friendships for life are being made. In the great tradition of the Techno class, everyone together for the same goal. Enjoying sailing, having fun, and competing on a level playing field, with the chance to win a prize if you're good enough.
We've spent a couple of days welcoming everyone on site, registering the competitors and allowing everyone some time to acclimatise. And they have taken full advantage of some excellent pre-contest conditions to enjoy some good water-time, with a good forecast for the coming days when it all gets serious.
Today's opening ceremony will have set a few nerves jangling, with racing due to start tomorrow. Competitor parade, music, speeches, flags, all in the presence of representatives from the Israeli Sports Ministry and Israeli Sailing Federation. It's all set, and we can't wait for the action to unfold.
Thanks to our hosts, naturally, but also, hats off to Tahe Outdoors/Bic Sport for supporting this class and event, the furthest a Bic Sport European competition has ever travelled. A perfect match: Tahe/Bic, always seeking to take the great experience of water sports to ever new destinations and public. They have made 100 boards/rigs available for this event for all the visiting kids who came from too far to bring their own.
Good luck to all the competitors, especially our nine "honorary" Europeans (eight from Hong Kong and one from Singapore) who have made the effort to come compete, have fun and enjoy the experience.
It's still very hot here, so the Race Committee have sensibly decided to split tomorrow's opening day in two: two fleets out in the morning; two fleets out late afternoon. Siesta time in between. The forecast is good, so stay tuned for all the news, action, results, photos and videos as they happen: