Rolex Champion of Champions

We had three races today in 6-10 knots of wind from the North West in 45F temperatures.

Our highlight was winning race #2 by a healthy margin. Nailed the pin end and played the left. In the other two, we had a 13 and a 7. We finished 8th overall. Fairly happy with that.

We started getting the hang of the Lightning by the end of thw weekend. The winner was Skip Dieball who sails Lightnings a fair amount as well as Thistles.

My friend and fellow Star sailor Augie Diaz did very well and finished 5th.

I had a good time meeting the people who I did not know who were mostly from the Midwest. There was quite a spread in age through the fleet. Plenty of women sailing as well. Our third crew member, Christine was fantastic. 108 pounds of steel. She was great at calling the puffs and she knows the Lightning very well. She is a pediatrician up in Wisconsin so we were all set if Austin or I got injured.

I am on my way home now for a couple of weeks before heading down to Virgin Gorda for the Bitter End Pro Am.

You can see the results at 2009 US SAILING’s Championship of Champions

Paul Cayard Sailing on Twitter

Rolex Champion of Champions

6 Races were held today on Lake Carlyle. The temperature was a bit cooler than yesterday, about 45 F. The breeze was a bit stronger at 8-12 knots. Still it was very shifty and puffy and there was plenty of ups and downs. It is like playing that game you play with your kids… Shoots and Ladders.

Before lunch we sailed pretty good and thought we were finally developing a bit of consistency. I think we had a 7, 5, 4. After lunch, that feeling of smoothness and consistency went away. Maybe it was the Turkey sandwich. We had a bad one, maybe 15th, then we nailed the pin end of the start and had a 50 yard lead at the fist mark of the second race. We went to hoist the spinnaker and the halyard had jumped the sheave. No kite for 2 minutes while we flailed away trying to get that thing sorted. We finished second in that race. That’s how big our lead was!

Then in the last race, I got a horrible start, we battled back to 8th and then up the last beat we lost 9 boats. Frustrating!

To give you and idea about the wind here, you can be sailing along and then just have the jib back. When a puff hits you hike out and then jump back in the boat as it is gone in 2 seconds. It is a workout.

Christine, our little doctor, is great. She is putting up with two overgrown Star boys who fumble around on this thing with the grace of an elephant. Plus we are bitching about everything from the boat to the conditions and she is putting up with all that. She is the best. She is a pediatrician so she is used to dealing with children.

Sorry I am not writing more about who is winning but I honestly don’t know who is winning. I think Greg Fisher is doing pretty well. There are quite a few teams here who sail Lightning’s regularity.

Tonight I am giving the group a talk about the Pirates of the Caribbean Volvo team, and whatever else they want to hear about. I have some of those great videos that should get a few oh’s and ah’s. I will be selling my Pirates Book where the money goes to the junior sailing programs at SFYC and St. FYC.

Tomorrow we will probably have three more races and then fly back to SFO tomorrow night. I sailing on my Hula Girl on Sunday with my son Danny. We are taking a group sailing who won the trip at a school auction in my neighborhood.

You can see the results at 2009 US SAILING’s Championship of Champions

Paul Cayard Sailing on Twitter

Rolex Champion of Champions

I am here in the heart of America sailing in the Rolex US Sailing’s Champions of Champions regatta. This is an annual regatta bringing together 20 nation and world champions from the USA. Each year they rotate the venue and the type of boat used. This year the boat is the Lightning. I had never sailed a Lightning before yesterday but had two great coaches to help me get familiar. The first one is part of my team, Kristine Wake and the second was regatta chairman Matt Burridge. Matt is a very experienced Lightning sailor and he took time to coach me yesterday.

The Lightning is a fairly heavy boat, very flat bottomed and wide. It has a fractional spinnaker and a fairly small upwind sail plan. It is basically underpowered. The competitors are representing classes like the Snipe (long time Star Sailor friend – Augie Diaz), Lightning, 505 World Champ (Mike Martin), Comet, Day Sailor, Finn, FJ, Geary 18, Highlander, Mercury (childhood friend of mine Chris Raab), Optimist, and many more. These sailors are all very good and very competitive and some of us have known each other for years so that makes it fun.

My good friend and Star crew Austin Sperry has joined me here and together with Kristine, we are a strong but heavy team. Not Kristine, she weighs 105 pounds. But Austin and I are big for this type of boat at 430 between us. The ideal total weight is about 470 pounds. Today it was very light wind and 46 degrees! We all sat on the wind side once for about 10 seconds. The wind was also very shifty so it was tricky and sometimes frustrating sailing – not just for us but for everyone I think. We had a lot of ups and downs in our scores. It is like a college regatta in how the scoring looks. We did have a bullet right before lunch so that was nice.

I have no idea what the scores are. We were in 8th at lunch time after four races. We did four more races after lunch for a total of 8. We are scheduled to race 20 races through Saturday 1200. We rotate boats after each race so that evens things up a bit. All the boats have new North Sails so that is very nice. Really it has been about the start and the shifts more than the speed of any boat.

You can see the results at 2009 US SAILING’s Championship of Champions

Forecast for tomorrow is more of the same. Off to dinner in downtown Carlyle, population 3500.

Paul Cayard Sailing on Twitter

Paul Cayard – The Mystery Guest

(October 12, 2009) The US SAILING Championship of Champions event is that rare collection of one-design class champions, coming together for equal parts camaraderie and competition. Racing begins this Thursday on Lake Carlyle in St Louis, MO, with all the prize winning skippers competing in equally matched Lightnings to even the playing field.

Competing in the field as the ‘mystery guest’ is Paul Cayard, whose professional sailing career typically takes him to events like the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, but his roots are in the Star class where he has won the 1988 Worlds and represented the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics.

Scuttlebutt checks in with Paul regarding his trip to the C of C’s:

What is it about the C of C’s that has motivated you to participate?

I like meeting sailors whom I don’t regularly compete against. These sailors are the top sailors in their classes, and I understand that this year’s group is particularly deep. I am also looking forward to racing on Lake Carlyle and meeting the sailors there.

How prepared are you for this event?

Honestly, not too prepared. I have never had the chance to compete in the C of C?s before, and it will be my first time in a Lightning.

Here’s one tip – avoid sitting over the centerboard trunk in shallow water?

Thanks, I had not heard that one. I will pass it on to my crew.

Would you make any changes with how professional sailors now participate in the sport?

I don’t know that I would change a lot. The market dictates the opportunities and the individual makes his choices. I have found that there are a lot of cool things to do in our sport that don’t pay financially speaking but are none the less rewarding. I like to race with my children or to sail in something like the C of C’s. I also really like sailing in the BVI with the Bitter End Yacht Club hotel guests and will forgo some work to participate in the Bitter End Pro Am Regatta this year. There is more to life than money and we all eventually figure that out.

Do you ever wonder if there is too much being invested in the sport by people wanting to succeed?

No. People who want to succeed in anything will always invest a lot, be it time, effort, or money. That is just the nature of competition. Everyone makes their own choices in that regard. Often the beauty of one design sailing is that it puts a premium on the effort and time, while the money is not so important.

What are your goals for the C of C’s?

To meet a great group of sailors all tops in their class, meet the people who sail in the heart of America, and have fun!

TP 52 World Championship

Artemis finishes on the podium in third.

It was a complicated 24 hours. After no race yesterday, we came ashore to find out that Matador had been reinstated in a race that took place last Wednesday! That made for a change in their score of 7 points. Needless to say, this was not the most popular decision amongst all the other teams.

So, we went into today in fourth place, 7 points behind Bribon.

Two races were held today in 8-10 knots. We had a bad start in the first one, but came back nicely by playing the right on the windward leg. Quantum won the race followed by Synergy, Matador, Bribon and us. However, Bribon fouled us in a port-starboard situation just prior to the finish and we protested them. As they did not do a penalty turn, we were forced to go to the jury room at the end of the day to seek our justice. Something no one really wants to do.

In the second race, Matador had a great first windward leg and controlled the race easily. Valars had an excellent race and finished second. We were ahead of Synergy at the last windward mark and just really focused on staying ahead of them as this would give us our third place overall.

So, we did have to go to the jury and I represented Artemis and my long time friend Ross MacDonald represented Bribon. It was not fun for either of us. But in the room, we all agreed on the facts. The jury did so as well, as they had witnessed the incident.

After the decision, Ross and I shook hands in the room. Later, I told the Artemis team about Ross and his integrity and I said that this was a great testament to what sportsmanship and integrity is all about. Two Star World Champions and their friendship will never fall prey to a protest.

So that is the end of the season for the TP52. Pretty respectable for Artemis, 3rd in the Audi MedCup and 3rd in the World Championship.

I am flying to San Francisco tomorrow then to St. Louis on Tuesday to race in the Rolex US Sailing Champion of Champions Regatta on Lake Carlyle. The regatta will feature US National Champions and World Champions of many one design classes and we will all race on Lightnings. I have never stepped foot on a Lightning, but I am really looking forward to the event and meeting the collection of champions!

TP 52 World Championship

No race today.

Well actually, we raced in very wacky conditions with 150 degree wind shifts and velocity changes of 10 knots (from 2-12 knots).

The race was eventually abandonned about half way through. We had been 8th and we had been first. Quantum was really the team that should have won.

Anyway, it comes down to one more day. The forecast for tomorrow is for 12-15 knots from the northeast. I imagine we will have an early start and three races. So plenty of points are still on the table.

After browbeating the jury for three days, Matador got reinstated in the second race of the championship which was held last Wednesday.

The jury reversed two previous decisions to disqualify Matador for a port-starboard incident at the windward mark.

Needless to say, everyone is more than a bit upset not only because the reversal is not understandable, but also because we have raced for three days since assuming the points were a certain way.

Now Matador jumps from 6th to second, going into the last day.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org

TP 52 World Championship

A tough day on Artemis today. We had just one race in very light conditions. We had a bad start really never recovered from that and finished 8th. Bribon won the race and now leads the Championship with Quantum second and we are third.

While there were moments when we were threatening to make a good comeback, we seemed to meet other boats who were plenty happy to thwart our progress as we were regatta leaders this morning.

Tomorrow’s forecast is a bit better with a Northeast wind forecast around 10-12 knots.

We will race the coastal race tomorrow which is basically a lot of zig zagging around the Palma bay. The race has a 1.5 factor so it is important to have a good one.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org

TP 52 World Championship

What a difference a day makes!

Artemis scored a 1, 2 and moved into first place over all in the world championships today. We are actually tied with Bribon for that honor, with Quantum Racing one point behind.

Again, we did not get the first race of the day under way until 1500. Light, fickle winds were on the menu again. We had two great starts today and just sailed for clean lanes with little maneuvering.

The first race was very tight all the way. We did a great job of getting to the inside of the one of the gate marks on the first run, as all the boats arrived at the same time. This jumped us out to a bit more comfortable second windward leg. We rounded the top mark second and gybe set as the pressure was on that side. We passed Valars with the gybe set and later, just prior to the finish, put a fake gybe on Bribon and Quantum to shake them off our tail.

Race number two was a bit easier, actually. We had a good first windward leg and rounded the first mark first. Down the run we gybed early with most of the fleet. Matador went straight on starboard and was just ahead of us at the gate. We were neck and neck up the second windward leg. We were in a foot race with them out to the right with us to leeward. As it came time for us to tack near the layline, they were able to just get a lee bow on us and force us away. But the both of us had a huge lead over the rest of the fleet by this time. We had a tacking duel of 4 or 5 tacks each and they were able to stay in front of us. The run was uneventful and we got our second place in that one.

So, it was a very good day on Artemis. Due to just four races having been completed at this point, the coastal race has been postponed to Saturday and tomorrow will feature windward leewards again.

The forecast is for 10-15 knot from the west tomorrow.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org

TP 52 World Championship

A mediocre day at best for us on Artemis. With an 8, 3 we are in 6th overall.

We waited until 4 pm to get the first race underway as the wind was light and variable all day. Finally 8 knots of wind filled in and we were off.

We had a good start to the left side as that has been favored here and usually is. We got around the front of everyone and tacked looking good. Shortly thereafter the right most boat, Cristabella, came across with a big starboard lift and pressure. They came all the way over to us and tacked on us naturally as we were second. By now, everyone was realizing that the right had more pressure so our clearing tack to the left hurt us. Next Valars was able to come over and make us tack off to the left again and then finally Matador came and pounded us on the port layline. Needless to say, we were deep at this point.

On the final run we were the meat in a sandwich between Bribon and Weapon of Choice. Bribon gybed on us and tolled us and we some managed to pass Weapon.

Anyway, it was a painful race.

In the second race which started at 6:05pm, we had a great start and were inches from being second at the top mark again fighting with Bribon. Quantum had taken the left and had a slight lead on both of us.

It stayed that way all the way around the track although Matador closed in on us at the finish and made it a bit tense.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a westerly wind as a front is due to pass during the night.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org

TP 52 World Championship

We had the practice race today in 8-10 knots of wind. Quantum won the pin end of the start and the race. This race course is all left sided and the race committee did not bias the line to the right, so that was pretty much it.

We did not have a great start and we battled away between 4th and 6th. We finished 5th.

Tomorrow’s forecast is same as today, light. The format for the World Championships is ten windward-leeward races and one coastal race which is scheduled for Friday.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org