Quantum Key West Race Week-Day 4

January 22, 2015  0900

Bella Mente’s request for redress hearing was reopened this morning. Shockwave and Numbers were present this time. Reason prevailed and redress was denied.

So Bella Mente scored a 4, 3 yesterday and all three competitors are within one point going into todays racing.

More later.

Paul

Quantum Key West Race Week-Day 3

Photo: Steve Lapkin

Key West

January 21, 2015,

With a forecast that was too light to race, the wind gave us a pleasant surpass, and we managed to get in two races today.  The wind came in at 6-8 knots from the north-northwest around 11:00 and the race committee was quick to jump on it.

In the first race, we had a relatively minor collision with Bella Mente at the start but it was our (my) fault and we had to do a 360 penalty turn.  That cost us about 45 seconds.  Shortly there after, Bella Mente ran into a wreck that is on the course and marked with a government buoy.  They just went too close to the buoy.  A bit surprising, really. With all of that going on, Numbers won the first race rather easily.

In the second race, which started in just 6 knots of wind.  We on Shockwave, had a very good start to windward of the group and were able to control the fleet out to the left and lead at the first mark.  From that point, it was about managing our lead and trying not to mix it up with Bella Mente and yet stretch out on the smaller Numbers.  We owed numbers 2:49 in that race and only beat them by 2 minutes.

So numbers had 2 wins today, we on Shockwave two seconds and Bella Mente a 4th for not finishing the first race and then a 3rd in the second race of the day.

So now, the three of us are all within one point as we head into the last four races.  As we are today, we would loose a tie breaker to either of the other two so we need to be a point clear ahead to win.

We have been working all week on our performance and we feel that we are getting better each day.  I must say that I haven’t done a very good job so far so I am determined to right that tomorrow and Friday.  We will need to be clicking on all cylinders to win this class!

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

19:00 UPDATE: I just went to yachtscoring.com myself and saw that Bella Mente asked for redress for both races today, based on their running into the wreck. Hard to imagine. Whats more, the jury award them redress for each race.   They gave them a 1.25 score for each race rather than the 4, 3 that they scored. What could be the basis for that decision? I could not find any “facts found” issued on the official jury notice board.

So get this; you are sailing along, no other boat within 200 meters of you, you run into something and tell the Jury it was someone else’s fault?  The wreck is marked by a government buoy!  It is marked on the navigational charts! Further, the race committee has warned the fleet about it each day before racing. Never heard of anything like that.  I don’t know what is more unbelievable; the asking or the getting.

21:00 FURTHER UPDATE

I am now told the Jury is reopening the hearing in the morning.

Paul

 

Quantum Key West Race Week Day 2

“Shockwave in Traffic”, credit Tim Wilkes.

Key West

Two races were held today in fairly steady conditions of 7-12 knots from the south.  A first race raw started and abandoned about 3/4’ers of the way through due to lack of wind.

In both races, Bella Mente had just slightly the better of us.  Nothing dramatic happened in the races and were managed our position to not get tacked on by the slightly faster boat.

We finished second by 10 seconds and 7 seconds respectively.

While this is frustrating, we did make a significant improvement in our performance of our boat from yesterday.  We have been working hard on our rig tune and mainsail set up.

After 4 races, Bella Mente leads with 5 points, we on Shockwave have 9 and Numbers has 10.  6 more races are scheduled.

Tomorrows forecast is not good.  Very light wind.

For complete results, go to: wwwyachtscoring.com and click on Key West Race Week.

Paul

 

Copa del Rey – Day 1

Palma de Majorca

Today was the first day of the, 33rd annual, Copa del Rey, one of the Mediterranean’s largest regatta’s. I am sailing onboard Robertissima as tactician. Robertissima is a 72′ Vrolijk design IRC yacht. There are four others similar to us in our class.

The Copa del Rey has 11 races on its schedule this year, with racing Monday through Saturday. Wednesday we will race a “coastal” race, which really means one long race that day, while all the ether days we races two shorter races.

Today’s conditions were very typical of Palma, sunny, hot and moderate sea breezes. The first race started at 13:10 with 10 knots from the south. We had a good start at the right hand side of the line but the left side of the course was better. We could never get over to the left fully and ended up 3rd. Shockwave won and Bella Mente was second. Shockwave is the lowest rating boat in our group and gets about 1 minute of handicap time per race. They are about the same speed as the rest of us upwind but a little slower downwind.

The second race was started in 12 knots of wind still from the south, Bella Mente and Robertissima were over the start line early and had to restart. I have to take responsibility for that on our boat. We got in a battle with Bella Mente for the left end of the line and I didn?t manage the situation well. With the race course fairly strongly one sided..left…neither of us could get past the others and we finished 4th and 5th respectively. Meanwhile, Alegre, who finished last in the first race, was well out in front and won the second race. Shockwave sailed well again to get second and lead the series after day 1.

Tomorrow we continue with 2 races. The forecast is for a bit less wind than today.

For complete results and information on all other classes, go to www.regatacopadelrey.com

Paul

Nassau, December, 2013

I have spent the past three months decompressing from a difficult Americas Cup for me. Sometimes things go well and you are oblivious to those struggling. Fortunately, my previous America’s Cups and Around the World campaigns have been above average and ultimately very satisfying. This time was a struggle. We had early technical set backs which burned precious time. We were on the wrong design path and we waited too long to acknowledge it and convert. The result was a painful last 6 months as reality hit us squarely in the face. The tragedy of May 9th was the worst sailing disaster I have been involved in and something I will never forget. Needless to say, it was a stressful and hugely disappointing time.

After a couple of months away from it, I feel rested, but I have that lingering frustration that goes with a poor result like that. I am sure the cure is to move on to a new challenge and I am open minded as to what forum that me be in.

For now, I am looking to have some fun in sailing. I have been invited to the inaugural Star Sailors League (SSL) Season Final. When I explain this new event, you will see that I really have no business racing in it. The concept is that this is a league for the top sailors in the world who are ranked through the competitions they attend during that year. At the end of the year, there is a final championship with prize money. This year, the Final is in Nassau and there will be 18 competitors racing for a total purse of $200,000. They are the highest ranking sailors in the World plus a couple of wild card invites. You can check out the participants and the results at www.starsailors.com.

SSL is the creation of Swiss Star sailor Michel Niklaus. His passion for the class and this event is impressive. The SSL team are making a huge effort to run a top quality event. They have a team of 30 people doing everything from television production, to GPS tracking for live internet tracking while we race. SSL are handling everything logistical with the competitors presence here. It seems to truly be a first class operation.

I am heading into the event skinnier than ever not to mention I haven’t sailed a Star in 4 years. Logically, a little humble pie seems to be on order for me. However, I love Nassau’s wind and waves and have raced here plenty over the past 30+ years. I do have one of the best crewing for me, Austin Sperry. Austin, aka Hoss, came to Athens to help Phil Trinter and I train for the ’04 Olympics and then he went to the ’08 Olympics, crewing for John Dane. So if I have a prayer out there this week it is due to Hoss.

So its time to get back to basics and enjoy some Star sailing in the best place on earth to sail!

Paul

Magnus Olsson

Magnus Olsson was a giant bottle of “Positive Attitude” that you could pour on anything and make it shine.

For Magnus it wasn’t a matter of the glass half full or half empty. The glass was just full all the time.

His personality and enthusiasm were magnetic. He was the center of gravity of every boat, every meeting, every project. From heads of state to children sailing optis, Magnus could hang with them all.

He is one of the very few people I have ever known who everyone liked.

It is very sad to lose a guy like Magnus. Irreplaceable…. most definitely one of a kind, a legend!

But it is fair to say that few, if any, got more out of their time on this planet than Magnus Olsson.

For those of us who were lucky enough to have shared part of his life with him, we are blessed.

Thank you, Mange. We are all smiling thinking of you!

Paul

Update from Auckland

Auckland February 23, 2011

Just a quick update from down here. The Artemis Racing team is based in Auckland this week for training and attendance in America’s Cup meetings. Auckland is approximately 450 miles north of Christchurch, the site of the large earthquake of February 22. No one on Artemis Racing was involved directly or injured in the earthquake.

Artemis Racing extends its sincere condolences for those who lost loved ones in the disaster and sympathy for those who are currently struggling to get their lives back in order following this natural disaster.

Update from Auckland

Auckland New Zealand, February 21, 2011

It was Mid December when I last wrote an update. No racing has taken place for Artemis since the RC 44 regatta in Miami but a lot has been going on with regard to our America’s Cup project. I was recently in Valencia for a couple of weeks working with Juan Kouyoumdjian and our design team who are based there. We also had a team meeting that lasted three days.

I arrived in Auckland today for a week to follow two issues; 1) ACRM meetings to discuss the aC72 and AC45 class rules, new racing rules of sailing, logistics around the World Series events and the SF venue and 2) to test sail the prototype of the AC45. The meetings went well today. Unfortunately the sailing didn’t. Our team capsized in the AC 45. It wasn’t even a spectacular wipeout at 30 knots. Rather they were sitting head to wind, taking a break after the three hour training session and repairing something on the roller furler. The boat got hit with a gust from about 10 degrees off to one side and the boat slowly rolled over. No one was hurt and the boat was back at the dock within two hours.

There is very little structural damage to the wing but a lot of the “skin” of the wing came off. Our team will help ACRM get the wing repaired and back out onto the water asap. A cyclone is approaching Auckland and is due to hit later Wednesday so it will probably be after that when Artemis can get back to sailing the Prototype.

The team are going to make a “playbook” on the capsize. Yes, even in a unfortunate situation, there is a lot to learn. Hopefully if this happens again, we will be able to right the boat without losing the skin. One thing for sure, it was good it was a 72 footer capsizing today.

Simultaneous to the activities down here, Terry Hutchinson and part of the Artemis Racing team are in Oman racing the first Extreme 40 event of the year. This is a very nice reward for a lot of hard work by our team to up-skill in multihulls. Our team has put in a lot of hard work to get up to speed in multihulls and have been there training for almost three weeks.

Paul

Tom Blackaller Video

Lisa Blackaller | January 07, 2011 | YouTube

I just had to share this clip with old friends in the America’s Cup world. This video clips and interview were done with my dad prior to his untimely death in 1989. He would certainly be thrilled and amazed that, yes in fact, the America’s Cup IS coming to San Francisco Bay, and it IS being sailed in fast catamarans! Too bad he is not alive to share in all the excitement. He would love it all.

Nassau, Bahamas

I flew in to Nassau today largely to see one person; Sir Durward Knowles. The Star Western Hemisphere Spring Championship will take place here this week and 32 teams are here training. It means a lot to Durward to have the Stars here in his hometown. Durward is the Commodore of the International Star Class. He is a Gold Medalist, World Champion and a great man. He is a hero in the Bahamas and noted more for his charitable work than for his sporting accomplishments. Durward took me into his home in 1982 during the Springs and hosted me and my crews many times since. He is a great friend and mentor.

I am unable to defend my title here this week due to other commitments, so I was planning to simply stop by for a visit but then had the unexpected pleasure of being asked to go for a sail. Andrew Campbell is out in Long Beach coaching the CISA clinic so his crew Brad Nichol asked me if I wanted to go out for a little tune up.

So I did. Nassau is my favorite place in the world to race. The wind the waves, the crystal clear water and warm temperatures all combine to make this an intensely exotic venue.

It was blowing 15 knots from the northeast today. The waves were moderate and the sea was warm as always. Surfing back toward the yacht club I was thinking back to my first sail here 30 years ago and how that downwind ride never changes. New construction never ceases on Paradise Island and the tourists have trampled through the hotels. But no one can change that beautiful sea and wind.

So, all in a day…. I spent time my good friend and felt my favorite wind and sea. I feel pretty lucky.

Tomorrow, at 0800, I am off to Geneva.

Paul