12 Meter World Championship-Day 1

Not a good day for us on the Kiwi Magic today. We had a 5th and a 4th and are currently 5th over all in the grand prix division out of 6 boats.

The wind was light again this morning and after a 1 hour postponement, the first race finally got underway in 7 knots. We wanted the right and started at the committee boat and protected the right up the first windward leg. The right was good but we had gone too far and over stood. Kookaburra II was first around the first mark and all boats were still close. Then down at the leeward gate we had a bit of trouble with the rounding and got forced to tack toward the left. Wright on White, the Brazilian boat, KZ3, owned by Roger Wright with Torben Grael as tactician and his brother Lars as helmsman, was second at that point and went out to the right, got a massive lift and won the race easily. At the same time, KZ 5, Hissar, owned by Edgar Kato of the New York Yacht Club, went very well on the left side of the course and got to the second windward mark second. Kookaburra, owned by Patrizio Berteli and skippered by James Spithill, had been in the lead but arrived 4th and we onboard Kiwi Magic, also racing for the New York Yacht Club, got to the top mark 5th. In the middle of it all in third was KA 8, South Australia owned by Lionel Pean and racing for France. In 6th all the way around was French Kiss with her original helmsman, Marc Pajot on the helm. The boats finished the first race in that order.

Before we could start the second race, the race committee had to relocate the starting line to the west in front of Mandelieu which took an hour or more. Finally the race got underway around 1530 in 10 knots of wind and the left was hugely favored. Torben Grael onboard Wright on White figured it out best and aggressively went after the left end of the starting line. Hissar was next up from W on W and then us. Meanwhile, Kookaburra II started on port and went right. We could not hold our height against Hissar and were forced to go right after a few minutes. The left was hugely favored and the Brazilians had a big lead at the first mark and never looked back. Hissar was comfortably in second, then KA8, South Australia, then us then Kookaburra, and finally French Kiss. At the leeward gate, South Australia had a big problem and dropped way back. We had a good battle with Kookaburra II up the second beat and eventually forced them off to the right and split left. Unfortunately, we got too much of a good thing and over stood the windward mark and that let Kookaburra II in ahead of us. Things got a bit squirrelly down the last run but not enough for us to pass. So the order of finish was Wright on White, Hissar, Kookaburra, Kiwi Magic, South Australia, French Kiss.

Tomorrow two races are planned and the wind should be a bit stronger.

For more results go to www.yachtclubdecannes.com