TP52 Super Series Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

We had a very rough day today on Phoenix.  We actually finished last in both races! I can’t remember ever doing that.  The conditions were 8-11 knots from the south which is a bit more wind than previous days.

In the first race today, I tried to win the pin end of the line at the start.  The current was sweeping us right to left and we had to tack to port just before the gun sounded and cross behind everyone heading right.  Normally this isn’t too bad if you do it early and get all the way through without anyone tacking on you.  And this was the case today.  However, the left side proved to be very good early in the leg and we arrived at the first mark 9th.  We never really recovered and somehow lost Provenza along the way.

In the second race we actually had a good start and headed left however the wind actually favored the right side this time.  We got mixed up a some traffic and came out on the short end of the stick on most of those encounters.  Around the last mark of the race we were 7th but got a penalty at the offset mark for not giving Gladiator room.  That penalty put us back to last.

Our speed isn’t great in these lighter conditions and this makes everything a bit more difficult.   Dealing with traffic and, tactics in general, get compromised.  Downwind, we are especially “sticky”.  This is due in part to a large foil package than the 2015 model year boats.  We are building a new rudder which will be 5% smaller than the one we have.  Some of the other boats have smaller keel fins too, so we are looking into that too.  We need to keep working on our sails and our set up.  The crew did an excellent job in all the maneuvers and everything was nearly perfect in that department.  They are all top professionals and I feel bad for them with the result we achieved here.

We came over to Europe for these two regattas to learn and to prepare.  We needed to see where the bar is in this fleet in order to have time to make adjustments prior to the 2017 season, which starts in January, in Key West.  Now we will make a plan as to how to address each of our weaknesses.  The boat will be getting some work done to it in Florida when it arrives there in three weeks.  We will probably do some training in December and early January to work on closing the gap we currently have with the fleet.

Azzurra sailed an excellent regatta and was the fastest boat in the sub 10 knot conditions that we had most of the week.  Quantum, always consistent finished second for the week and Sled did a lot of improving since Mahon and finished third.

I am headed back to San Francisco tomorrow and plan to be there for the next few weeks.  It’s been a pretty busy sailing season.

 

Paul

 

TP 52 Super Series Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

Four races were sailed on Thursday and Friday over here in Portugal for the Tp52 fleet.  The winds have been light all week and this is our weakness on Phoenix.  We have larger appendages than the newer boats and we feel it especially downwind.  On Thursday, we made the mistake of contorting our mast and mainsail set up trying to generate more power.  Normally this is a good idea but there is a such a thing as “too much”.  We hit that wall yesterday.  The set up was heeling the boat over but it was too much drag and the boat would not slip through the water.

We spent an hour out on the water last night after all the other teams went in, sorting through our set up.  We took a lot of photos of both set ups and of other boats.  We analyzed all that in our meeting late last night.  We came out today with a new set up and right from the get go, I could feel the boat was moving better.  While we had a much better day today, we didn’t win any races.  But the satisfying thing has been attacking our weakness and making a big improvement.

In terms of scores, we actually crossed the finish line last in one of the races yesterday and the other one wasn’t much better.  Today we had a 7 and 4 and in both races were were competitive with the top boats.  Again the conditions are not our best.

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016 © Zerogradinord

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

Yesterday Bronenosec, Quantum, and Sled had very strong scored while Azzurra wiped a bit.  Today Azzurra come back strong with a 1, 2 and took back the lead in the regatta.  These four teams are clearly the fastest in this 7-10 knots conditions were have been racing in.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for slightly more wind, 8-12 knots, but that is just a forecast.  We on Phoenix would certainly be happy with a bit more wind.

For complete scores go to: http://www.52superseries.com

Paul

 

TP 52 Super Series-Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

The final TP 52 Super Series event of 2016 started yesterday in the Atlantic Ocean off Cascais Portugal.  There are 10 TP52’s here for the 5 day event which ends on Saturday.

On Tuesday, two races were held in 6-9 knots of wind from the southwest and smooth seas. In the first one, we on Phoenix were over the starting line early and had to restart.  We caught up to the group but only managed to pass one boat at the finish line.

In the second race, we had a great start and good speed upwind.  We went to the left side which turned out to be good.  We were leading 7/8’s of the way to the first mark only to fall in a patch of light winds.  We could not lee bow the first boat, Azzurra, when they tacked on the starboard lay line, so we decided to be conservative and duck the next two boats to round in fourth place.  From there we didn’t manage the race well and ultimately finished 9th again.  I am very disappointed with our first days’ performance.

Azzurra dominated the day with speed and smart tactics to win both races.  Quantum Racing had a 4, 2 while Provenza rounded out the top three with a 3, 4.

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016 © Zerogradinord

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Cascais, 11-15 ottobre 2016
© Zerogradinord

Today was a miserable day here in terms of weather.  It rained most of the day and the winds were never steady. We finally started around 14:00. Near the first windward mark, a squall came through.  The wind increased from 8 knots to 20 knots and shifted 50 degrees to the right.  The race was abandoned but Quantum was ahead and sailing well.

Tomorrow’s forecast is better with 8-12 knots winds from the west forecast and sunshine.

For complete scores go to: http://www.52superseries.com/events/2016/eu/cascais-cup/

 

Paul

J70 World Championship-Final

Photo’s by Zerogradinord

San Francisco

The final two races of the 2016 J70 World Championship were held on Berkeley Circle Saturday.  The fleet made the 5 mile trek down to the circle in the customary light morning winds and for one last time, the arduous trek back to the St. Francis Yacht Club in the 20 knots westerly mixed with an outgoing tide and big waves.  I think most will agree, the trek was worth it.  the Circle served up a challenging week for tacticians.  Local knowledge didn’t pan out much of the time.  What worked on one run didn’t work on the very next.  It was a very open race course all week and that is what you need when hosting an event for 68 boats.

The winds were light at the scheduled 11:00 start time and Mark Fisher and his race committee postponed for 60 minutes to let the wind fill to 10 knots at the start of the first race. Joel Ronning and his Catapult team, with john Kostecki call tactics and trimming the main, went into the day with a 20 point lead and managed it very well with a pair of 4th place finished to finish with a 16 point advantage over last years World Champion Julien Fernandez of Mexico.  Judd Smith and his Africa got off to a huge lead in the first race of the day while we on Calvi Network had a bad first race with a 19th.  This switched the two of us in the overall standings.

Like all good one design racing, it is a matter of inches that allows you to cross a boat and then the rest of the line on starboard or if not enough ahead, to duck one boat and then 9 more.  I didn’t get us good enough starts in general this week and that made a difference when looking for those very important inches in the first cross of the first windward legs.

Before the start of the last race, I told out team that we were going to the right corner up and downwind.  That is “old school” Berkeley Circle.  And it was right.  We rounded the first mark 9th, after once again ducking 5 boats just before rounding at the top.  We immediately gybe set and planned off in the opposite direction of the fleet.  This turned into a 1 minute lead at the leeward gate, and life was easy after that!  Wining the last race was a nice way to finish a week in which I felt I did sail up to my expectations.

Calvi Network Alcatel J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

We on Calvi Network we finished 4th while the fastest boat on the track, Claudia Rossi’s Petit Terrible finished 5th in her first World Championship.

This J70 class has a great future.  The boat’s are fun to sail, especially in breeze, and are very affordable.  I would say that the technical specifications and measurement process needs a little improving.  But that is to be expected with a class that is virtually exploding with over 1200 boats built in its first 3 years.  Next years World Championship will be in Porto Cervo which I am sure will lure close to 100 boats.

Calvi Network Alcatel J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Calvi Network
Alcatel J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre – 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

I am off to Europe this week for a Star event in Italy and then the final event of the TP52 Super Series in Cascais, Portugal.

For complete results go to: https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U

 

Paul

J70 World Championship 2016

Photos by Zerogradinord

San Francisco

Three races were held today on Berkeley Circle for the J70 fleet.  The wind for the first two races was 10-12 knots and it was osculating giving plenty of opportunities to all the competitors.

On Calvi Network we had a solid first race, finishing 3rd right behind Claudia Rossi, the leader at that point. The Mexican’s on Flojito were right behind us in 4th.  Joel Ronning was 10th and Judd Smith in his Africa was 28th. At this point 23 year old Claudia Rossi with her Petit Terrible was winning the Championship, Ronning second, Calvi Network third.

In the second race, we had to work our way through the fleet to finish 8th.  Again is was sub planing conditions which is not our forte so we were happy with the 8th. Running sailed a great race to finish 2nd, while Flojito finished 6th. Again Africa had a tough race in 34th and Rossi gathered her first bad race with a 52nd.

For the  third race the wind came up to 16 knots.  I got us a horrible start.  It turned out to be a really horrible start as we found out after the finish that we were Black Flagged.  In a bitter sweet way, it was our worst race, so losing it was not the worst outcome.  For Rossi, it was disaster as she won the race and held a commanding lead on the World Championship until she found out she also was Black Flagged. Judd Smith came back to win the final race of the day while Ronning had a solid 8th.

At this point, with two races to go, Joel Ronning, in his Catapult, has a commanding 20 point lead on Julien Fernandez Flojito with us in Calvi Network in third 2 points a drift of Flojito.

The forecast for tomorrow is for lighter winds, similar to this morning’s races.

For complete results go to: https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U

 

Paul