RC44 Trapani-Day 5

Trapani, Sicily

Perfect conditions for the final day of the RC44 championship here in Trapani. 14-18 knots from the north, fairly steady, nice waves and sunshine.

Aqua had a great day and stole the regatta from Cereef. The two actually tied on points and Aqua won due to more wins in the series.

Onboard Artemis Racing, we had a very good day with scores of 5, 3, 4. We gained 8 points on our friends Katusha but came up 2 shy of overtaking them for third place in the series.

I would like to thank the team that supports both Katusha and Artemis; Sarah Gundersen, coach Tom Burnham, chef Denise Wilson, Harry McGougan and Morgan Guttenkunst.

Tomorrow I will be back at work in San Francisco with our America’s Cup Challenge. Our 2nd boat was air freighted to LA over the weekend and should be in our shed in Alameda by Wednesday. Now starts a very intense period of round the clock work to re-assemble boat 2 and get it on the water as soon as possible.

We are the last team to get a foiling AC72 and arguably behind the others at this point. But as far as I know, they haven’t given out any points yet.

Our sailing team led by Iain Percy, Nathan Outteridge and Loick Peyron are proven winners and have plenty of talent. They have been doing a good job of pushing hard, training on boat 1 and our foiling AC45. Our time with our second AC72 is short but I have a lot of confidence in our team and I suspect we will be tough to dispose of.

Equally important in the America’s Cup is the shore team. Led by Chay McIntosh, our shore team is second to none. Keeping the boats on the track everyday in the strong winds of a San Francisco summer will be a competition of its own.

Now it’s down to the final preparations for racing in July. The time will go fast. The boats will too!

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup racing schedules here.

Thanks for following us!

-Paul

RC44 Trapani-Day 4

Only two races were held today due to thunder and lightening all around the area. The clouds generated strong winds in the 16-23 knot range from the northeast.

In the first race, Artemis Racing sailed a pretty smooth race and we finished 2nd behind Cereef with Katusha 3rd.

In the second race, we were battling away in 5th most of the race. Katusha had the race in hand all the way around the 2-lap course.

Seconds after a very close finish with Aqua, and a deep downwind “shoot”, the leech of their gennaker touched our mainsail. The fault could be debated, however it’s not material, as both boats had finished. Unfortunately the umpire making the call was about 6 boat lengths to windward of the line and could not judge the fact that both had finished.

Artemis Racing was penalized after the finish and therefore scored last which is 13 points. All on the water umpire calls are final.

Katusha sailed very well to win the second race and coupled with their 3rd place in the first race, they won the day by one point over Cereef who also sailed very well to score 1, 4.

So after 3 days of racing, Cereef leads with 35 points, Aqua is second with 40, Katusha is third with 42 and Artemis Racing and Nika are tied for 4th with 52 points.

Tomorrow is the final day of this event and the race committee is hoping to get 3 to 4 races in tomorrow as today was a short day.

Our skipper, Torbjörn Tornqvist, is leaving us today as he has to attend to business. Sarah Gundersen will be taking his place at the helm tomorrow.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC44 Trapani-Day 3

Trapani

Three races today and onboard Artemis Racing, we were very consistent: 4, 4, 4 and moved up to 3rd overall with 37 points. It was not as boring as it sounds because at time we were near the back on the first leg and made some pretty big comebacks.

The conditions were very good; 7-14 knots from the northeast.

The wind was behaving really well today (steady) until the middle of the last race when the westerly from the other side of the island tried to pulse through. That collapsed the wind for 15 minutes and is was a little less than straight forward at that point. The wind went from 12 knots at 025 to 5 knots from 350. We managed to hold our own in the shuffle.

Aqua had the best day with scores of 3, 3 ,2 and now leads with 28 points. Yesterdays leader, Cereef, had a decent day but slipped to second with scores of 7, 5, 6 and 30 points.

Katusha had two good races at the end of the day and is now 4th with 38 points. The local team with Francesco Bruni of Palermo as tactician, was threatening to make a big move with 2, 1 in the first two races but then collected 10 in the third race and are now in 5th with 43 points.

It is all very tight as is typical of the RC44 fleet.

The smooth sea and mild winds were perfect for the owners who steer these boats. The water is very clear and the color is deep Mediterranean blue. The sun has be out too so it is what you would call perfect conditions for sailing.

Two more days of racing here and there will be plenty of ups and downs. The important thing is to be in the hunt on Sunday.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC44 Trapani-Day 2

Trapani, Italy

Four races for the RC44 fleet today in the Mediterranean Sea just off Trapani’s north shore. Winds were 7-15 knots from the north-northeast. The sun was out and it was a beautiful spring day.

The first two races were quite shifty but for the second two, the wind steadied down quite a bit and the right side of the course, along the coast, paid.

Onboard Artemis we had a decent day…nothing flash. We collected 25 points which puts us in 7th place but just 7 points separates us from 2nd place.

Katusha had a slightly better day with 22 points, 12 of those in the last race.

Many of the boats were quite inconsistent. Cereef, with Igor Lah at the helm, had the best and most consistent day with scores of 2, 5, 3, 2.

Racing continues tomorrow through Sunday. For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC44 Trapani Day 1

Trapani, Sicilia, Italia

Today was the first day of the RC44 event here and match racing was on the menu. The match racing is a rolling series throughtout the season-one day per event. A cumulative score decides the winner at the end of the season.

Today was a challenging day wind wise but race officer Peter “Luigi” Reggio managed 6 flights in the 3-10 knot breeze. The direction was anywhere between 060 and 270 as thunder clouds covered the race course all day. Tricky day for everyone.

Onboard Artemis, with Torbjorn Tornqvist, we managed to go 3 and 3. Nothing really remarkable other than every race was in question right to the finish line. Our stablemates Katusha won the day going 4 and 0 including winning the in-house derby despite being penalized at the start. Some teams had byes and others raced all 6 flights.

For the season so far, Katusha is leading the match racing series, Artemis second and Aqua third.

Tomorrow the fleet racing portion of the series begins and continues through Sunday.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC 44 Puerto Calero

Only one race today, after a lot of waiting. New wind direction, but just as tricky as all the other days.

We had a good race and finished 4th.

Nothing changed in the results since yesterday for the top three teams which meant TeamAqua won the event, the French on Aleph were second and Artemis Racing third.

Good to have a podium finish at this first event of the season. Puerto Calero and the Calero family were great hosts as usual.

Running for the airplane back to VLC.

Complete results at www.rc44.com

Paul

Puerto Calero

Less wind, more shifts. 40 degrees was the average. Four races were held in 8-12 knots more or less from the north. The scores will show it was very tough day for all teams but Aqua who were on fire all day. They had three wins and a third!

Onboard Artemis, we had a pretty good day with 9, 2, 10, 2. Again too many ups and downs to go through.

The Dutch who led after day 1 had a really bad day accumulating 41 points. It’s just that tricky and random.

So Aqua now leads with 34, Aleph in second with 39 and Artemis is third with 45. Yesterdays leader, Peninsula Petroleum is fourth and Ceref moved up nicely to be in 5th.

The forecast for tomorrow is very light winds so should be even trickier. Still plenty of potential to move up or down the score board.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com.

Paul

Puerto Calero

A bit less wind today but a lot shiftier. 30 degree wind shifts were the norm on the race course which is in the lee of the island. This makes for a tough day for tacticians. Three races were completed.

Team Aqua, one of the top teams in the RC44 Class, showed how tough it was by winning the first race and finishing last in the next race.

Peninsula Petroleum of Gilbraltar, with Vasco Vascotto calling the shots, had the best day with a 2, 4, 1.

Onboard Artemis, we had a bad result (12) in the second race, sandwiched by two good results, a 4 and a 3.

Our team mates on Katusha had a 13th in the first race, then a second in the second and a 5th in the third.

So, no point in going through the details. Suffice to say “it was all over the show” today. Gains and losses of five positions were happening every few minutes.

Peninsula leads the series now with 12 points and the French team on Aleph are sailing very well to be in second with 15 points.

Yesterday’s race winner the Dutch team of No Way Back with Ross MacDonald(CAN) calling tactics is in third place with 20, then Artemis Racing of Sweden with 22, followed by the Russian team Nika with 23.

Plenty of points to be won and lost in the next two days and they can go very quickly out here.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

Puerto Calero

It was forecast to be breezy and it was. Just one race was held today in 16-22 knots of wind.

I am filling in for Morgan Larson this week as tactician on Artemis. It is a nice opportunity for me to sail with my boss, Torbjorn Tornqvist.

After a few delays due to difficulty in setting the line in the 150meter depth, the race got underway at 12:30 local time. We were sailing on the southeast side of the island so it was a bit shifty over there.

I opted to play the left on the first windward leg and this was not good. We rounded the first mark with just 3 or 4 boats behind us.

We sailed well on the run to pass a few boats and up the second windward leg we played the right. It wasn’t as good as the first beat but we did pass my old mates on Katusha there.

At the top mark for the second time, the Dutch on No Way Back had a nice lead and we rounded in 6th just ahead of the local team skippered by Danny Calero.

We gybed early on the run, left the pack. A bit risky but we liked the pressure out that side. TT did a nice job driving us fast in the now steady 25 knots of wind.

We came into the finish line hot (the RC44’s sail at 20 knots of boat speed in those conditions) and on starboard tack and managed to pass three boats right there and finish 3rd right behind the French team, Aleph.

Good first day! Plenty more racing to go.

An earlier start time for tomorrow. The breeze is forecast to be strong again tomorrow then dropping a bit for Saturday and lighter on Sunday.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul

RC 44 Croatia

Rovinj

Two races were held today in 6-7 knots of wind and the Artemis/Katusha team had a good day.

Artemis had a 1, 2 and Katusha had a 5, 1. Artemis moved up to second place for the regatta behind Aqua who did just what they had to do to seal their first place. Cereef had a great regatta to round out the top three.

Having a good day today and winning the last race of the regatta was a bit of redemption especially for me as I did not do a good job this week tactically. Unfortunately, it was too late to make an impact on our position for this regatta.

Rovinj was spectacular. Unusually good weather blessed the fleet this week with temps close to 30C and not a cloud in the sky all week. I am sure the RC44 fleet will be back soon.

The next RC44 event is the World Championship which will be held at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote in November.

I am back to Valencia tomorrow for the Artemis Racing America’s Cup campaign.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com

Paul