Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

Only one race was held today before the Mistral kicked in. In a rematch of the annulled BMW Oracle vs. Emirates Team New Zealand match, the Kiwi’s prevailed and moved into a tie for third place on 4 wins.

So the top of the leader board is shared by Artemis and Synergy. Synergy is done racing in the round robin while we still have two matches left and therefore two chances to move ahead of Synergy. There are still 10 matches left so plenty of points yet to be doled out.

There will be no racing again tomorrow as the forecast are for 40 knots all day.

Hopefully action will get back underway on Tuesday.

Paul

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

It’s all on here in La Maddalena. Six matches were scheduled for today, two of which included ARTEMIS.

First we were up against the Italians onboard AZZURRA, in their home waters, immediately followed by SYNERGY. The Russian team has shown remarkable improvement since Auckland and as of last night was tied for first.

Just as we entered in the starting sequence against AZZURRA, the wind shifted considerably. Terry Hutchinson controlled the pre-start well for us, but with only 20 seconds to go, PRO Peter Reggio abandoned the race and reset the course.

Without much of a delay, we were underway again and this time managed to get a penalty on AZZURRA and a good start. We stayed close to the Italians on the first upwind leg and rounded the mark first, but Francesco Bruni was able to roll us on the run as we both gybed to starboard. We rounded the right mark of the gate, just behind AZZURRA, and rolled into a tack immediately. We sailed out to the right a bit and when we came back to AZZURRA, they could not cross. We kept “bouncing” them out to the left. We had a near collision at the top of the beat as the Italians made a huge bear away to get behind us. We sailed a good race and by the end of it, were 100m ahead of the Italians who still had a penalty owing.

This left us feeling pretty positive for our race against SYNERGY that got underway just after 1700. The pre-start was intense and Karol Jablonski managed to start on port at the pin end of the line while we were to leeward. We decided to keep it close rather than start a tacking duel from behind. The Russians led us by two boat lengths at the top mark and down the run. As we went to drop the spinnaker, our pole went in the water and the kite followed soon there after. It took us a while to clear up the mess and the Russians won easily. As more racing was scheduled for the day, we retired from the race to give the shore team as much time as possible to prepare the boat for the next race between ETNZ and ALL4ONE.

It’s was a very valuable win for SYNERGY who will now be tied with us for first overall. Tonight, there is another protest hearing (BMW Oracle vs ETNZ) and the shore crew are going to be busy – especially the sailmakers in the sail loft.

In the other matches of the day, TEAMORIGIN defeated Luna Rossa and AZZURRA beat SYNERGY.

We are headed back to the hotel for a team debrief with our coach ‘Dog’ who captures it all on video.

Tomorrow we race Emirates Team New Zealand and ALL4ONE. A Mistral is heading our way so sometime Sunday or Monday racing will surely be suspended for at least 24 hours.

Paul

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

La Maddalena, Sardinia – Today was planned to be a big day for ARTEMIS, with two races scheduled. First was to be Emirates Team New Zealand followed by ALL4ONE in the third and fourth matches of the day. When our turn finally came round at 1700 this afternoon, there were issues with one of the mainsails, which led to more of a delay and in the end meant no race for us.

In the first match of the day, the Russian team SYNERGY put on an impressive performance against America’s Cup holders BMW Oracle Racing. In a tightly contested battle on the first upwind leg, Skipper James Spithill managed to take the Russians past the mark but SYNERGY fought back to roll the Americans on the downwind and led for the rest of the race, winning by 21 seconds.

For the next race the wind picked up, BMW Oracle stayed onboard and prepared to race Emirates Team New Zealand. James Spithill and his crew claimed their second win of the regatta in a tense race with two critical penalties, one for the American’s in the pre-start which was then offset on the final downwind leg when the umpires penalized ETNZ for too much forestay tension.

Tomorrow’s schedule has just been issue and Artemis will have two matches tomorrow, first against AZZURRA followed by SYNERGY.

Tonight is the Louis Vuitton Crew Party something we all look forward to during these events.

Paul

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

On ARTEMIS, we headed into today undefeated with four wins, having been at the top of the scoreboard for the last two days. A nice, but precarious position to be in with the best sailing teams in the world racing here in La Maddalena.

Emirates Team New Zealand, winners of the last Louis Vuitton Trophy were first up this morning winning their two races back to back against AZZURRA followed by ALEPH.

In race three it was Ben Ainslie and his team onboard TEAMORIGIN against the Russians on SYNERGY. In a tight fought match, it was the Brits who prevailed, winning by just 6 seconds.

Our race against Mascalzone Latino got underway at 1415, with a wind transition coming down the course. Gavin Brady, Skipper of Mascalzone Latino, wanted the left and we were happy with “wide right” as the right side of the line was favored. As we both headed back up to the Committee Boat end of the line we were overlapped to windward. The wind went even further right which further favored the right side but it was too much of a good thing as we found ourselves on the lay line to the committee boat. When the gun went off, both of us were at a stand still right next to the committee boat with Mascalzone Latino able to peel away and accelerate off the line.

By the time we got to the top of the course, the wind was gusting up to 20 knots and had actually gone 40 degrees back to the left. Mascalzone rounded with a nice gybe set and we planned to do the same. Unfortunately, our kite snagged on something and as soon as it filled…it exploded! We all carry a back up spinnaker onboard, but in the time it took to recover the halyard and hoist the new spinnaker, Mascalzone were well out in front. They sailed conservatively for the rest of the race and finished 46 seconds ahead of us.

In the fifth match of the day the Russians in Synergy defeated the French of Aleph. In the sixth race BMW Oracle faced Luna Rossa and this race went to the Italians.

Torbjorn Tornqvist, the chairman of ARTEMIS arrives tonight. We are all looking forward to seeing him and having him sail with the team for the next couple of days. I’m off to the gym.

Paul

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

Having changed the schedule around yesterday evening to ensure that all the teams had raced each other, PRO Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio had every intention of getting racing started earlier today at 0900. The wind however, didn’t fill in until about 1130 when the first match of started between the Russians onboard Synergy and Mascalzone Latino.

Skipper Karol Jablonski did a good job winning the start and the Russian team led the host team around the course. On the final downwind leg, Skipper

Gavin Brady moved in on the Russians and Synergy incurred one penalty swiftly followed by a second penalty for heckling the umpires. Another win for Mascalzone Latino.

In race two, Synergy was up against Emirates Team New Zealand. It turned out to be another close match but it was Emirates Team New Zealand who claimed the victory.

As the winds continued to build, the racing got closer and more exciting. In race three it was Jochen Schumann’s ALL4ONE up against BMW Oracle Racing. The Franco-German team did an excellent job to keep ahead of the America’s Cup holders throughout the race, before an issue with their spinnaker prevented them from gybing on the final downwind conceding victory to the Americans. ALL4ONE are requesting redress questioning the set up of the leeward mark, so the outcome of this race could change.

Going into today, we were 3-0. A good position to be in, but it is still early in the event. Our race against Luna Rossa got off at 1640 with 18-22 knots of wind. It promised to be a close match with Ed Baird helming and Torben Grael calling the shots on the Italian boat. Our helmsman, Terry Hutchinson had an almost perfect start and it was a work out for the grinders as we kept close to Luna Rossa, tacking 17 times on the first windward leg. As the race progressed, the wind got shiftier but we managed to guard and grow our lead, beating the Italian team by 35 seconds.

In the final race of the day ALL4ONE were back, this time to win against Luna Rossa.

Tomorrow, ARTEMIS will have just one race, we’ll be racing Mascalzone Latino who are in a five way tie for third place.

To watch the racing live visit www.artemisracing.com and for complete results visit www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Paul

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

La Maddalena, Sardinia

Artemis was first up today against America’s Cup winner BMW Oracle. The conditions were 15 knots from the west and a perfectly sunny day. Terry Hutchinson got a great start shutting out James Spithill at the committee boat. I was reluctant to give the American’s much rope to play with in the very shifty conditions. Therefore we never got very far ahead…maximum lead was 2 boat lengths. The race was toe to toe all the way around until the last run when BMW Oracle gybed away while trailing and we let them go as we had the preferred side. We won the race by 15 seconds. It was great to get our third win and nice to win a tight one.

In other action, the Russian team Synergy beat Prada, then Prada rebounded to beat Team New Zealand in a close battle. The French team Aleph caused a major incident in their race with Azzurra. The French were disqualified as there is significant damage to both boats. Finally, the British Team Origin beat All4One by just 5 seconds in a very tight race.

Artemis heads the scoreboard with 3 wins from 3 starts.

For complete results and news go to www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

Another win for Artemis today over the previously unbeaten Aleph Team of France.

After a long wait for wind this morning, racing finally got underway at 1430. In the first flight of the day, the Brits on TeamOrigin beat BMW Oracle by controlling the start and getting a penalty on the Americans. In the other match, the Russian team, Synergy won a closely fought match against the French/German team of All4One. The lead changed a couple of times in that one.

The conditions were 6-8 knots and very flat seas. We are racing inside the archipelago of La Maddalena, so the mountains cause plenty of volatile wind shifts which makes it challenging for the teams.

We made a change of call about 2.5 minutes before our start changing from “wide right” to “tight leeward” as our desired position off the line. It looked like the French were happy with the right so we each got what we wanted in the left. The first shift went left and we controlled the French as they tacked to port. From there we never let them have a sniff of the left as it got better and better of there. We won fairly easily in the end.

In the other match in our flight, Azzurra stole the win off Prada on the first run in another Italian battle.

Then in flight three, Emirates Team New Zealand beat TeamOrigin too in its first outing of the series and All4One beat Mascalzone Latino Audi Team in the other match. There was a red flag penalty on Mascalzone Latino at the first windward mark and that pretty much ended the race.

With two wins from two starts, we are starting out nicely on Artemis. But again, this is a tricky venue and anything can happen in any match. Tomorrow, we are up against BMW Oracle in the first flight of the day.

For complete results go to www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

Another win for Artemis today over the previously unbeaten Aleph Team of France.

After a long wait for wind this morning, racing finally got underway at 1430. In the first flight of the day, the Brits on TeamOrigin beat BMW Oracle by controlling the start and getting a penalty on the Americans. In the other match, the Russian team, Synergy won a closely fought match against the French/German team of All4One. The lead changed a couple of times in that one.

The conditions were 6-8 knots and very flat seas. We are racing inside the archipelago of La Maddalena, so the mountains cause plenty of volatile wind shifts which makes it challenging for the teams.

We made a change of call about 2.5 minutes before our start changing from “wide right” to “tight leeward” as our desired position off the line. It looked like the French were happy with the right so we each got what we wanted in the left. The first shift went left and we controlled the French as they tacked to port. From there we never let them have a sniff of the left as it got better and better of there. We won fairly easily in the end.

In the other match in our flight, Azzurra stole the win off Prada on the first run in another Italian battle.

Then in flight three, Emirates Team New Zealand beat TeamOrigin too in its first outing of the series and All4One beat Mascalzone Latino Audi Team in the other match. There was a red flag penalty on Mascalzone Latino at the first windward mark and that pretty much ended the race.

With two wins from two starts, we are starting out nicely on Artemis. But again, this is a tricky venue and anything can happen in any match. Tomorrow, we are up against BMW Oracle in the first flight of the day.

For complete results go to www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

La Maddalena, Sardinia – Today was Artemis’ first race in the Louis Vuitton Trophy – La Maddalena. We were up against the Brits in TeamOrigin. No race is easy out here. After a long delay, our warning signal was finally given at 1445 with the wind at just 6 knots from the Northeast. We won the race, which is a nice way to start the two week competition.

TeamOrigin had an unfortunate incident in the pre-start, getting a lobster pot caught on their keel. Our helmsman Terry Hutchinson did a good job staying clear of TeamOrigin and the trailing line then putting us right on the line at the favored right hand side. TeamOrigin was about 2 lengths behind us off the line. From there, we sailed a solid race with good crew work keeping the tactics as simple as possible in the rather light conditions.

Onboard today we had a special guest, Leonardo Ferragamo, a passionate sailor himself, and a friend of mine for many years. Leonardo is also the owner of the prestigious company Nautor’s Swan, builders of some of the most beautiful yachts in the world.

Due to the lights winds, we are a bit behind with the schedule at the end of day two with 4 of 23 flights completed. Out in front is Betrand Pace’s team ALEPH with two wins, having beaten both TeamOrigin and America’s Cup holders BMW Oracle Racing. Luna Rossa also had their first race today and beat Mascalzone Latino Audi Team.

There are still many races to go in the first part of Round Robin 1.

Paul

For live race action go to www.artemisracing.com and for complete results go to www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

La Maddalena, Sardinia

The transformed US Naval Base at La Maddalena is now a beautiful base for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Four America’s Cup Class yachts, two from Mascalzone Latino Audi Team and two from BMW Oracle Racing will be used by the ten teams.

Today was the first day of racing. Beautiful blue skies graced the island, but unfortunately so did light winds. Only one flight was completed today.

Mascalzone Latino Audi defeated Italian rival Azzurra while the French team Aleph beat TeamOrigin. The rest of the teams sat around anxiously awaiting their chance to get on the water but the wind did not cooperate.

The field is extreemely competitive at this event with; Emirates Team New Zealand, All4One, Azzuurra, Artemis, Aleph, TeamOrigin, Mascalzone Latino Audi, BMW Oracle Racing, Luna Rossa and Synergy.

For live race action go to www.artemisracing.com and for complete results go to www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Paul