St. Barts Bucket

Rosehearty (on the right) by night

St. Barts

The wind was a light easterly today, 7-9 knots.  This makes things a lot slower and a little more challenging when you weigh in at 500 tons.

Onboard Rosehearty, we sailed a good race, probably as best we could.  However, we were no match for the speed of the smaller and lighter Axia who won in our class.  We were second again which puts us in a tie for first place in the “Grande Dame” class.  Axia will prevail in the tie breaker by winning the last race.

For Rosehearty, and Joey K, her owner, this was a great first regatta result.  We won the Perini division for the week and were on the podium in every race!

Next stop for these boats is the Loro Piana regatta in June in Porto Cervo.

Next race for me is the Star Western Hemisphere Championship in mid April in Miami.

Thanks or following us!

Paul

St. Barts Bucket

St. Bart’s

I am sailing as tactician onboard the Super Yacht, Rosehearty, this week in the beautiful French Caribbean Island of St. Bart’s.  Rosehearty is a 56 meter (182′) Perini Navi sailing yacht.  We have a crew of 37 to handle the 500 ton vessel.

There are 32 yachts racing here this year. There are three races in the series, one race per day.  The racing format of the racing is called “Persuit” racing.  This means that the time allowances for handicapping the boats is done by varying the starting times of all the boats in the competition.

In the first race in Friday, things really went our way and we won the race by 13 minutes.  The race took about three hours and it was a “lap” of the island in the counterclockwise sense.  The conditions were easterly winds of r14-18 knots and the big navy Perini’s sailed well in those conditions.

Today’s race was more of a “zig=zag” course around some rocks to the northwest of the Island.  The winds were in the 12 knot range.  The more maneuver intensive course coupled with the lighter winds were more challenging for us.  Still, we managed to get a second place to who Axia who finished third yesterday!

So going into the final race tomorrow we have a 1 point lead over Axia.  IT always comes down to the last race.

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Final

Coconut Grove

Lars Grael won the final race and his second Bacardi Cup in a row.  Lars’s success is even more remarkable as he is an amputee, missing his right leg.  He is a model of resilience.  Young Jorge Zarif with Bruno Prada crewing put in a good performance to finish second in the regatta with Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl finishing third.

Brian and I did not have a good week.  Some times we were on the wrong side of the course, sometimes we weren’t going fast enough. We finished 11th.  For sure the competition was good.  The Brazilian Navy was in full force.  I think they had 4 boats in the top 10.

The next event for the Stars is the Western Hemisphere Championship April 16-19 again on Biscayne Bay.

The next event for me is the St. Barts Bucket where I will be joining the crew of Rosehearty, a 182′ Perini Navi.  I love St. Barts (who doesn’t, right).

Back to SFO tonight for me.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 5

Coconut Grove

Very light winds awaited the Star fleet today. The race committee started on time with about 4 knots of wind from the southeast.  We had one general recall then the Black Flag.

It was very spotty out there so at times you looked pretty good then the wind would die where you were and you wished you were on the other side of the course.  Brian and I rounded the first mark about 15th and sailed decently downwind.  Maybe even passed a few boats so that’s a win of sorts.  However, up the second windward leg, we went hard right and the left was the place to be.  It was so light that tacking frequently wasn’t an option and there were just enough teasers in the right to keep us going.  But in the end, the left came good and we dropped about 10 boats.  Down the final run we did manage to pass about 5 boats, again, a lot better that the last few days.

Our 23rd place will not get us any pickle dishes, thats for sure.  We have now dropped to 11th over all.  Arthur Anosov won the race by a huge margin of 5 minutes.  He got left on the second windward leg and hit it hard.  Alessandro Pascolato (BRA) finished second.  Alessandro is sailing a boat I sold him and doing very well in the regatta in 6th place.

The regatta leaders finished 33rd in this struggle.  That is their discard so they are still leading.  Lars Grael also sailed his worst race today but remains in second place overall.  The two are separated by just three points so it will be all on tomorrow for the Bacardi Cup winner.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a nice 12 knot north easterly.  Should be pretty shifty.

For complete results go to: www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 4

Photo by Silken

Coconut Grove

Another picture perfect day with excellent sailing conditions. The wind was a bit lighter today starting out at 11 knots and dropping to 8 by the finish.  The fleet was well behaved on the starting line so no Black Flag today and no one was over early.

We had another great start and were in the top 5 at the first mark.  Not going super fast but ok.  There weren’t any big shifts out there today as the wind oscillated up and down 5 degrees around 165M.

Brian Cramer of Canada got to the first mark first with and we were just behind the Brazilians Lars Grael and Jorge Zarif.  Unfortunately we were slow again down wind today and lost about 5 boats on each run.  We rounded the second windward mark 7th and finished 12th.

I am really scratching my head on this one but I am sure I will figure it out.  A bit late for this regatta but I guess life is that way.  You just keep learning and in some cases relearning.

Zarif leads by one point over Lars Grael who is the defending champ. Mark Reynolds with Magnus Liljedahl are in third place, Torben Grael in 4th, Augie Diaz in 5th and Brian and I are in 6th.  The points are close enough that we can move up or down with two races to go.

The forecast for tomorrow is light…6-8 knots of wind.  That could mix things up a bit as a lot more boats will be competitive and if there is any substantial wind shift, it won’t be hard to be mid fleet at the first mark.  Saturday is forecast to be back on the 10-12 knots which is pure boats speed weather.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

 

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 3

Coconut Grove

Another perfect day for sailing.  12 knots from the Southeast and sunny skies.  Pretty deluxe situation for us down here.  The committee had a little trouble getting the line square and then we had a general recall or two so up went the black flag again.  The courses are 10 miles with 2.5 mile legs.  That is fairly long for Stars.

No one was caught by the black flag and Brian and I once again had a great start.  We tacked and crossed the fleet within a minute of the start and worked the shifts to lead at the first windward mark followed closely by Alberto Zanetti (ARG) and Torben Grael(BRA), then Lars Grael(BRA).

Unfortunately we did not have good speed downwind and rounded the leeward gate 4th.  Upwind we went fast again getting back into second place.  Down the final run we lost Lars and Augie Diaz to finish 4th.  Torben and his crew Guillermo sailed well to take the win.

Normally you feel good about getting 4th but we backed into 4th so that doesn’t feel as good.  Still it was a good result and got ourselves back into the top 10 with that.  The regatta leader Jorge Zariff finished 8th and still leads. Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl had another steady performance with a 6th and first race winner Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry finished 5th.

More of the same is the forecast for tomorrow.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 2

Coconut Grove, Florida

Another perfect day for sailing today.  A bit windier than yesterday with winds 12 to 14 knots from the East which built of some short chop on Biscayne Bay.

We had one general recall on the first start and then the committee went straight to the Black Flag.  Brian and I had a very good start and were in the front pack half way up the first leg. Unfortunately we “over stood” the windward mark.  Not by a little bit but by at least .25 of a mile.  The marks are very hard to see being red instead of the usual yellow or orange and at 2.4 miles of distance.  A few others were caught out with us like yesterdays winner, Larry Whipple and local Augie Diaz.

That pretty much took us out of contention as we rounded the first mark in the 40’s. We manage to get back to 23rd but that isn’t going to cut it for winning the regatta.

Jorge Zariff, a newcomer to the Star class, but a veteran Finn sailor is doing very well.  He was second yesterday and 1st today.  He has Bruno Prada crewing for him who won two World Championships and a bronze and a Silver in the Star class Olympics, with Robert Scheidt.  Jorge is young, big and strong which is   great combo for a Star helmsman and he is sailing pretty smart too!

Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl has a another solid day and currently sit in second place followed by Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves in third.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for East winds, 12 knots.  In fact, all week the winds are forecast to be between 10 and 15 knots so it should be a great week for racing.

For complete results go to:   www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

 

Bacardi Cup-Day 1

Coconut Grove, Florida

March 1, 2015

I am back in south Florida for more Star sailing.  This time the legendary Bacardi Cup.  This year is the 88th running of this event which started in 1927 in Havana.

57 boats are racing from more than 10 countries.  The competition will be tough with the Grael brothers tom Brazil, local favorite Augie Diaz, double gold medalist Mark Reynolds, and a host of other great teams that all have a chance to win.

Today’s first race finally got underway after two general recalls and the committee resorting to the black flag to keep the anxious competitors behind the line.  The wind was 12 knots from the east and very shifty and puffy as it was coming right over Key Biscayne.

Brian and I had a good start but managed to work our way backwards in the fleet to round the first mark about 25th.  The leader at that point, had had a horrible start, tacked behind everyone and went hard right. The second place boat at the first mark had gone hard left.  Go figure.

It was a day of ups and downs as the wind was very fickle.  One moment you thought you were real fast but it was just that you had a puff that others didn’t.  Same with the shifts.

As the race went on, Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry worked their way from third to first. Brian and I work our way from the 25th to 7th.

Ahead of us were some very good teams.  Behind us there were some too.  So we were pretty fortunate to get back to 7th.

This is a long regatta, 6 races, and each race is longer than what we have been racing down here this winter.  So the tactics can be a bit different.  You can really get a lot of separation, (we call it leverage)  from the fleet which can pay off if you hit it right.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 15 knots from the east again.  80 degree temperatures are the norm here so don’t feel sorry for us if you are somewhere in the upper east coast or midwest.

For complete results go to: www.yachtscoring.com

 

Paul