Bol d’Or

Geneva

Over 300 boats were on the starting line off the Societe Nautique de Geneve at 1000 yesterday for the 74th running of the Bol d’Or. It was a sunny day with Mont Blanc clearly visible, but there was little wind for the start. Artemis Racing was participating again this year with Torbjorn Tornqvist at the helm.

We were literally drifting at the start, but fortunately the fleet was divided over three starting lines.

The breeze was light all the way up to the East end of the lake making the 42 nautical mile journey take over seven hours for the fastest boats…the D35s and the M2s catamarans. The stops and starts are too numerous to recall. The lead changed countless times as boats 100 meters apart often had wind from the opposite direction.

Our route East took us past Versoix, Rolle, Nyon, Lausanne, Evian and Montreux to La Bouveret. The green hills rolling down to the lake with snow capped mountains in the background provide a dramatic setting for sure. But it was slow going, at times we were just drifting wondering which mountain the next breath of air would descend from.

Artemis rounded the half way point at 1745, last of the D35s. Immediately after turning the “barge” at Le Bouveret, we made a B-line for the Northern shore along with Alinghi and Lady Cat. We managed to pass two boats with that move although it seemed like we might have gotten more out of it initially as the fleet in the middle of the lake was parked as we reached along at 15 knots.

As we headed west toward the finish in Geneva, we met the Southwesterly breeze which had been in place all day in the “Petit Lac”. That is the Western third of the lake. So, as things settled down with the wind, the fleet made good progress and not much changed in the positions.

At the finish, the kids on Realstone edged out a well sailed Julius Bar by just seven minutes, for the win. Zen completed the podium. Artemis Racing finished at 22:05 in 7th place, bettering last years position by three places. It was a long day! As Torbjorn said at the finish, we found a few more of the bad spots on the track. It seems that winning a Bol d’Or might be a project that takes time as experience on the many twists and turns of the lake counts!

Back to VLC right now. Wishing all fathers a great day of being pampered by your family!

Paul

D35 Versoix

The D35 fleet was racing this past weekend on Lake Geneva. The three day event consisted of windward-leeward buoy racing on Friday and Sunday with the classic “long distance” race Geneve-Rolle-Geneve on Saturday.

As usual, the winds were pretty light for the most part all weekend. The Artemis team tied for 4th place over the weekend and we are now in 4th place for the season. The “Kids” on Realstone dominated the weekend winning the buoy racing, as well as the distance race.

280 boats participated in the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve. The starting line is about 2 miles long and divided into three parts. The multihulls, of which there are several classes amounting to about 50 boats, start on their own line. As last year, the going was quite light in the early part of the race up to Rolle. In fact, the wind was so light that up at Rolle, we drifted into the mark and had to make a penalty turn. On the return, a squall arrived and suddenly the boats were making 20 knots. The 32 mile race took about 5 hours and Artemis finished 6th.

Yesterday, the racing was delayed one hour and we finally got underway around 1230 in four knots of wind. Artemis Racing, with Torbjorn Tornqvist at the the helm, finished third in the one and only race of the day in as the wind dropped to two knots at the finish.

Next for the D35s is the Bol d’ Or next Saturday, 16 June. This is the big event on Lake Geneva and about 400 boats participate in the 90 mile circumnavigation of the Lake.

Paul

Grand Prix – Les Ambassadeurs Vulcain Trophy

Geneva

Today was the final day of a great weekend of racing on Lake Geneva. We sailed four great races to go with the previous ten, for a total of 14 races. The winds today were again in the 10-12 knot range with gusts to 16 at times.

Artemis Racing had a pretty good day with scores of 5,2,5,6 and held our third place overall. We were pretty pleased with that result considering we did very little training as a complete crew prior to the regatta.

Alinghi and Realstone (‘the kids’) tied for first place overall, but Alinghi won the tie breaker due to having more first place finishes. Alinghi won the last two races of the weekend, while the kids finished 7, 3 and thus closed the gap and forced the tie. Realstone is known as “the kids” as the crew are all about 23 years old or younger and they train a lot. They trained for two months in the D35 prior to this weekend and it showed. Very smooth on boat handling and they know the lake pretty well.

We were just two points ahead of Lady Cat this morning so we were happy to extend that gap to eight points by the end of the weekend.

The Southwesterly wind was shifty as always and in the last race there were some very large “holes” of no wind. There was so much passing and being passed that I can’t possibly recount it all. Suffice to say that it was never over until you crossed the finish line and often boats made big comebacks after being last after the first lap.

I want to thank Yvan, Frank, Gilles, Sarah, Noel and Maxime for a great job this weekend! 14 races is a lot and the wind was up so the crew work load was high and everyone put in 110%. Catamarans are fast and fun but also a lot of work. Sailing a D35 with six gives one a good appreciation for the AC45 which is sailed with just 5 crew and the AC72 with its 40 meter wing which will be sailed with just 11.

The next event for the D35s is Le Grand Prix de Crans in three weeks time. Before that, we have the AC45 World Series event in Venice in 10 days.

I am back to Valencia tonight to the Artemis Racing base of operations.

For complete D35 results go to www.vulcaintrophy.com

Paul

Grand Prix – Les Ambassadeurs Vulcain Trophy

A much better day today onboard Artemis Racing as we moved up into third place overall. It was a long day on the water with six races in 12-18 knots of wind from the Southwest. We were much more consistent in our speed and handling of the boat and this gave us scores of 3, 3, 3, 1 5, 6.

One boat capsized today and another lost a crew member overboard. During the 3rd race, the breeze came up to 18 knots and was very gusty so bearaways around the windward marks were dicey depending on the wind strength you had when you got there. Fortunately, we had a pretty safe day although crew member Sarah Gundersen got her knee pretty badly banged up and will probably not sail tomorrow.

These boats are very demanding on the crew. After six races, they are beat. There is a social function on at the Societe Nautique de Geneve tonight and I will go alone to fly the Artemis colors as the rest of the team wants only to eat and go to sleep.

The forecast for tomorrow is for lots of rain and gusty winds again from the Southwest. We can expect 4-5 races again.

For complete results go to www.vulcaintrophy.com

Paul

Grand Prix – Les Ambassadeurs Vulcain Trophy

Today was the beginning of another season in the D35 Class here on Lake Geneva. This first regatta, Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs, is part of a series of regattas called “The Vulcain Trophy”, which includes the Bol d’Or in June. Artemis finished 4th last season and we were excited to get back out there this morning.

Six races were planned for the fleet of nine boats sailing out of the Societe Nautique de Geneve today. We had clear blue skies this morning and the wind filled in around noon. Racing got under way at 1230. We had a very mediocre day onboard Artemis during the first 3 races, with scores of 8th, 4th and 6th, in the 6-8 knot breeze from the Northeast. Nothing in particular happened but a lot of little things did not go well. Probably a little “rust” from not having sailed competitively in the boat for six months.

Then there was a long pause while the wind shifted 180 degrees and filled in at 20 knots with gusts to 22 knots and lulls to 9 knots. As the wind was coming off the city, it was very puffy and shifty. The sailing was very exciting and the boats were traveling at high speeds in the conditions. We’d had a decent third race in the 4th race of the day were sailing upwind on starboard tack and we were on a collision course with Zen who was on port tack. They tried to slow down to get behind us and miss judged it. The result was a violent crash into our port side. The hull is ok but the port “rack” is destroyed. We had to withdraw from further racing for the day. One of our crew members was thrown into the water from the impact and we narrowly avoided a pitch pole (capsizing by putting the bow under (a cartwheel) as Zen spun us away from the wind.

Anyway, we got the boat back to the dock at the SNG and are in the midst of a repair so we can compete again tomorrow.

For complete results visit www.vulcaintrophy.com

Paul

D35 Antibes

The D35 season came to a close today here in Antibes. The wind gods were a lot more pleasant to the fleet today providing 6-11 knots of wind which allowed for four races.

Artemis Racing had some up and down scores and finished 5th in the event. This was two positions better than Velti Group (7th) who we were trying to pass for the a third for the season. In the end we came up one point short for the season and finished 4th overall. Still not a bad result for our first season.

The top of the class was Foncia once again who won the event here, as well as the season championship. Hats off to Michele Desjoyaux and the Foncia team! Alinghi finished 4th here in Antibes and second for the season.

The boats will go back to Geneva now for the winter. The 2012 season will start there in May.

I am off to Valencia tonight for a day in the office tomorrow before heading to Croatia tomorrow night for the RC44 event there next week.

For complete results go to www.vulcaintrophy.com

Paul

D35-Antibes

Antibes

No wind, no racing. Went for a nice run this morning and going to have dinner with my cousins in Mougins tonight.

Hoping for wind tomorrow.

Paul

D35-Antibes

Antibes

The final regatta of the D35 season started Thursday in Antibes. At the end of Friday the fleet has raced four races, all of them in very light winds. In the second race of Thursday we started in 5 knots of wind and finished in 2 knots of wind.

Onboard Artemis, we struggled yesterday in the very light winds and managed 6th place in each of the two races. Alinghi had a similarly difficult day while Zen, who usually is nearer to the back than the front of the fleet was leading at the end of Thursday.

We discussed our performance, and did a bit of recon amongst the fleet, last night and came out today with a bit different set up, more powerful, and we were more proactive in adjusting our trim as the wind velocity changed.

Today the wind was a bit stronger…6-8 knots…and we were able to “fly” the hull a few times. After a bad start in the first race we managed to finish second. Foncia won the race and Alinghi third. In the second race of the day, we did not have a great start again but we were going a bit better and although we rounded the first mark 8th, we managed to claw our way back to 5th just beating Foncia at the line. Alinghi sailed a great race, were very fast, and won the race easily.

With four races completed, the fleet gets to discard one race. Foncia leads the fleet with 5 points, Zen is second with 8 points, and Alinghi third with 9. We are 6th with 13 points. So it is all very tight still.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for winds similar to today so hopefully we will get 3-4 races in.

For complete results go to www.vulcaintrophy.com

Bol d’Or

Geneva,

It was a pretty fast race this year as a strong south westerly breeze pushed the fastest boats, the D35’s down to the east end of the lake in 2,5 hours, right on record time. However the way back was slower as the wind died in a few spots.

Over 500 boats started this classic lake geneva race on four different staring lines.

Alinghi led the D35 class early and won the race while being challenged by Foncia most of the way. There was a bit of shuffling but not huge parking lots.

On board Artemis Racing we did not do well at all, beating just one boat in our class. We did not sail particularly fast nor the right way in a few key moments.

At the east end of the lake the wind came up to 22 knots and the waves were about 1 meter. That is a difficult sea way in these light air machines. We dug the bow in pretty hard a couple of times.

Now there is a summer break for the D35 racing and the last two regattas of the season will be in the south of France, the first one the first weekend of September.

For complete results go to www.Vulcaintrophy.com

Paul

D35 Sogeti Cup

Geneva,

Artemis Racing had two excellent scores in the first two races of the day with a 2, 4 and had taken the lead in the regatta.

At the first mark of the third race, Okalys, crashed into us while on port tack and that ended our day. As we were on starboard tack, we applied to the jury for redress and it was granted. The jury has quite wide discretion as to how they award redress. They could have averaged our points of the regatta to that point, discarding the worst score as that was how the scoring was done at that point. We would have been awarded 2.6 points per race in that case. The other extreme was to award us the average of all our scores including the discarded race. That would have resulted in 3.8 points per race. They chose the later and we finished second for the weekend.

With four regattas now complete, Artemis Racing is tied for second place with Volti Group in the D35 season championship with Focia winning. This being our first season in the class, we have to be pretty happy with that!

Next Saturday is the Bol d’Or, the race that will start in Geneva, take the fleet to Montreux at the opposite end of the lake some 50 miles away and back to Geneva.

This race can take anywhere for 5 to 25 hours. Drifting for hours followed by thunder squalls is not uncommon. Boats leading the entire race and then falling out of the wind 1 mile from the finish is also not uncommon. It will be my first Bol d’Or and it should be interesting.

For complete results go to www.vulcaintrophy.com

Paul