Up and down day today for El Desafio. The wind was 20 to 25 knots from the North and shifty for a change.

The short story is in the first race we had a bad start and could not get in phase and finished 12th. In the second race we had a great start, stayed in phase and won! Consistency! Not at all. But it did feel good to win the last race of the season and the long race, both in big San Francisco breeze! Good to see that my roots haven’t left me.

Planing downwind at a steady 19 knots was fun.

Quantum sailed better than ever and won the regatta without sailing the last race. Mutua hung on to second overall despite getting two 9ths today. And Platoon finished strong to take 3rd place away from Artemis by 0.25 of a point.

Puerto Calero, Lanzarote and Jose Calero and his family… all number 1’s in my book. I’ll come back for sure.

Top 5:
1. Quantum
2. Mutua Madrilena
3. Platoon
4. Artemis
5. Matador

El Desafio 7th.

For complete scores and more information go to:

Terrible day for El Desafio today with a 13, 10. The wind was 15-20 knots from 000 to 020, very shifty and puffy. In both races we struggled to play the shifts.

Quantum is showing superior sailing skill really. Their boat is fast but so is ours. Today they scored a 1, 3. They are just sailing smart and doing it consistently and it is paying off big. No one else is even close really.

Mutua Madrilena had the second best day with a 6,5 and they are in second place in the regatta even after two very mediocre coastal races. So you can see that apart from Quantum, the fleet is mixing a lot in their results.

Tomorrow is the last day and two races are scheduled. The forecast is calling for similar conditions to today. With a great day and some help we could finish third. That is what we have to be shooting for.

Top 5:
1. Quantum 28
2. Mutua Madrilena 43
3. Artemis 52.25
4. Platoon 58
5. Matador 62.25

El Desafio is 6th with 66.25.

For complete scores and more information go to:

Shredded sails, crashing boats and big speed was the order of the day today at the TP 52 World Championship. Some how through it all, El Desafio came through for the win!

After a good start we were approaching the first windward mark on starboard. Bribon and Synergy just simply refused to go behind us and I would have hit Bribon amidships if I did not tack to port to avoid them. Hideous! Instead of being 3rd there we were 7th after the melee cleared itself.

Undeterred we immediately starting passing boats. First Synergy, one of the offenders at the windward mark then Audi Q8 on the two sail reach down to Puerto Calero. The breeze was 20 knots at this point and we were sailing about 60 true wind angle for 6 miles.

Once at Puerto Calero, we executed a chicane and set off with our Code 0 on a 90 degree true wind angle reach in 20 to 22 knots. The other boats stayed with the jibs and held a higher course. This was a 20 mile reach to Fuertaventura. As the wind built, we changed back to the jib and came into the buoy hot and rounded right on the heels of Bribon and Quantum who were second and third. Platoon had a handy lead at this point.

Next was a 10 miles windward leg back to the southwest corner of Lanzarote. He we passed Bribon and rounded third right behind Quantum. Most boats had the #4 jib on but we had a #3. As the wind gusted from 20-28 knots, each had his turn as far as which sail was right.

Next was a 10 mile run back to the mark at Fuertaventure. The current was going against the 25 knots + wind and the waves were short and steep. The TP 52’s dig their bows in rather badly actually and aren’t as fun as you would think to sail in these conditions. The bow is burying continuously despite having the entire crew planted on the transom. We left out jib up the whole run so as not to have to deal with people on the bow or the sail getting washed overboard. There were two gybes on the run in which where both rather difficult to execute but we managed to keep the boat upright through it all. Quantum exploded their spinnaker three-quarters of the way down and we closed in and passed Platoon to round the mark in 1st!

For the last fetch back to Puerto Calero and the finish line, we still had our

Today we were met with very light winds but with the forecast of a front passing through the area and increased winds behind. The wind direction was forecast to stay in the North to Northeast quadrant so we were apprehensive about racing along this Southern coast of Lanzarote.

Fortunately, the front came a bit earlier than expected and a good wind filled across the whole race area. In fact, the wind got up to 22 knots on the final windward leg back to Puerto Calero and the finish line.

We had a very good start in about 7 knots of wind. Artemis and Quantum had poor starts and got flushed out right away. One minute after the start, the wind went 20 degrees right and both Artemis and Quantum were well ahead of us. The first windward leg was short, about 1.4 miles, and the final shift was to the left but too much so we all reached into the mark with El Desafio about 9th. Next was a six miles 90 degree reach in a puffy 8-14 knots.

Geneva, 21 October 2008 – Organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum are pleased to announce Paul Cayard as one of the guest speakers at the inaugural two day conference in Monaco this December. Cayard joins an already impressive list of speakers and panellists including Team Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth (NZL), CEO of Team Origin Sir Keith Mills (GBR), world champion sailor Peter Gilmour (AUS), Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, Founder of the Louis Vuitton Cup Bruno Trouble, World Match Racing Tour President Scott Macleod, IMOCA Executive Director Franck David, Team Shosholosa CEO Salvatore Sarno, and many more.

Paul Cayard (USA) is one of the most successful sailors in the last 25 years. A veteran round the world sailor, Cayard skippered Team EF Language to victory in the 1988 Whitbread Round the World, and finished a narrow second behind Team ABN Amro in the 2005-2006 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

A two time-Olympic sailor and seven-time sailing world champion, Cayard is no stranger to the yacht racing scene,

Two races were held today off the coast of Lanzarote in 10-12 knots from the Northeast. Unfortunately, we kept our same form from the last race in the first race today, losing five boats on the final run and finishing 12th. In the second race of the day, we got in phase early and with good speed climbed from 5th at the first mark to second at the finish.

Mutua Madrilena had a great day with two firsts. The left was the best upwind in the first race, while the right was the place to be in the second race. The wind shifts had a bit more rhythm today… a bit more progressive in its movements.

Yesterday’s big winner Artemis had a tough day with a 11 and a 13. That shows you how difficult it is here. Quantum was steady with a 4, 6. Bribon and Platoon resurrected themselves both having good days and passing us on the scoreboard.

Tomorrow is the short coastal race of about 30 miles. We will most likely run up and down the East coast here in front of Puerto Calero.

Thursday should be the long coastal race of about 60 miles. Then Friday and Saturday are left to finish off the last four windward leeward races. The coastal races have a 1.25 factor as opposed to the 1.0 factor for the windward leeward races.

Tomorrow’s forecast is interesting in that there is a cold front that is predicted to cross the race area at 1500. This should swing the wind from the Northeast to the North.

We did not have a great day on El Desafio. The wind was very shifty and tricky. We were mediocre. We are tied for 7th after three races.

Artemis had the winning form today with a 1, 2, 2 Quantum is in second with a 2,6,1 and Mutua Madrilena is just behind with 3, 1, 6.

The wind was very shifty. Many times, boats that were in the back half of the fleet on the first windward leg and had no where to go except where the leaders did not want to go, ended up passing the leaders. On both runs of the second race, the shift was so big that there were no gybes by any boat.

In the last race of the day on the last run, Platoon went from 3rd to 13th while Audi Q8 went from 13th to 3rd.

We had a bad last race, most of it on the last run as we basically had Platoon’s fate going from 6th to 11th.

The wind speed was 9 knots in the first race building all day to 14 knots in the last race. But even the wind speed was anything but steady. There were micro bursts touching down a various times from various directions and it was very hard to figure out the pattern. Russell Coutts, tactician of Artemis, obviously had a good feel for it.

Three races done and 8 to go. If it stays like this there will be plenty of ups and downs to go. We are racing on the south east side of the island of Lanzarote and the gradient wind is coming from the north so we are slightly in the lee of the island. Sometimes the wind comes right over the island, then at other moments with wind comes around the corner which gives an easterly direction. There has previously been a line of clouds trailing off the highest mountain to the north, which was a good telltale as to where the wind was going to come from but that line was not very well delineated today.

Forecast for tomorrow is slightly more wind but same direction.

Top 5 scores are:
1. Artemus – 5
2. Quantum – 9
3. Mutua Madrilena – 10
4. Matador – 15
5. Synergy – 20

El Desafio is tied for 7th with 23 points.

For complete scores and more information go to:

Only one race was held today as the wind was very unstable making it very difficult for the race committee to set the starting line. The wind went from 3 knots to 12 knots and from 320 to 050 in continual motion until around 1400. Finally at about 1430 they got one race underway and it was again a very tricky race.

Onboard El Desafio we were in very good shape two-thirds of the way up the first windward leg and rounded the first windward mark 4th with Audi Q8 in first, Platoon in second and Cristabella in third.

Three races were completed today off the coast of Lanzarote with winds of 14-18 knots from 015 to 080. Shifty and difficult again.

We did pretty well again and stretched our lead to 11 points on Platoon with a 5,1,4. The competition was a bit tougher today with Quantum and Artemus out on the track. Artemus won the first race and Quantum got 2nd in all three races.

I really can’t remember what happened in all the races but I do remember that we came from fourth to win on the last run of the second race…, very fast and a bit lucky with the shifts.

We are using older sails in this regatta as I am sure most of the teams are, saving the good sails for the Worlds. So the boat is difficult to keep on her target speeds and this is challenging.

We are hosted here by the Hisperia Hotel which is a fantastic 5 star hotel. I believe the Calero family developed this area including a very nice marina with shops and restaurants lining the harbor, a few hotels and lots of private homes. The development in on the eastern slope of this volcanic island. If you go to Google Earth and look at Lanzarote it looks like the moon as it is full of craters. Check it out…, pretty cool.

The forecast for tomorrow is a bit lighter as a low and associated trough move over Spain and get closer to the Canary’s.

For complete results go to www.trofeopuertocalero.com

Lot of new words up there at the top. The TP 52 fleet is racing in the Trofeo Cesar Manrique here in Lanzarote for three days as a tune up for the TP 52 World Championship which will start on Monday.

Lanzarote is in the Canary Islands, in fact, I believe it is the Eastern most island. The conditions are fairly tropical and throughout most of the summer the trade winds off the Southeastern side of the Azores are in place and this is a great place to sail or windsurf, kite-surf etc. Usually, it is fairly breezy with very consistent winds.

Today was our first day sailing here onboard El Desafio and it was the first day of racing in the Trofeo Cesar Manrique. There are a couple of other events going here at the moment, the ORC IMS 670 World Championship, the GP 42 Circuit and then the TP 52s are here as well. I mean, it must be the center of the sailing universe this week!

Getting on with it, El Desafio had its best day of racing this year. We had a 1,4,1 for 6 points and a 5 point lead over 2nd place Platoon of Germany. The conditions were 15-18 knots but rather shifty, sometimes from 030 and sometimes from 070. There was a convergence line of cloud directly over the race course and depending on which way the line swung, you had either the right handed wind or the left. This line of cloud was streaming off of a large volcano at the North end of the island and oscillating like a garden hose turned on with no nozzle on it. Well, not quite that violent but you get what I mean.

If it stays like this is will make for stressful days for the tacticians.

We obviously had some good luck today and got all systems functioning well at the same time. We have had moments of excellence this year but have never managed to string several days together to win a regatta. So we are hoping to put it all together here. Of course, it is next week that counts not this week.

A couple of our most formidable foes were not on the course today including Quantum and Artemis. They are here but training on their own. So 10 of the TP 52s did battle today and the results can be found at www.trofeopuertocalero.com/ultimanoticia.php

Forecast for tomorrow is similar to today. Temperature 25C, winds 15-18 knots from the NE.