Monday, 30 November 2009

NZ Team Day 4 - Results Summary

Junior Female Team Power Gold
Junior Male Team Power Gold
Senior Female Team Special Technique Gold
Junior Female Team Special Technique Gold
Senior Male Team Special Technique Gold
Senior Male Team Power Silver
Senior Female Team Power Silver
Junior Male Team Special Technique Bronze

Best Overall Senior Male - Carl van Roon
Best Overall Junior Female Team

World Champs Day 4 Photos - 1st Draft



Job done, crawling off to bed. Commentary and medal list update will have to wait to tomorrow night. It's 12.30pm and the alarm goes off at 4.30am - yuk!

Quick selection of images from today (303)...
G'night.
Cheers,
Doug

Sunday, 29 November 2009

World Champs Day 3 - Rest of the Photos



It is 7.15am Sunday morning in Mar Del Plata. The team have gone off in the bus and I've stayed behind at the hotel to upload some more images for you.

I haven't had time to sort through all of Day 3's photos but have uploaded the remaining 1500 or so in batches so you can at least look at them unedited. There's lots of repetition in there which will be eliminated, along with the bad shots, once I have more time available.

So, go the the following link and look for the galleries marked:

2009-11-28- WC MDP Day 3 All Pt# where #=1 to 6. This will put into the PicasaWeb site where you can select a gallery then click on the [Slide Show] button at the top.

http://picasaweb.google.com/doughanna.itfnzwc09

I'm going to leave the albums uploading and grab a taxi. The internet link in the hotel here is pretty unreliable and right now is running really slow so if it craps out, my notebook will fall off the internet and the upload will stop until I come back and reboot their internet router again. (I have to do this each day and sometimes several times a day... have given up asking them to do it and just dive in and do it myself).

Today is mostly team sparring, team specialty and team power.

I'm off to grab a taxi to the venue now.

Chow.
Doug

NZ Team - Day 3 Commentary [updated]



Special thanks to Sandi Galpin and others for compiling this during the day, for twittering the results as they happened (except when I took the phone for Jem to call his Mum about his silver medal which took him an hour and a half or so to get a break to do)

Senior Male Power
Luke Thompson Gold Medal (2x world champ)

Senior Female Power
Amanda Cleland Bronze Medal

Male Junior Power
Stuart Madden Gold Medal
Must mention that Shane Black, with bound up right arm and shoulder competed attempting the punch with his left hand (failed) and knife hand punch with his left hand (success). He missed one of the kicks I think, landing 4th place.

Female Junior Power
Kristy Leong Silver Medal
Anna Yates Bronze Medal

Junior Female Light weight Sparring
Annaliese Burr v Poland = Loss

Junior Girls Middle weight Sparring
Phillipa Henry v Spain = Loss
Mellisa Timperly v Slovenia = Loss

Junior Female Hyper weight Sparring
Kristy Leong v Norway = Loss
Amy Reeder v Argentina = Loss

Junior Boys Light weight Sparring
Mitchell Craig v Ireland = Win
Mitchell Craig v Germany = Loss
Michael Davis v Ireland = Loss

Junior Male Middle Weight
Aramai Tahau v USA = Win
Ethan Parker v Greece = Win
Aramai v Ethan = Win to Ethan [daft draw has them meet in their second round]
Ethan v Paraguay = Loss

Junior Boys Heavy weight Sparring
Jeremy Hanna v Argentina = Win
Jeremy Hanna v USA = Win
Jeremy Hanna v England = Win
Jeremy Hanna v Poland = Win
Jeremy Hanna v Solvenia = Loss
Jeremy Wins Silver Medal
[Highest medal ever for NZ Junior Male Sparring at World Champs]

Junior Male Hyper weight Sparring
Hamish Duncan v Ireland = Win
Hamish Duncan v Argentina = Loss

Shane Black v Germany = Loss

Senior Male Micro weight
Mark Trotter v USA = Draw then Win
Mark Trotter v Jamacia = Win [World Cup Champion 2008]
Mark Trotter v Russia = Loss
Mark Wins Bronze medal
[His first w/champs sparring medal since he started competing in the World Champs in 2000]

Senior Male Light weight Sparring
Chris Broughton v Finland = Win
Chris Broughton v Netherlands = Loss

Senior Male Middle Weight Sparring
Kane Bagient v Venezuela = Loss

Senior Male Heavy weight Sparring
Carl Van Roon v Austria = Win
Carl Van Roon v Columbia = Win
Carl Van Roon v Slovenia = Win [European Champion, beat 2005 World Champion (Daniel from Poland) in previous round]
Carl Van Roon v Brazil = Win [World Champion 2007]
Carl Van Roon v Argentina = Loss [Silver medalist 2007]
Carl Wins Silver Medal

Senior Female Middle Weight Sparring
Alyssa Parker v Finland = Loss

Senior Female Heavy Weight Sparring
Nikki Galpin v Argentina = Loss

Senior Female Hyper Weight Sparring
Amanda Cleland v Finland = Loss

NZ Team - Day 3 Photos - 2nd Lot



Melissa, Hamish Duncan rounds 1 and 2, Jeremy rounds 3 and 4 (159)...

NZ Team - Day 3 Photos - 1st Lot

I know people are waiting for photos so I'm going to upload them in lots.



Here's the first lot including people prior to competition today, Jeremy sparring, Phillipa sparring, interrupted by Luke power, interrupted by Jeremy sparring [rounds 1 and 2] - yes sorry but my boy comes first when he's competing :-)

Images (169)...

Saturday, 28 November 2009

NZ Team - Day 2 Photos

Courtney Meleisea vs Spain

Day 2 Photos, Part 1 (233)...
Day 2 Photos, Part 2 (346)...
Day 2 Photos, Part 2b (39)... Medal ceremony (more ceremony to come tomorrow) and start of opening ceremony...
Day 2 Photos, Part 3 (170)...
It's 1.30am and I'm off to bed. We're on the bus at 7.15am in the morning.
G'night from Mar Del Plata.
Cheers,
Doug

NZ Team - Day 2 Commentary


A big thanks to Kristy for doing all of today's Twitter updates, Nikki Galpin for taking these notes and Estee for speed typing them up for us all...

In order of the day...

Junior Boys Micro weight
Jamie Searle v Slovenia = Loss
Simon Davis v Puerto Rico = Loss

Junior Girls Micro weight
Kara Timmer v Argentina = Win
Kara Timmer v Brazil = Win
Kara Timmer v USA = Loss
Kara wins Silver Medal

Junior Girls Heavey weight
Analiese Kerkvliett v Norway = Win
Analiese Kerkvliett v Canada = Loss

Courtney Meleisea v Spain = Win
Courtney Meleisea v England = Win
Courtney Meleisea v Argentina = Loss
Courtney Wins Bronze medal

Paige Moki v England = Loss

Senior Girls Micro weight
Estee Speirs v Argentina = Loss

Senior Girls Light weight
Carolina Dillen v Paraguay = Win
Carolina Dillen v Norway = Win
Carolina Dillen v Scotland (4 times? world champ) = Loss
Carolina Wins Bronze Medal
Final is tomorrow - Scotland vs Argentina

Senior Girls Heavy Weight
Nikki Galpin v Sweden = Win

Senior Male Specialty Technique
Carl Van Roon = 7 out of 8 points
Gold Medal

Senior Pre-Arranged Sparring
Mark & Luke v Puerto Rico = Win
Mark & Luke v Brasil = Win
Mark & Luke v Argentina = Loss
Mark & Luke win Silver Medal

NZ Team - Day 2 Photos - 1st Draft



I know you guys back home are just hanging out for some photos from today and I've gone through the first lot from one camera and thought I'd temporarily upload what I've selected so far and then re-do it when I've finished.

Here you go (499)...More soon...

Friday, 27 November 2009

Some Interesting Web Stats on Day 1 World Champs



www.tkdaction.com
Visits - 860
Unique Visitors - 418

Twitter updates - so far 133 (not easy to count just yesterdays - too many!)

Facebook posts by team members and comments from supporters back home - countless

Photos taken Day 1 - 3,400 (The most I've ever taken in one day by like 200%)
Photos published - 806 (more to come at some stage - this was a fast/rough selection)
Volume of photos 24 Gigabytes
Amount of space remaining on camera memory cards at end of day - 700 photos only.

Times thrown out of the centre stage by security - 1 (then Steve Pellow went and spoke to Master Merano who gave Doug and two other team photographers (my friend Master Judit from Poland and another female photographer from Poland) the only permission to be in the centre stage - phew!)

NZ Team - Day 1 Photos, Part 2 of 2

A happy World Champion, Carolina Dillen

It is now Friday morning here. The ITF Congress is on this morning and we don't get picked up by the bus until 12.15pm so it is a rest for most of the team... very little action up at breakfast at 8am this morning. Saw only 4 kiwis! Well deserved sleep in I reckon. The opening ceremony is tonight.

Here's the second set of photos. Unfortunately I got very few of the specialty because there was so much on I could not wait around there for our people to compete and our spotters in the grandstand would call me on the walkie talkie when one of our team members stepped up to do their jump or kick but mostly I could not move to ring 7 in time to capture them in action. Have some of Melissa and Shane only.

More photos (294)...

NZ Team - Day 1 Photos, Part 1 of 2

It's midnight and I'm absolutely knackered. I've quickly selected 500 of the first 2,500 images from the day. I think there may be another few hundred on the remaining 2 cards I haven't downloaded yet but they'll have to wait for the morning.

I've got these uploading for you all (499)...

It feels very good... we reckon this is probably the best day in the history of NZ Taekwon-Do in terms of medal count.
G'night,
Cheers
Doug

NZ Team - Day 1 Commentary

First NZ Gold medal of the tournament is awarded to Jeremy Hanna - Junior male 3rd dan patterns.

Thanks to David Parker for taking these notes and Kara and Estee for speed typing them up....

In order of the day...

Jamie Searle 1st Dan Patterns Junior Boys v Canada = loss

Michael Davis 1st Dan Patterns Junior Boys v Canada = Loss

Shane Black 1st Dan Patterns Junior Boys v England = Win
Shane Black 1st Dan Patterns Junior Boys v Ireland = Win
Shane Black 1st Dan Patterns Junior Boys v Argentina = Draw, Draw, Loss

Kara Timmer 1st Dan Junior Girls Patterns v Solvenia = Win
Kara Timmer 1st Dan Junior Girls Patterns v Spain = Loss

Paige Moki 1st Dan Junior Female Patterns v Brazil = Loss

Phillipa Henry 1st Dan Junior Girls Patterns v Spain = Win
Phillipa Henry 1st Dan Junior Girls Patterns v Spain = Win
Phillipa Henry 1st Dan Junior Girls Patterns v Poland = Win
Phillipa Henry 1st Dan Junior Girls Patterns v Canada = Loss
Pip Wins Bronze Medal

Ethan Parker 2nd Dan Junior Boys Patterns v USA = Loss

Aramai Tahau 2nd Dan Junior Boys Patterns v USA = Loss

Kristy Leong 2nd Dan Junior Girls v Germany = Win
Kristy Leong 2nd Dan Junior Girls v Finland = Loss

Melissa Timperley 2nd Dan Junior Girls v Finland = Loss

Courtney Melisia 2nd Dan Junior Girls v Germany = Win
Courtney Melisia 2nd Dan Junior Girls v Argentina = Loss

Jeremy Hanna 3rd Dan Patterns Junior Boys v Germany = Win
Jeremy Hanna 3rd Dan Patterns Junior Boys v Argentina = Win
Jeremy Hanna 3rd Dan Patterns Junior Boys v USA = Win
Jeremy Wins Gold Medal

Chris Broughton 1st Dan Male Senior Patterns v Argentina = Win
Chris Broughton 1st Dan Male Senior Patterns v Peru = Win
Chris Broughton 1st Dan Male Senior Patterns v Poland = Win
Chris Broughton 1st Dan Male Senior Patterns v Norway = Win
Chris Broughton 1st Dan Male Senior Patterns v Paraguay = Win
Chris Wins Gold Medal

Carolina Dillen 1st Dan Female Senior Patterns v Uraguay = Win
Carolina Dillen 1st Dan Female Senior Patterns v Scotland = Win
Carolina Dillen 1st Dan Female Senior Patterns v Finland = Win
Carolina Dillen 1st Dan Female Senior Patterns v Argentina = Win
Carolina Dillen 1st Dan Female Senior Patterns v Chille = Win
Carolina wins Gold Medal

Matt Davey 2nd Dan Senior Male Patterns v Uraguay = Win
Matt Davey 2nd Dan Senior Male Patterns v Bolivia = Win
Matt Davey 2nd Dan Senior Male Patterns v Poland = Win
Matt Davey 2nd Dan Senior Male Patterns v USA = Win
Matt Davey 2nd Dan Senior Male Patterns v Norway = Loss
Matt Davey Wins Silver Medal

Alex Couling 2nd Dan Female Senior Patterns v Belgium = Win
Alex Couling 2nd Dan Female Senior Patterns v England = Loss

Ritchie Lavin 3rd Dan Patterns Senior Male v Russia = Win
Ritchie Lavin 3rd Dan Patterns Senior Male v Argentina = Draw, Win
Ritchie Lavin 3rd Dan Patterns Senior Male v Uraguay = Win
Ritchie Lavin 3rd Dan Patterns Senior Male v Finland (World Champion) = Draw, Loss
Ritchie Lavin Wins Bronze Medal

Toni Moki 3rd Dan Female Senior Patterns v Finland = Draw, then Win
Toni Moki 3rd Dan Female Senior Patterns v Argentina = Loss

Sandi Galpin 4th Dan Senior Female Patterns v Germany = Loss

Mark Trotter 4th Dan Senior Male Patterns v Germany = Win
Mark Trotter 4th Dan Senior Male Patterns v Italy = Win
Mark Trotter 4th Dan Senior Male Patterns v Canada = Win
Mark Trotter 4th Dan Senior Male Patterns v Poland = Loss
Mark Trotter Silver Medal (Lost to now 4 times world champion)

Team Patterns
Female Junior Team Patterns v England = Win
Female Junior Team Patterns v Germany = Win
Female Junior Team Patterns v Poland = Win
Junior Female Team Wins Gold Medal

Female Senior Team Patterns v USA = Win
Female Senior Team Patterns v Norway = Loss

Male Junior Team Patterns v Italy = Draw, Loss

Specialty Technique
Melissa Timperley Junior female Specialty = Bronze Medal
Amy Reeder Junior female Specialty = 4th Equal
Kara Timmer Junior female Specialty = 4th Equal
Nikki Galpin Senior Female Specialty = No placing
Aramai Tahau Junior Boys Specialty = Gold Medal
Shane Black Junior Boys Specialty = Silver Medal
Hamish Duncan Junior Boys Specialty = No Placing

Pre Arranged Sparring
Michael and Simon Davis Junior Pre Arranged v Venezuela = Win
Michael and Simon Davis Junior Pre Arranged v Spain = Loss

Working on photos for you now....

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Days 1 & 2 of Competition - What's On?

Morning
Individual Pattern
Team Pattern
Individual Special Technique - Female Senior and Junior

Afternoon
Individual Pattern
Team Pattern - All
Prearranged - Junior
Sparring - Junior Female -60
Individual Special Technique - Junior Male

Friday morning
Congress

Friday afternoon
Individual Sparring
Senior pre-arranged
Individual Special Technique - Senior Male

Download the official schedule in Excel format here

How to get the NZ Team World Champs Medal Results Fast

Provided all goes according to plan, I'll be posting NZ Team medal winnings via www.twitter.com/tkdaction via my mobile phone. They appear on the right hand side panel of www.tkdaction.com. You can get these delivered free to your mobile phone as I've described a few weeks ago. Twitter to mobile instructions are here. Don't ask me for help if you need it though as I'm flat out now.

At the end of each day here I'll be posting photos of the action which should come on-line around 2-4pm NZ time, 10-12pm Argentina time. Once posted I'll post them to www.facebook.com/tkdaction too.

Further down the right hand column is a tile with the unofficial NZ medal results to date which I'll also update at the end of each day.

The tournament starts tomorrow morning (0800 Thursday 26th Argentina time / 12am Friday 27th NZ Time).

Cheers,
Doug

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Haka Practice in the Car Park

No training today... just a Haka practice in the car park outside. It's looking good and will be a highlight during the opening ceremony on Friday afternoon.


Here are a few more images from today's practice (21)...

Successful Weigh-in - Now's Good for Shopping

The NZ team started their weigh in at 8.30am and we're finished by 11am. After the Italy World Cup fiasco weigh ins had been well planned and groups were programmed in for certain times so competitors weren't standing around waiting for hours. As it was other countries didn't follow instructions and turned up randomly in bulk. The kiwi team, being well organised, came through in small groups at the designated time and sailed through.

There were a few nervous competitors as if you weren't in your weight range, you had one hour to work and weight in again then that was it, disqualification.

As it was we think their scales may have been weighing in light and all of the Kiwis were fine although many were starving.

Story of a dieter I know: Jeremy weighted in at about 10.30am this morning (it’s now 4.15pm). He was feeling pretty awful yesterday because he was so hungry. Monday convinced him to have soup for tea, Tuesday no food and little water. Went to supermarket and bought chocolate and 3 x re-hydration drinks for after weigh in. Today weighed in at 2kg under and he felt the scales could have been about a kilo on the light side.

When he got back took Jeremy, Aramai and Kane a block away to an Italian casual cafĂ©/restaurant and they all ordered a huge steak toasted sandwich each. I ordered nothing knowing they’d not finish and ended up having some of Jem’s 50% leftovers. Aramai was the only one to get more than 50% throgh the huge meal - see photos below.


Since then Carolyn and Sharon convinced me to let them take me to the “market” clothing shops. Bought a few training singlets, T shirts and hoodie for Mark and Pat. Was taken to a leather jacket shop which was closed and will go back later with Jem. NZ$200 leather jackets - really good quality dress ones.

Labour is cheap so clothing is locally made and very cheap, and leather especially so (big cattle industry).

Decided not to take photos today to have a rest. Been getting up at 6.30am and pretty much worked most of the day hitting the sack at close to midnight. Sleeping not fantastic but not too bad either. Got up at 4am this morning and wrote some lists. Then went back to bed and slept until 7.50am!! Can’t leave phone off and alarm on. May use my old nz phone in flight mode for the alarm clock to wake me up. No alarm clocks in our rooms.

Ready to get into it although I know it’s going to be the hardest event to cover yet I think. Crowds galore expected. Have no desk in my room so spending hours each day with the hot laptop on my knees is a bit of a killer.

Cheers
Doug

Pick of the Pix from Today's Training at the Venue

Here are my picks from the images captured at the venue - less a great one that's officially censored and has to wait until after the games begin (so as not to give away the nice surprise).

As you may guess this can only be Mark Trotter nicely backlit

Stuart Maden

Carolina Dillen nicely backlit

Junior femal team practicing team patterns

Stuart Maden (facing) sparring with Aramai Tahau

Amanda Cleland (facing) sparring with Ross Black

Shane Black

It's now 11.35pm here - g'night all.

Training at the World Champs Venue

The venue appears to be awesome. It's a little like the venue for the Nationals in Wellington except that the "stands" are deeper and go around all 4 sides. I think we counted 7 rings with the traditional raised ring 1. Each ring has an elevated flat screen monitor and all rings are scored with electronic scoring systems which will make the whole event go much faster.

Lots of other teams are turning up in town... we've seen team members from Ireland, Canada, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, USA and Germany... possibly more... some at the vanue and some cruising around town.

I've been asked not to show photos of the whole venue but I'll have photos of the venue as soon as the event is underway.



Here are a few photos that I've picked out from the training today, including a few of other team practicing. They only had limited lights on so I had to use a lot of flash and, hating that, have converted many to balck and white which look better under the circumstances.

Photos from training at the venue (62)...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

World Champs Mar Del Plata - Pick of the Pix So Far

Everyone seems to be taking it easy this morning so I took a couple of hours to go through the last few days photos and make a selection of my Pick of the Pix.

Canon 40D, 85.0mm, 1/50s, f/2.5, ISO: 320

And the rest (146)...
[I've had a comment that I'm only taking photos of Aucklanders. It's not true. I've just spent two hours going through the last few day's images (several thousand I may add) picking the best out to feature in the "Pick of the Pix" above so I know the images I'm capturing pretty well. During the training sessions I prefer to photograph those giving the most intensity, have good technique and that photographically look the best. So if someone turns up in an old grey or light blue T shirt or singlet top with some ugly graphics on them then I'm not going to chase after a good photo of them because I won't get one that I'd be happy with. Yesterday I took 750 photos of the two training sessions over three hours and then took another hour and a half to go through them and select the ones that appealed to me as being good shots worth publishing. I finished working around mid-night. I'm trying to get great photos of everyone but I'm afraid that some people don't photograph well, are a bit shy or self-concious in front fo the camera, and despite my best efforts I can't help how they look when photographed. So, when I choose lots of images of some people (eg Mark Trotter featured a lot yesterday) it's because of their intensity, technique, choice of clothing, look, comfort at being photographed, time out there on the floor training and then on top of that random chance that I actually capture some good images of them that are exposed correctly, well composed, and in focus etc. Also, anyone not on the floor a lot working really hard isn't going to get featured either. I hope no one's offended by these comments - there's certainly no offence intended - I'm just explaining how I work - how I choose what to "chase" and what I regard makes as a good image when I pick them out of the hundreds taken.]

Looking forward to the start of the competition on Thursday (Thursday's images and results will be on-line when you wake up on Friday morning as midnight here is 4am in NZ and we'll be tweeting wins as they happen).... it feels a bit like the calm before the storm!

Thursday is individual and team pattersn... reminds me I must find and check out the programme.

Cheers for now.
Doug

Monday's Training - More Pictures

Here are the rest of my picks of the best photos from today's training plus the rest of the training images at the bottom of this post.

A big shout out to all the non-kiwi's following our website. Looking forward to seeing you in a few days if you are coming to the World Champs tournament. Leave a comment to say gidday!

Look out for the 2011 World Champs logo on some of our T shirts - we've brought a few extra along with us!

Clint King warms up

Jeremy Hanna mid-air

Courtney Meleisea leading the Junior Female Team

Mr Dave Ballard - Head Coach

Melissa Timperley in focus

Carolina Dillen



Sandi Galpin

And the rest of today's training images (132)...

Monday, 23 November 2009

The New Zealand Team is Ready - Bring it On

I See Red

Went along to training today but for some reason didn't feel very motivated. I guess it was the third day of training in a row and I'd photographed it from all kinds of angles and was getting bored. So I sat down and just watched for a bit. Thinking how boring it would be to have no images of training to post I cranked myself up and started looking around for some images. I've noticed in the past that when I get bored with it, I get the best images and I think that happened again today. Over the next few hours I ran off about 750 shots and have just finished going through them and feel pretty pumped and motivated again :-)

I've picked out a few picks which had me focusing on Red thanks to Mark Trotter's red Nike bandanna.















You do not want to be on the receiving end of Amanda's kick or punch!

And my favourite image of the day...

Monday Morning in Mar Del Plata

[Improvements: I've just updated Blogger to datestamp my posts in Argentina time instead of New Zealand time and will add a link to "View All" under the Flash photo rotator for iphone and itouch users because Apple doesn't support Flash.]

This morning I woke at 4am and just dozed before getting up at 6.30am. Decided I needed to get the body used to a 6.30am start (10.30pm the next day of the week in NZ) before we get near tournament time. Weigh in is on Wednesday under very strict rules. (Jan, Jem is now only 100 grams over so is happy about that)

After a hearty breakfast the Juniors planned to do patterns training in the park at about 10.00am while a small groups of 8 of us went off in search of the advertised city bus tour which departed at 10.30am every day. This was hilarious as we found the spot with all the bus tour kiosks down by the Casino on the water front but there was not a soul to be seen. At about 10.30 an old bus turned up and the driver opened up his kiosk.

Master McPhail has a flash interpretor program on his iphone that he bought of the itunes store at great expense (comparatively) and tried to use it to see if we could go on the 10.30am 2 hour tour with him. You can type into the program or speak into it in English and it will translate into Spanish showing you the words and speaking them in a very nice female voice. Well, it was so funny getting the bus driver to speak into it in spanish and hear what it thought hed said translated in English. Speak in Spanish and it speaks back in English - you get the idea.

The long and short of it was that there is no 10.30am bus tour but "come back at 3.30pm for the tour". James and Paul worked on the bus driver with "how much to take 8 of us on a tour now" but he couldn't care less.... "come back at 3.30pm or get a taxi".

We bailed on this idea, hunted down the closest Havanna store for a coffee (never more than a couple of blocks away) and settled into a good long coffee.

We reckoned the experience and entertainment from it was better than the tour anyway.

Here's a few photos, the first from last night and the rest from today (27)...

About Today - Sunday

While I sit on my bed typing this as 10pm on Sunday night it is already 4pm Monday back in New Zealand which seems pretty weird. While I've got a few minutes free I thought I'd tell you a bit about what it's like here.

Late yesterday it started raining but by this morning it was a clear beautiful day. While it's very hot when training in the Dojang it is quite comfortable outside - just like a nice summer's day in NZ.

Last night, being Saturday night, we got to bed between 11 and 12pm but there was a lot of road noise which went all night with general traffic plus a few boy racers. So sleeping for some of us was hard. It was also very hot overnight so we put the ceiling fan on... it makes a slight scraping noise on each revolution but isn't as bad as the traffic noise.

The hotel rooms are smallish but comfortable and each room has it's own bathroom. Breakfast is provided and is really nice with lots to choose from... too much for those trying to watch their weight.

This morning we had our own internal weigh in check. Mark Trotter brought a set of scales (as did someone else) so we had two sets. Most are happy with where their weight is at and know how much they need to lose by weigh in on Wednesday.

This morning the team and many supporters went down to the beach and the team and management practiced the Haka. It was a great sight... 45 kiwis performing Haka practice, 20 or so kiwi onlookers on this huge beach area with the city backdrop.





There was quite an audience of Argentinians by they time they'd finished and I'm sure they were wondering what kind of weird dance these strange people were doing.

We've noticed that most Argentinians, when they take in the New Zealand on our shirts and jackets, say "All Blacks". Some think the All Blacks must be playing in Argentina. Overall they're friendly and helpful people.

Next the team played some touch rugby and one of the Australians joined in, even scoring a couple of trys.


Only one minor injury that I know of... Amanda's lip
Oh yeah, and there's a fair few dogs around and someone ended up on the ground in some dog poo - nice.

Later everyone split to go shower or go shopping. I joined up with Steve and cruised the main street which is closed off as a big open mall. Some went shopping. Many things, including food and beer are pretty cheap. Mike Yates bought a locally hand made leather jacket for the equivalent of about NZ$40.

We bailed on this idea and found a Havanna Chocolate and Coffee shop. Like many retailers, they figured we only spoke English straight away and rustled around for their two copies of the menu that had English translations.
Estee and Alicia checking out some clothes.

We settled into our coffees and then Dave and Mike founds us and joined in, both having two double shot Expressos.


Waiting for pizza at lunch time. Yum.

At 1.30pm the Juniors headed off to the Dojang for their training first, from 2pm, followed by the seniors turning up at 3 and training from 3-5pm. On the way we found an upgrade for Steve Pellow's current wheels...


There are a ton of old classic, pretty beaten up cars and trucks... many old late 60's, early 70's falcons that some Kiwi westies would crawl over broken glass to get hold of. You can probably pick them up here for less than $1000 pesos (about NZ$300). I'm guessing that anyway.

Then there was today's training where I took what felt like a million pictures (see previous article).

I bailed from the training at about 4.30pm and took a long walk down to the waterfront to check out the Argentinian's enjoying the beach. It was pretty crowded and they were having a great time in the warm sun.


Just before heading back to the hotel I ran into a group of the Australian contingent who we'd met at Auckland airport. They're stating only a block away from the waterfront but said it was impossible to sleep because of the night life down on the foreshore with loud music blearing into the early morning. They also hadn't located any training facilities yet.
Bottom left are a couple of Australians practicing their patterns on the beach

So, I think we've done pretty well.

Enough... it's 11.20pm and I'm off to bed.

Cheers
Doug