2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

A fantastic day for Katusha today with scores of 5, 5, 1. In the last race we played the shifts to stretch out to a massive 200 meter lead on the second place boat.

Unfortunately, that boat was Sea Dubai and by finishing second, they beat us by one point in the fleet racing that put us in a three way tie for third overall in the Championship. Unfortunately, we will lose that tie breaker to No Way Back but we will beat Artemis as the fleet racing score is determinant for tie breaks.

In any case, it could not have gone better nor could it have ended on a higher note for Katusha. On the way back to the dock, we counted up the days that Guenaddi has been sailing in his life and it came up to 14.

Next stop for the RC44 fleet is Miami, December 7-12.

My next sailing will be in Virgin Gorda in two weeks for the Bitter End Yacht Club Regatta where my friend Russell Coutts and I will fight it out with a few other friends…haha. Rum punches will be the only punches we will be throwing and “down” is the direction they will be going.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

A very good day for Katusha today. We scored 2, 3, 5, 7 in the four races held in 10-15 knots of steady Southerly wind. A combination of good starts, good speed and minimizing maneuvers were the keys to a great day.

We moved from 12th place overall to 7th, just three points out of 4th. Sea Dubai is on 44, Cereef is on 45, Artemis on 46 and Katusha on 47. There is a bit of a gap ahead and behind our group.

USA 17 and BMW Oracle continue to dominate the racing and lead the standings overall. Third is the Dutch team of No Way Back.

It was a beautiful day today…prototypical for the near tropics. Crystal clear, 27C and a moderate breeze and smooth seas.

There were a few collisions, but fortunately none involved Katusha.

Three more races are scheduled tomorrow. The forecast is for 10-15 knots, so it should be another nice day for sailing.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

The first three races of the fleet racing part of the RC44 World Championship were held today in very light winds here in Lanzarote.

BMW Oracle led the results with a 2, 5, 2 and USA 17, the winner of the Match Racing, is in second place. Artemis had a good day and is in 4th place and we on Katusha had a tough day and are in 12th. Ironically, the only boat behind us is the other Russian team, Synergy.

Racing continues tomorrow and the forecast isn’t much better. Normally the Canary Islands are blessed with steady trade winds but the Azores high has been displaced this week by a series of low pressure systems and associated fronts. Basically, we are in the wake of all that which is just a mess of turbulance.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

One final race was held this morning in the Petit Final and Final of the Match Racing. Unfortunately, both Artemis and Katusha lost to the BMW Oracle boats, so we finished 2nd and 4th respectively.

For the overall World Championship, the results of the Match Racing will be combined with the Fleet Racing. So Artemis is in a good position to win. The fleet racing will be determinant in case of a tie in the combined scoring.

In the afternoon we had the fleet racing practice race. Our helmsman Guenaddi was not here yet so Bob Little drove Katusha. Torbjorn Tornqvist was here to steer his Artemis.

It was a light air afair as the whole day was with Southeasterly winds of 5-7 knots.

Team Aqua and BMW Oracle were first and second, Artemis third and Katusha made a huge comback after the first leg to finish 4th.

Tomorrow racing gets underway at 1130. The forecast is for light to moderate winds of 7-12 knots. The sun is out here and it feels like fall but still the temps are around 27C or 80F during the day. Very pleasant.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

Not a fun day on Katusha. We lost both of our races today in what were light and squirely winds.

First of all, the race committee did shorten the series after the first half of the round robins were completed yesterday. We were fortunate there as we won the four way tie in our group and moved on to the semi finals this morning facing our team mates in Artemis. The other semi final pitted the two yachts from BMW Oracle with James Spithill and Russell Coutts helming.

The winds were non-existent this morning and the committee stated that semi final racing had to be completed by 1500. We got our one and only race underway at 1330. We had a great start on Katusha, shutting out Artemis at the committee boat and forcing them to follow us through the line. We held a small lead around the first lap. After the leward gate, Artemis, behind, initiated a tacking duel which we split off by heading left. When we came back together, the right had paid and they had a one boat length lead and that was the way it ended. The wind subsequently got really weird and no more racing was held in the semi final.

Then after a two hour wait, one race was held in the final and petit final where Katusha was matched against BMW Oracle with Russell Coutts steering. After a fairly even start, BMW got a good shift on the right and played the shifts well the extend to a huge lead on the first leg. Again, the winds were light and fickle. On the final run, the wind died for the leaders first and we closed rapidly on BMW as both boats closed in on the finish. BMW hung on to beat us by two lengths.

In the final match, USA 17 with James Spithill on the helm, won a race that was tight for three of four legs, by a disproportionately large margin over Artemis, as the wind became very strange and died on the final run.

After that one race, we were sent in at 1730 for the day. I suppose the good news is that both of the boats crewed by Artemis team members are in the final four.

An early start is scheduled for tomorrow to see if we can get the final two races of the finals and petit final completed before the owners’ practice race which is scheduled for 1330.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

A good day for Katusha. We won three and lost two. We were just 6 seconds away from being 5-0.

We beat BMW Oracle, Ceeref and Mascalzone Latino and lost to No Way Back and Team Austria both by three seconds.

The wind was blowing off the land today and this made things very tricky with large puffs and lulls mixed with big windshifts.

In our two losses, we led around all the marks of the course and got passed in the final meters of the races on shift and gusts that favored the other boat.

Our race against Cereef and Rod Davis…the battle of the over 50s…..was a battle Royale. We shut them out at the committee boat at the start but they managed to hang close and rolled us on the first run. We went to opposite gates and we got a good shift out of the left that brought us back to even. They got a penalty for tacking to close. They led us by just one length at the top mark and decided for the tactic of trying to get a penalty on us. So neither boat set the spinnaker…they were waiting to set a trap on us and we were trying to keep clear. We swerved and gybed all the way down the run, each going as slowly as possible. I realize this is hard for some of you to understand.

Finally, we got far enough down the run that we had to sail upwind to the finish line. We managed to turn ahead of them and started to reach over them. They luffed and we were penalized with a red flag meaning ours was immediately due. But we were actually on the finish line and we both had to make the penalty turn. I think they realized this later than we did.

We managed to work off the penalty and beat Cereef by the narrowest of margins.

The format here is that the fleet is divided into two groups for the match racing. The first half of the schedule, each team only races other teams in his group. If the weather is good and it looks like it is possbile to complete the full round robin, then on the second day, each team will race the teams of the other group.

At this morning’s briefing the race committee suggested that the forecast for Tuesday was not good so we would most likely race in two mini round robins today with the top two boats from each group going on to the semi finals and finals tomorrow. All others would race in knockouts for place 5-13.

So our 3-2 record today put us in a four way tie for first place in our bracket. We ended up winning the tie breaker and BMW Oracle came through second.

Tonight the race committee said they would wait until tomorrow to decide if we go to the semi finals or if they try to finish the round robin by having each team race the teams of the other group.

For complete results go to www.RC44.com

Paul

TP52 World Championship

Quantum Racing with Terry Hutchinson on the helm won the TP52 World Championship and Artemis finishes fourth losing the tie breaker with Synergy for 3rd.

One race was held today in 8-10 knots from the East Northeast.

Artemis had a decent start and played the shifts well to round the first mark 3rd. ALL4ONE, Synergy and Cristabella were all close behind.

Quantum and Matador were locked in a fierce match race by themselves.

We rounded the leeward gate in second and again played the shifts well up the second windward leg to close on Bigimist who was leading. Bigimist tacked on us at a very critical moment and this forced us to tack away and pushed us behind Cristabella and ALL4ONE. We finished that way after a big four way fight on the final run.

By beating Synergy we tied them but they beat us on the tiebreaker due to their better finish in the Coastal Race.

This event ends the TP52 season for Torbjorn and the Artemis crew. The competition in the class is at a very high level.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org

Paul

TP52 World Championship

Another tough day for Artemis with an 8, 6. We are still in 4th place overall, but we are closer to 5th than third.

The wind came up late today and we got racing at 1500 in 8 knots and fairly smooth seas.

We just didn’t have a stellar day in any area, starts, tactics nor speed. So, we paid the price.

Quantum sailed well to get a 2, 1 and Matador almost as well with a 3, 2. Quantum leads Matador by a couple of points for the world title.

Synergy is in 3rd place and Cristabella is 5th.

So, we have our work cut out for us to get a podium finish tomorrow.

The forecast isn’t promising. It could be that there won’t be enough wind to race but at least it will be raining.

Quite a few of us are flying to Madrid tomorrow night and then onto Lanzarote Sunday morning for the RC44 World Championship that starts there Monday. It is going to be a busy weekend!

For complete results go to www.TP52worldchampionship.org

Paul

TP52 World Championship

Not a good day for Artemis today. In moderate winds but very choppy seas, we finished 6th while Matador won easily. We had a good battle with Quantum all the way around the track, they were always just in front of us, tacking on us as much as they could but we held close and made them work for it.

Today was the “Coastal Race” but it was anything but coastal. It was an ocean triangle that never got near land. We simply sailed long legs of four miles, out in the ocean. It wasn’t a very exciting day in the 12-15 knot winds.

Matador got out to an early lead and never looked back. Cristabella sailed well to finish second. On the first windward leg, when Quantum and Artemis were believing in the left (we have to stop using the same meteorologist) the wind went right. That was the key point in the race. We were actually last at the first mark and the first leeward mark, but we managed to slowly grind our way back past three boats.

So now Quantum leads the series with 19.5 points, Matador has 20.5, Synergy has 22, Artemis 24 and ALL4ONE has 32.5. So were are just 4.5 points out of first with four races to go. Plenty of shuffling to be done I am sure.

For complete results go to www.tp52worldchampionship.org

Paul

TP52 World Championship

A great day for Artemis today with a 4, 1 which moved us into second place in the regatta.

The start of racing was delayed again today while the Easterly seabreeze established itself.

The Easterly wind was very spotty and shifty which made for extremely tricky racing. Onboard Artemis, we had two excellent starts again. In the first race, we got out of phase with the shifts and at one point were last. A great move on the left got us into 5th at the top and then we ground one more boat down to get 4th.

In the second race we led wire to wire, controlling the left side of the race course upwind.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be the Coastal Race. The wind is forecast to be a strong Northeasterly which will produce a fair amount of wave chop.

For complete results go to:www.tp52worldchampionship.org

Paul