12 Meter World Championship-Day 3


Another difficult day today with the wind. There was a light westerly breeze from the Mistral to the west which eventually gave way to a moderate easterly breeze from the low pressure just to our south. Around 1230 we got our start. Eric Doyle our tactician wanted the right so we started at the committee boat and the wind in fact went right for the first half of the windward leg. We were looking quite strong there until the wind went 20 left. Then we tacked under Kookaburra II and the fleet trouped out to the right. We burned off KZ5 of Edgar Kato but KZ3 with the Grael brothers got a bit stronger on us. There was a fair amount of swapping sides amongst the fleet. Finally up near the top the wind filled from the right and Kookaburra II led us into the mark by a couple of lengths then KZ 3 and KZ5 followed.

Down the run we managed to gybe inside of Kookaburra II on the final gybe to the leeward mark and round first. We held on starboard out of the gate with Kookaburra while the others were forced to the right. We were slightly reaching, with a handy lead coming into the windward mark for the second time only to have the wind completely die. The boats came from behind with a 50 degree left shift so we were broad reaching into the windward mark. KZ 3 with the Grael Brothers got around first just inside of Kookaburra II then us on Kiwi Magic on the outside. But because the offset leg was now a tight reach on (port”!!!…) we had no wind and even KZ5 rolled us.

My demeanor was too goo right then. I was pretty impressed with the skill of the other teams to the point of ranting about “luck” or something like that. Anyway, Eric Doyle kept his cool and was saying “it’s a long race, lets hang in there.” All I could see was the first two boats tight reaching for the finish line. (Steam coming out of my ears at this point). Sure enough, the wind died where KZ3 and KZ5 were and Kookaburra II and us on Kiwi Magic did the end around.

So at the finish line it was Kookaburra II of Prada Racing team, with James Spithill on the wheel, followed by KZ7 of Bill Koch, then KZ3 Wright on White (Grael and Grael), then KZ5, Hissar, of Edgar Kato with Brad Reed on the helm and Morgan Reeser calling tactics. KA8 was fifth and French Kiss was MIA.

I forgot to mention that through all this, it was pouring down rain and lightening. They were not out shooting brochure photos for the Cote d?Azur today.

As we waited for the rest of the modern and classic fleets to finish, the lightening increased so the committee decided we had seen the best of it for the day and sent us in.

Tomorrow they will try for 3 races. I have not seen the forecast but it has to be better than today.