Update from Valencia

Valencia,

I am in the middle of a two week stint in Valencia, Spain working mostly with the Artemis Racing technical team which is based here. Juan Kouyoumdjian (Juan K) has his office here with about 20 engineers and since Juan is our lead designer, we built a lot of our structure around Valencia. We are also going to build our wings here and do our first sailing in the new AC72 Class from a sailing base here.

While technology is great these days with email, Skype and Gotomeeting, etc., there is no substitute for being somewhere in person. One of the features of this America’s Cup is what I call “decentralization”. Our technical team is here in Valencia, there will be boatbuilding in Sweden, the sailing team is all over the world…(currently in New Zealand), the America’s Cup itself will take place in San Francisco, thus creating an environment that produces synergy for the team is a big challenge in and of itself. It was all much easier when everyone just moved to one venue for three years as in the “old days” of the Cup. So I travel a lot…what’s new.

Apart from all the scientific part, we are currently working on locating our sailing base. There are a few venues we are investigating and it is interesting trying to imagine what we will and will not be able to do with this boat where you can’t drop the sails to come into the dock. Running down the “cattle shoot” of the America’s Cup harbor here in a nice summer southeasterly sea breeze, at 30 knots because there is no way “ease the main” to slow the thing down, could be a little more exciting than we want. BMW ORACLE was based in the commercial port a year ago when they had there 185 foot winged triamaran. That is not really an option for us but there are other choices.

The Artemis Racing sailing team is in Auckland (another ex AC city) training in our new AC45 catamaran. This new boat will race 8 events over the next year in the America’s Cup World Series. The ACWS is a world tour that will take place every year with the Cup boats. We are starting with these 45 footers as no one has the 72’s ready yet. The 72’s will debut on the World Series in August of 2012 in San Francisco. The idea of the World Series is to feature the America’s Cup boats and sailors on a regular basis. Then once every three years, there will by the America’s Cup itself, thereby preserving the uniqueness of that event.

On a personal note, I have been trying to track down my first sailboat which my father built for me, in the garage of our house in San Francisco, in 1967. I finally found it being well looked after by a couple living just outside of Sacramento, in the Sierra foothills. They were willing to part with the boat and yesterday, my parents drove up there an picked it up. The US National Sailing Hall of Fame wants the boat so my Dad will refinish it, to museum quality and then we will present it to the museum later this year. I am excited for my Dad as it is a nice way to memorialize what a great thing he did for his 8 year old son.

Paul

Paul Cayard – a candid portrait

Paul gives us a candid look at how he got here and where he wants to go. Whether its his early experiences with America’s Cup sailing with Tom Blackaller on Defender and then USA or looking into the future with his new team Artemis Racing, Paul let’s us in on some good stories about what it takes to sail the for the Cup.

Paul also tells us a little about the lessons learned on the EF Language Whitbread campaign as they raced across the Southern Ocean.

RC44 Cup – San Diego

Katusha wins the Oracle RC44 Cup – San Diego, while Oracle Racing finishes second, TeamAqua third and Artemis 4th.

Three races were held today in light winds from the Southwest under overcast skies. That didn’t deter several thousand spectators from lining the end of the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego.

With a 2, 2 in the first two races today, the Katusha team had a nice 8 point lead over Oracle going into the last race. The strategy for the last race became to simply stay close to Oracle as they were the only team left in contention. We finished right behind them for the series win.

We are very happy with our first fleet racing series win and for me it was fun to have it happen here in San Diego where I lived for twelve years.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC44 Cup – San Diego

Another good day today for Katusha and Artemis Racing. Katusha continues to lead the fleet here in San Diego with scores of 2, 6, 2 and 35 points. Artemis Racing had a 1, 4, 6 for a total of 46 for the series and 4th place. TeamAqua had the same points as we did for the day and remain 2 back at 37 and Oracle had 11 and remains in third with 42 points.

The big moment of the day for Katusha occurred in the second race when we rounded the last wind ward mark 10th and managed to gybe through the fleet to finish 6th. We have come back like that more than once this week and shaving points like that makes a big difference on the score card.

The racing is just fast and furious on the tight race track inside the Bay here. Lead changes and gains and losses of five places in three minutes are common in the fleet.

So, with three races left for tomorrow, it is still wide open. What we do take into tomorrow is a boat that is going better than ever and a crew who is sailing together well. So both Artemis Racing and Katusha will put that on the race track and we will see where the ships fall at the end of the day.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC44 Cup – San Diego

An excellent day on Katusha as we took the lead and Artemis strong in fourth.

Four very tight races on San Diego Bay and with scores of 3, 5, 2, 1 Katusha had one of its best days ever. Good starts and great speed are the key for us so far. We are now in first with 25 points. Aqua actually won the day and are now in 2nd place with 27. Yesterday’s leader Oracle Racing follows with 31 and Artemis on 35.

Still it’s early in the regatta with probably six mores races to sail. It is easy to shift up and down the leaderboard in this Class.

For complete results go to www.RC44.com

Paul

RC44 Cup – San Diego

Another excellent day for Artemis Racing and Katusha. Both teams sailed well at the front of the fleet today, battling with the winner of the day, ORACLE Racing who has 10 points. Katusha had scores of 4,3,4,3 to end the day in second place on 14 points and Artemis Racing is in third place with 16 points, having won 2 of the races.

Once again, the conditions inside San Diego Bay were beautiful for the 11 boat fleet. The action is very tight and boats can overtake or lose six boats very quickly. It is truly “never over ’til it’s over” type of sailing.

Racing continues tomorrow with four more fleet races scheduled.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC 44 Oracle Cup – San Diego

San Diego,

A very good day for both Artemis Racing and Katusha with four wins each out of five races.

On Katusha we were happy with our results but I would not characterize our sailing as smooth. Yet, we got the job done.

For our first three races of the day, we had the “Curmudgeons” onboard as guests. First Craig for two races, including the all important Russian National Championship, then Tom for the third. As soon as the Lewecks left us, we lost. We pulled ourselves back together to win our last race of the day.

We ended up tied with four other teams, some of whom raced six races. There is no final scoring for match racing at each event this year, it just rolls on and the final score is tallied at the end of the year.

Tomorrow, starts the fleet racing which will see Bob “Peaches” Little on the helm and I will move to tactician.

The forecast for tomorrow is more of the same, Westerly winds at about 10 knots.

Paul

RC44 Cup – San Diego

We just finished up two days of practice down here in San Diego. Beautiful, sunny but chilly both days with 10-17 knots of Northwesterly wind. The race course for this event is inside the Bay where it should be. The boats are berthed at the Broadway Street Pier. Looks like about 12 teams are here.

We had fleet racing practice yesterday which meant Bob (Peaches) Little was on the helm and I was tactician onboard Katusha. We competed in about three races with 10 other teams around a short 1.25 mile course. Today we had match race training with our friends on Artemis Racing in which Bob and I inverted our roles from yesterday. Tomorrow in the first day of racing and will be Match Racing and we are first up against the other Russian team Synergy in the first flight. The format of the regatta’s is different this year with the match racing becoming just one day of the event and having only an annual score. So at each event competitors will work their way through a portion of a round robin and by the end of the season we will have completed about three round robins in total. The podium for match racing will be determined only at years end.

The remaining four days of each event will be fleet racing which features the owners as the drivers of the boats. Unfortunately neither Torbjorn Tornqvist (Artemis) nor Guenaddi Timtchencko (Katusha) could attend the event in San Diego this week. Sarah Gundersen is helming Artemis with Morgan Larson calling the shots.

It is fun for me to be in San Diego. I lived here for 12 years. My son was born here and both kids started school here. I have lots of friends here some of whom I am hoping to get to see this week. I raced in the finals of the two America’s Cups held in San Diego in the early 90’s. I went for a run along the bay front this morning down to where the Stars and Stripes base was in 1995 when I sailed with Dennis Conner and his team. The base is now a harbor for large boats and the Rowing Club restaurant is no longer a Chart House but a Crab Shack.

Things change. That’s life.

Paul