Audi MedCup – Cagliari

Today was the first day of the Audi Med Cup-Cagliari. Three races were held in 8-18 knots for the ten boat fleet of TP52s.

Onboard Artemis our first and second races were good with a 3,6 and we were 2nd overall at that point. Then a bad start and going the wrong way on the first windward leg of the third race put us way behind the fleet. We fought back to battle on the last run with Bribon and Luna Rossa but we failed to pass them at the finish.

After light to moderate Southeasterly winds for three-quarters of the day the wind really piped up for that last race. The water was very choppy.

Emirates Team New Zealand came out of the day in first, with Matador in second.

Tomorrow racing begins at 1300 and moderate Southeasterly winds are forecast again.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

TP 52-Audi Med Cup-Cartegena

I hate to report this to you but we had a very bad day on Artemis. We still managed to finish 5th in the regatta, but the racing today could hardly have been more painful for us.

The conditions were perfect for this final day; 15 knot Easterly breeze, blue skies, moderate swell and the temperature was down to a manageable 30C.

The short story is that we had good starts and we were near the front of the pack in all three races, but never got ourselves into control of any of the races. As such, we ended up getting into the congestion of the “pack” and we got swallowed up every time.

In the first two races, our upwind speed was not good. We had a hard think about it and changed our set up and were going fast again in the last race. We were very fast downwind all day.

So after two poor races, we were really focused on a good result in the last one to finish on a good note. We had a good start at the port end of the line because we wanted to go left. Unfortunately the wind went right, typical for the day. Approaching the top mark on port tack, we had to go behind almost everyone. Just as we were making a good move into 5th on the run, our spinnaker drop line system failed and we sailed past the gate and into last place. We did manage to pass one boat.

Anyway, that is history. We had all things go our way in Barcelona a month ago.

Emirates Team New Zealand won the regatta easily, Matador was second and TeamOrigin third.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

TP 52-Audi Med Cup-Cartegena

It was a long day in a strong breeze, so we are all a bit tired.

In 18-23 knot East Northeasterlies, we raced a windward leeward race and followed that up with a two mile coastal race.

Artemis had a good day with a 6, 2 although we did not sail smoothly and made plenty of mistakes.

I made a costly error trying to tack under Bribon at the first windward mark and we had to do two penalty turns. That pretty much put us in last. But a good run and second windward leg meant we rounded the top mark in 3rd which was the result of an excellent effort by all onboard. However, we lost 3 places on the final run of the first race by missing a windshift and we finished 6th. Not horrible, but that is not going to cut it if you are going for the regatta win.

In the coastal race we had a great start and were at the front most of the way. We fell back a bit midway, but kept our focus and passed a few boats to finish strong in 2nd. Emirates Team New Zealand has another gear upwind in the strong winds and the won both races today, so they now lead the regatta comfortably.

The winds were tricky for sure. There were two winds in the first race, as the Northeasterly wind was split around the cape just to the East of the race course. Outside the winds were in the 50’s and inside you could see wind directions around 35. As the transition between the two winds swayed back and forth across the course, so went the positions of the boats.

We did have our usual good speed all day so that definitely has helped us stay in a decent position in this regatta. But we really haven’t sailed that well in this event.

We are now in 4th place overall, just 6.5 points out of 2nd. We are just 3.5 points ahead of Quantum who is in 5th. So, it will be all on tomorrow. Still plenty of opportunity to go up and down.

To watch the racing live, go to www.artemisracing.com and for results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

TP 52-Audi Med Cup-Cartegena

A long day in the heat today. It was 44C (which is about 107F) 10 miles North of here today.

We had a light seabreeze…enough to get three races in. It is 1930 and we are heading back to the hotel.

The Brits on TeamOrigin are on fire so far here with all their finishes in the top 3.

We had two good races; 2nd in the first race and 4th in the third race. In the second race we were over early at the start and had to go back and restart. We caught up to the tailenders at the first mark but only managed to pass one boat by the finish.

All day our speed was good in the 8-11 Southwesterly breeze.

We are currently 5th overall, one point out of fourth. Still a lot of racing left and plenty of opportunity to move up and down.

Tomorrow the committee is talking about one windward leeward race and then the coastal race.

The forecast for tomorrow is for moderately strong Northeasterly winds so that will be welcome by the fleet after these light air, baking contests.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

TP 52-Audi Med Cup-Cartegena

Two races were held today in 14 knot, Easterly winds off the South coast of Spain. Artemis had an ok day….middle of the fleet in both races.

We made a strategic decision this morning to not get in any close situations, no possible fouls, to just sail clean and see where the chips would fall. It is the first day of a five day event and a 5, 6 are both keepers in this fleet. Where we want to be on Sunday is in a position to win.

Today, the right hand side of the course was very favored upwind due to the Easterly flowing current offshore. The committee did not bias the line to the left so the fleet was bunched up at the committee boat end of the line at the starts. Emirates Team New Zealand is being protested by Matador for an infraction at the start of the second race.

We have the same good boat speed that we had at Barcelona and that is very valuable for the coming days.

We did make a few mistakes, mostly downwind on the first run of each race, that probably cost us two places in each race.

My son Danny is here with me this week. Today he sailed at the “guest” onboard. Most days he gives the guys a hand on the tender. We work out together in the mornings, eat together with the team, sleep in the same room, even watched the movie “Hangover” together last night. It is nice for me to have him around!

It is still 34C or about 94F right now a 1800. Going for a swim.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

TP 52-Audi Med Cup-Cartegena

The TP 52 fleet is back in action, this time in Cartegena, Spain. It is very hot here with temperatures right around 100F and with no wind until 1430 today, it was all about boom tents prior to the official practice race.

We had the standard two practice starts followed by a race in 7-9 knots from the Southwest.

Onboard Artemis, we had a very good start, good speed and led the race at every mark and across the finishline. There was a huge current factor on the course, similar to racing in San Francisco in a flood tide.

Tomorrow the real racing begins and the forecast is for more lights winds with plenty of heat. The days will be long if we race the customary three races in these conditions. I am thinking about a bigger hat. Weighing that against the windage that it would cause.

We invited a group of local Opti kids, who had been out watching the race, onboard for the ride in. We did this last year one day and a couple of the kids were the same. It was fun to see them again.

For more info go to www.medcup.org

Paul

Audi MedCup – Barcelona

Another very solid day today for Artemis! We won!

The breeze was late to fill so we knew it would be just one race. We knew it was a “who beats who” with Emirates Team New Zealand as they were just one point behind us. It was for all the marbles.

In the pre-start there was a little extra jockeying for position between us and Emirates Team New Zealand to ensure neither of us got a strong position on the other. Emirates Team New Zealand started to the right and we were to the left, with Quantum just to windward.

Half way up the first windward leg, the wind went 15 degrees right and we were well behind Emirates Team New Zealand. At the first mark we were 8th and Emirates Team New Zealand were 3rd, more than 150 meters ahead of us.

There wasn’t a person out on the water who did not think Team New Zealand had the trophy in their hands as the breeze was now up to 15 knots and they are very fast in that condition.

But the Artemis team was not done. We went ripping down the first run, planing faster than the others and rounded at the bottom gate 5th.

We held our own up the 2nd windward leg despite Emirates Team New Zealand, now just three lengths ahead, tacking on us 3 or 4 times.

We rounded the top mark for the second time and immediately closed in on Prada, they were in our way. We gybed away into clear water and started ripping like no one else. The breeze was now 19 knots and the boat was doing 17 knots.

We gybed back to starboard and closed in on Emirates Team New Zealand. They gybed just in front of us. Prada then tried to gybe on our wind behind. We shot through their lee and up and over Emirates Team New Zealand.

And that was that. We finished the race 2nd and won the event! I have been in a lot of sailboat races and that was one of the top four comebacks I have seen. It was fun to be part of it.

More important than the win was the fact that we got Artemis back on track. Nitro, Battler and Fongo had the trim of the sails sorted. Cameron and Michele had us going the right way. And the guys did what they do, operate like pros.

Thanks also to the Artemis shore team for an outstandingly well prepared boat.

So the event ends and Artemis is a happy team.

We are now on a three hour bus ride to Valencia for the RC44 event which starts Tuesday. I will be sailing on Katusha with some of the Artemis team and Terry Hutchinson, whose Quantum finished 3rd here, will be sailing with more Artemis crew on the RC44 Artemis. Tomorrow we weigh in at 0930 so no celebrating for us.

The next TP52 regatta is in four weeks in Cartegena. We are looking forward to putting Artemis on the start line again.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul

Audi MedCup – Barcelona

Barcelona

Another solid day for Artemis with scores of 1, 5, 1 on a very tricky day here in the Med.

A light seabreeze filled in at noon and the first two races were sailed in 11-13 knots from the southeast. The first race went really well as we led from start to finish. We pulled a bit of a rabbit out of the hat on the last run of the second race to go from last to 5th at the finish line. In the last race, we led all the way but near top of the second windward leg, the wind got very light and we got a bit out of phase. Quantum closed to within 1 length of us with Matador just a length behind them. With the sea disproportionatey big, the sailing was tough.

All ended well for Artemis.

So, we have a one point lead over Emirates Team New Zealand and are seven points ahead of Quantum.

The forecast for tomorrow is a moderate seabreeze from the southeast.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org and to watch the racing live go to www.artemisracing.com

Paul

Audi MedCup – Barcelona

Barcelona

Another solid day for Artemis with scores of 5, 2, 4. The boats is going well and despite being over the start line early in race one, we were very competive all day. The winds were 12-14 from the southwest. In the first two races a big line of cloud came in and the wind shifted to the east. Luckily, this was between races and the race committee had the patience to wait for things to settle even though it was 1800 before race three got going.

In the end, we had no protests last night so we were tied with Emirates Team New Zealand for second, one point behind Quantum after yesterday.

Quantum who led going into the day had a 1, 11, 1 today. Emirates Team New Zealand had scores of 3, 1, 2 and are now leading. Artemis is 2nd, 5 point backs and Quantum is 3rd, 1 point behind us.

It is 2000 and we just hit the dock. A long but good day. A couple of meetings and then we will all be in for a good night’s sleep.

For complete results go to www.medcup.org

Paul