Hey Tampa...Phil here.  We are finishing up day 3 in Prague.  Jet lag is gone.  Got a good night’s rest.  Up by about 6:30am and grabbed a quick breakfast.  By the way, the hotel has a great buffet breakfast with virtually everything imaginable available.  Excellent for a bunch of hungry athletes. 

We’re getting our money’s worth out of it.  Practice was in the morning today, so we were on the buses by 8:30am.  I haven’t mentioned it before, but the Czech landscape is beautiful too.  It’s a little flatter then I expected, having rolling hills with some higher peaks in the distance.  The landscape is divided by different farm areas and fields, many outlined by trees and bushes.  It’s agricultural outside of Prague with fields of corn, grain and sunflowers.  While fall isn’t officially here, some of the vegetation is beginning to turn with some of the autumn colors.  It’s very pastoral.

When we arrived at the site today the excitement was notched up another level again.  Large heavy duty tents were being erected for all the teams to set up tomorrow.  More importantly however, there were several other countries’ teams on the water and milling about.  We saw the Australians, Great Britains, Canadians, Chinese, New Zealanders, Philipinos and South Africans. 

All I can say is that they all looked very good.  Some had short fast strokes and some longer and slower.  Everyone was friendly but business like.  You can imagine all these teams vying for boats and time on the water.  Game faces weren’t in full force, but they will be tomorrow.

Again, the practice for us focused on the technical aspects.  The teams had made much improvement since yesterday and virtually all the boats had complete teams.  We’re as ready as possible for tomorrow when the racing begins.  Here’s the schedule of the races on each day:

Wednesday:  Opening Ceremonies at noon.
Wednesday:  2000 meter, begin at 1:00pm and completed by end of day
Thursday:  1000  meter, begin at 9:00am and completed by end of day
Friday:  200  meter, begin at 9:00am and completed by end of day
Saturday:  500  meter, early rounds and finals for a few categories
Sunday:  500  meter, final rounds and closing ceremonies

It’s early afternoon now and several of us are going back into downtown Prague for some final site-seeing and shopping.  The coming days are going to be completely booked with racing so we don’t expect to have much time in between for tourist activities.  But the group will still fill you in on where to eat, what to do, adn everything else here in Prague! 

Game faces will be on tomorrow.