Audi MedCup – Marseille

Marseille

No racing again today. There were 40 knots of wind in the Gulf de Lyon. Quantum Racing, with Terry Hutchinson at the helm, won the regatta based on their great performance in the first three days. In fact, they won 4 of the 5 races including Friday’s costal race.

Artemis finished last. This is definitely a low point for us. Never have we done this poorly. We were trying a new rudder but I honestly don’t think that had much to do with it. Will we use it in the next regatta? No. But really we have only ourselves to blame for this poor performance. We just simply did not sail well, nor particularly fast.

Anyway, that is history now and we have to look forward to the next event in Barcelona in four weeks time. Fortunately, we have the three weeks off from sailing so that will give the team a welcome rest.

I am in Geneva tonight and heading to Milan tomorrow for two meetings and a gala dinner for the 100 year celebration of Ermenegildo Zegna. I wear Zegna clothes a lot and have done so for 20 years. I love their fabrics and designs. Zegna have supported me and my teams, in various campaigns, over the years. Zegna is a classic brand in mens clothing and it will be an honor to be at their centennial tomorrow night.

Then early Tuesday, I will be on my way to SFO. Finally!

Paul

Audi MedCup – Marseille

No race today. The Mistral is in and looks set to stay tomorrow too. The start time for tomorrow has been brought forward to 1100 to give us a chance but in reality, the forecast makes it very unlikely that we will race again here. 30-45 knots tomorrow with 2-3 meter waves.

Audi MedCup – Marseille

Marseille

Today we had the coastal race. The course was beautiful, taking the fleet around several islands and down along the coast eastwards to a city called Cassis.

On Artemis we did not do much better than we have been doing all week. We finished 8th after blowing up 2 spinnakers during the race. We had an ok start but did not go very well up the first windward leg and ended up second to last at the first mark. We gybed first and made big gains on the fleet down the first run. But then our gennaker exploded and we lost it all.

The day was kind of like that so it was plenty frustrating. The conditions were 16-26 knots. The sea was pretty big at times. The bows of these boats are so narrow that they spend a fair amount of time with the bow under water going downwind in 25 knots of wind. We did well to make it down the run in 26 with our A2 (.5oz) kite up after we had shredded both of our heavy kites.

Quantum sailed really fast in the big breeze and won the race easily over Emirates Team New Zealand and All4One.

We are still in last place. We just have to forget the scores and try to have some good races tomorrow and Sunday. The forecast is for strong winds again this weekend.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

Audi MedCup – Marseille

Marseille

Not the day we were imagining on Artemis. One positive of the day was that our speed seemed fine. We made a few adjustments and carded a more powerful jib so our speed appeared to be as good as any other boat on the track.

However, our 6, 8 finishes are not going to move us up to where we want to be by the end of the week. In the first race, we chose to start to the right side of the line, did not have a good start and got pushed out to the right even further. The race was all about the left. Still, we did a good job to get back into it and with our speed managed 6th.

Then for the second race, we wanted the left, including the left end of the line. There was a bit of a fight for that start but we got it. We were looking good 3/4’s of the way up the windward leg when Emirates Team New Zealand tacked on us and forced us back out to the left. That was not the moment to go out there and we went from the top 4 to second to last in one minute.

The wind was light (6-8 knots) and fickle (185-225) all day with disproportionately large seas like yesterday.

We made a bad move on the first run by gybing out to sea and lost the one boat we had been ahead of. Still, we hung tough and battled back to pass Matador and Cristabella on the last run.

There was plenty of weirdness out there, boats going from first to last and back to fourth.

Tomorrow is the “coastal race”. The forecast is for a bit more wind than today but not a hurricane. Then Saturday should have the beginning of a Mistral with 15-20 knots from the west-northwest. Sunday the forecast has 30-40 knots of Mistral. That would be too much to sail.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org and to watch the racing live visit www.artemisracing.com

Paul

Audi MedCup – Marseille

Tough day for Artemis in the light winds of Marseille. We did not have good speed upwind or downwind in the sloppy seaway.

With scores of 7, 10, 9 we are firmly in control of last place. In fact in the second race we will probably get another point of penalty for racing with a gennaker that wasn’t “carded”. The sail was measured but not declared and that is a technical violation. Apparently a mistake was made when loading the sails this morning.

Quantum racing won the last two races after posting an 8th in the first race. I imagine they are leading.

Team New Zealand finished last in the first race after winning the last regatta with a 20 point margin.

Anyway, tomorrow will be better.

Similar forecast for tomorrow wind wise. Not sure about the extra sloppy seaway.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

We had a pretty good day on Katusha. The winds were 15-20 knots from the west and very shifty. Fun downwind! Guenaddi had to leave last night so we had a guest helmsman, Maxim Logutenko who is also Russian. In the first two races we did very well passing boats downwind in the planing conditions to score a 3 and a 4. Then in the third race of the day, we were involved in a collision at the windward mark with Cereef. Cereef was penalized for being on port tack in the collision, while we were on starboard tack. Fortunately, these boats are built with a “false” bow and transom so no major damage was done as we hit bow to stern.

We are now ashore and going to have hearing with the jury to ask for redress as we could not sail the last race due to the damage to our bow. We are asking for the average of our points at that time in the regatta, as a score for the last race. There will also be a hearing for damage and if one of us could have avoided the contact.

Update: The hearings are over: Cereef got penalized 1 point for not avoiding the collision and one more for damage. We got redress; 7th in the 7th race and average of our scores in the last race which is 5.3 points.

The scores are not final and I have to run, but I am sure we did not score that well in this regatta. I think that BMW Oracle won the fleet racing and combined with their second place in the match racing they may win the event overall.

I have to head to the airport for the flight to Marseille.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

No racing today. Too much wind. Better forecast for tomorrow.

Unfortunately, our owner and helmsman Guenaddi had to leave tonight for a work appointment tomorrow so he won’t be here for racing tomorrow. We will have a replacement helmsman, also from Russia, Maxim Logutenko.

Gala dinner tonight for the teams. 1030 start tomorrow.

Paul

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

June 11 will be a day Guenaddi will remember for a while. It is the day he won his first sailboat race.

After a three hour postponement, the fleet racing got underway at 1500 in 12 knots from the southeast.

Four races were run today with the last one finishing at 1915. Long day.

The racing was tight as usual in this class. Now way back had the best day followed by Cereef and then Artemis just 5 points ahead of us in 7th. So the points are tight.

Katusha was chipping away in the first two races in 6th and 8th I think, not bad for Guenaddi’s 5th days of sailing.

Then in the third race, after a bad start, we hit the right side fairly hard and it paid. We led at the first mark and sailed well to stay ahead and win!

After the final race, where we finished 8th, we were motor sailing back to the dock when we snagged a fishing net that no one saw as it wasn’t marked. Beach had to dive in the free us but only after Buddha reeled in two rather large fish. Sushi tonight!

Tomorrow’s forecast is for strong winds. Fresh to frightening.

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

Well, that makes two of the worst days of sailing in my career. Today, we did not do much better than yesterday, despite fully debriefing yesterday and really focusing on what we were doing.

We did manage to win the friendly rivalry match we have with Cereef today, where the skipper is Rod Davis. Rod is a long time friend of mine and there is always a case of beer on the line. In the others, we seemed to be a bit slow but after winning against Cereef, i think there was a lot more to the difference in pressure out there than what it appeared. Because the conditions were quite light today, the boats split farther apart so the wind speed differentials made the difference. In the Artemis race, we were over the starting line early so we just gave that one away right there. Somehow, we managed to stay out of the cellar thanks to Puerto Calero.

Anyway, I am banking on the thought that this will be water under the bridge shortly. As bad a day possible out here, it is still a great place to be. I know a lot of people would trade places with me in a heartbeat so I am grateful for the job I have even on a very tough day!

Tomorrow is a practice day for the fleet racing and our owner Guennadi is coming into town tomorrow from the South of France. The weather here is not like the South of France so I told him to bring some warm clothes. Forecast for later this week is 20-30 knots of wind. Should be exciting for Guennadi since this will be his second time steering a boat ever.

No report tomorrow, but I will pick it up again on Friday night.

For complete results go to www.RC44.com

Paul