One win and one loss for Artemis again today. The bad news is that Synergy beat Azzurra so that ended our hopes of being in the top four and going onto the semi finals.

Artemis beat French Spirit PagesJaune in our first race of the day. There was a 6 tack tacking duel up the first windward leg and an interesting obstacle in the form of Azzurra and Synergy coming downwind on starboard tack. All four boats got very close at one moment and we lost the tight grip we had on the French while keeping clear of the starboard tack boats coming downwind. But we managed to maintain control and lead around the top mark and stretched from there. Synergy locked that match with Azzurra, when the Italians spinnaker exploded on the final run to the finish.

In our final match of the second Round Robin, we faced BMW Oracle. We got the right side of the course that we wanted off the start. This gave us starboard tack right of way at each intersection as the boats come together about 10 times up the first 1.5 mile beat. On the last one, BMW Oracle was able to live to windward of us on port tack and pin us out to the starboard tack lay line. We had to follow them into the windward mark and we never got a chance to take back the lead.

So, we ended the two round robins (shortened round robin 2) with a 5-6 record and finished in 5th place, BMW Oracle 6th, All4One 7th and French Spirit PagesJaune 8th. The four of us will race a knockout series later in the week to determine our final placings.

There is still one more match to be raced in round robin 2 which will take place tomorrow and pits Synergy against Team New Zealand.

Wednesday will be a maintenance day and starting Thursday the top four will race there best of three semi finals series.

For complete results go to

Also please visit the Artemis team site

One win and one loss for Artemis today. The bad news is that we lost to Synergy who are on a bit of a roll. We beat All4One so they are definitely out of the top four.

Synergy then went on to defeat TeamOrigin in the third flight of the day, so now they are one point ahead of us and our tie breaking advantage has gone away as we both have beaten TeamOrigin.

In the Synergy match, we were just ahead on the first windward leg, not clear ahead, but with starboard tack rights as we came together for the second time. We tacked to leeward of Synergy as there was 4 times as much port to be sailed as starboard. We call that 4 to 1. However, we were not able to close up to them on the long port tack and we ended up following them into the windward mark. Approaching the leeward mark, we had closed a lot and almost crossed ahead of them. However, they were able to gybe inside of us and make the left gate mark. We may have not made the perfect tactical decision here as we could not quite pull off the pass. Once they rounded ahead of us, that was pretty much it.

Against All4One, we had a split tack start with us out to the right. This means that when we come together we have the power of starboard tack. We forced them away once and then the second time, they shot through to leeward of us as we completed out tack onto port. There were many protest flags flown here by both boats. There was a green (no penalty) by the umpires for the first incident, our tack, and then a penalty on us for the second incident, probably windward/leeward. Terry is at the umpire debrief so we will find out exactly what they saw and why we were penalized.

Anyway, we sailed well from there as the wind died considerably. I was up at the top of the rig most of this race and it was a very rough ride because there is a fairly large southwest swell running. Morgan Larson did a nice job calling the shots on the last lap and we stretched enough to comfortably get the penalty turn in at the finish line and take the win.

BMW Oracle lost both of their matches today against Team New Zealand and TeamOrigin so they are not looking good for the semi finals. BMW Oracle were well ahead of TeamOrigin in the first race of the day but lost the lead when they did not cover TeamOrigin and left them on their own going right. TeamOrigin got a big shift over there and passed BMW Oracle to take the win in that race.

There are three flights left. Team New Zealand, and TeamOrigin are very safe in for the semi finals and Team New Zealand will win the Round Robins and therefore chose their opponent for the semis. With Synergy beating us and TeamOrigin, we have our work cut out for us to get into the semis. I think they have to lose both (they face Team NZ and Azzurra) while we have to win both (BMW and French Spirit). If they only lose one and we win both we will tie and I am not sure yet how that gets broken. In any case, all we can control is the races we are in so we have to go out and win two tomorrow.

For complete results go to and the team’s site

We had a good day today and we never got on the water! Our Russian friends on Synergy did nice work beating BMW Oracle so we ended Round Robin 1 in fourth place thanks to the fact that we beat TeamOrigin. That was the tie breaker between Artemis, BMW Oracle and Synergy who all had 3 points at the end of RR1.

So, in theory, that should give us a slightly easier schedule in Round Robin 2 which has been shortened to 4 races for each team. However, as we saw today with French Spirit PagesJaune with no wins in Round Robin won beat Azzurra, any team can beat any other team on any given day so nothing is easy about racing here. The wind was again very light and fickle.

In the other matches, Team New Zealand beat All4One while French Spirit PagesJaune beat Azzurra. Then TeamOrigin beat French Spirit PagesJaune, while All4One beat Azzurra. The Italians had a bad day!

We start out in the first flight tomorrow against Synergy and then we race in the second flight of the day against All4One. Both will be tough matches and the weather forecast for the next two days is for very light and tricky conditions. Furthermore, a southwesterly swell is expected to build up to 3 feet so I am thinking about my ride at 100 feet and how that may get a bit uncomfortable. I am getting more body armor.

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site

We had one race today and it was important. We raced BMW Oracle and if we had won, it would have put us in fourth place after Round Robin 1.

We knew the importance of this race and we were doing a great job half way through. Terry had gotten another great start and Morgan and Kevin did a great job of controlling the race. We rounded the first windward mark with a 20 second lead.

On the first run we suffered a hydraulic failure and lost all of our hydraulic controls. So we sailed up the second windward leg at about 93% of full speed. They got ahead of us and rounded the second windward mark about 2 boat lengths in front of us. We closed a bit on the run but they managed to hang on.

That was very frustrating to lose a race we had in hand through equipment failure. Did anyone else notice that it was Friday the 13th?

Now the Race Management Committee has decided to modify the format of the event. There will not be a complete 2nd round robin. Rather they had decided to pit the top four boats against the bottom four boats. So this will result in each team only sailing 4 matches over the next four days rather than the 7 we were supposed to sail. This is because the committee thinks it is unlikely that we could complete the full round robin give the current weather forecast.

So there is now a huge difference between being 4th or 5th after round robin 1. If you are 4th you race only 5-8. If you are 5th you race only 1-4.

There is one more match to finish from round robin 1 and that is between Synergy and BMW Oracle. If Synergy wins that race, Artemis will end up fourth. All three teams, Synergy, BMW Oracle and Artemis will be tied on 3 wins, an unbreakable tie, so it will go to the team who beat the highest placing team not involved in the tie. And that is us because we beat TeamOrigin.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed for our Russian friends tomorrow morning!

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site

More of the same today in Nice. Clear skies, cold temps in the morning leading to Northerly drainage winds for the first race, then a long pause while the wind switched to the Southwest. The wind never filled very strong from the SW today so there was only one race held in the afternoon.

In the morning race, we had TeamOrigin as our opponent. Artemis helmsman, Terry Hutchinson, did and excellent job against TeamOrigin Helmsman Ben Ainslie and won the start convincingly. We were ahead from that point on and the afterguard did a nice job of protecting and extending our lead. We were never threatened and went on to win the race by 45 seconds.

In the other match of the morning, Team New Zealand beat BMW Oracle.

Once the wind shifted to the southwest, one flight was held. In the first match, Synergy did a nice job to win the start over French Spirit leading from the start. In the second match, All4One had the early lead off the line but was on the left side of the course leaving Azzurra to the right. At the first cross Azzurra had the lead. Azzurra then let All4One get to the right of them where they promptly took over the lead and led comfortably around the windward mark. Down the run, All4One forgot how good the right was and gybed away from that side letting Azzurra have it and Azzurra promptly passed All4One. At this point, Azzurra recognized that the right was better and kept it going on to win that match.

We got in our boat and prepared for the third flight of the day which would have featured Artemis against BMW Oracle and Team New Zealand against TeamOrigin. However, it was decided that the wind was too weak at 5-6 knots, so we never raced. Those two matches will be first up tomorrow. Following that, there is just one match to be held and then Round Robin one will be completed. We start Round Robin 2 on Saturday.

Tomorrow night there will be the Louis Vuitton party. They are always special.

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site

It was another good day for sailing off the coast of Nice today. Three flights of two matches each were held. Artemis raced in one match against Team New Zealand at 0900 this morning. We had a slightly worse start than they did and they sailed real well to push us back slowly but steadily from there. Nothing major happened in the race as far as wind shifts or breakdowns.

We raced in the Northerly drainage wind again which comes in from 340 degrees. Our race was fine as the wind held up. After we finished and had gone ashore, the wind died and the next flight was delayed for about two hours. The second flight was very light…6-7 knots and then the third flight got under way around 1500 and they had 8-10 knots. The committee decided not to run our flight, in which we would have faced TeamOrigin as we would not have started until 1615 and it would have been dark by the time the boats got in.

So we are first up tomorrow against TeamOrigin. We are getting used to these early starts. We have never won and early race yet so hopefully, we can reverse that trend tomorrow.

Other highlights of the day were that Synergy got the goose egg off their score by beating All4One in the last flight of the day and Azzurra continued to do well beating Synergy and French Spirit, running their score up to 4 wins from 6 races for second place overall.

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site

It was a great day for sailing off the coast of Nice today. Four flights of 2 matches each were held. Artemis raced in three matches against; Azzurra, All4One and Synergy. We lost two that we should have won and we won one we should have lost. Not great, but we are in a three way tie for third at this stage.

First the conditions; we had a Northerly drainage wind right from the start at 0800 this morning. The drainage wind occurs because there is snow in the hills behind Nice and the water temperature in the Med is 18C. So the cold air (cold air sinks) rushes down the mountains being drawn by the warmer air rising over the sea. This wind lasted until about 1100 at which time the land temperature about equaled that of the sea and the wind died. Eventually the wind reversed and came in from the sea. This reversal is called a “transition”. More about that later. The winds speeds this morning were 10 knots dropping to 4 knots and then in the afternoon, 10-12 knots.

In the first race of the day against All4One, we had a very good start to windward and tacked on them every time they tried to come right. We eventually drove them out to the port layline and led around the windward mark rather comfortably. Down the run we held the lead although they closed. Then we chose the un-favored gate and that cost us two lengths. Up the second windward leg, All4One had the right side and starboard tack advantage which they used to stretch their lead to 3 lengths. Down the run nothing much happened and they beat us by 24 seconds.

What does “un-favored” gate mean? First of all, the leeward mark is two marks or a gate. You can round either buoy. In order for the gate to be “even”, the line between the two buoys must be 90 degrees to the wind. The wind here has been quite shifty so the gate is going in and out of “even” continuously.

In our second race of the day against Azzurra, we got penalized in the prestart maneuvering. We hit the line with more speed than Azzurra and quickly started a tacking duel with them which we not only won but in the end got a penalty on them. So we went around the windward mark ahead by one boat length. They had a problem getting their genoa down so we both proceeded to the right side of the course. We had previously decided the left would be better and would match their move to the left. But as they had the problem, we decided to beat them to it. Well that was a bad move because the wind started to die and “transition” to the sea breeze. We were on the outside of that shift and lost the lead and ultimately the race by a lot. Very frustrating to have two of those in a row.

We had one race off and then we were back in action for the final race of the day against Synergy. We did not get the start we wanted and Synergy was ahead of us although we were both straight lining it off to the right side. Then Synergy had a problem with their mainsheet and we got just enough ahead to start making their life difficult when they had to tack back to the middle of the race course. We managed to hold the lead the whole way around despite a tough fight from them.

So we finished the day at 2-2 and are in a tie with Azzurra and BMW Oracle for third. Team New Zealand is leading with 4 wins and TeamOrigin is second with 3 wins.

Tomorrow we are in the first flight of the day, 0900 start, against Team New Zealand. This will be a good opportunity for us to line up against a team that has basically been together in these boats since 2000. After that, weather permitting, we race TeamOrigin and then BMW Oracle to finish off Round Robin 1. We will then race everyone one more time in Round Robin 2. After that the top 4 move on to the semi final and finals which the bottom four race a knock out series to determine 5-8.

No racing for Artemis today as the wind only lasted until 11:00. The first flight got their racing in with Emirates Team New Zealand beating Synergy (RUS) on a come from behind win right at the finish and Azzurra beating BMW Oracle.

The wind was fickle at best for the only race of the day. Synergy lead the whole way around the course but on the last run, as they approached the finish line, the sailed into a hole of no wind just 300 meters from the finish line. Emirates Team New Zealand who were more than 10 boat lengths behind at that point, got a private puff of wind from behind and enough speed going to coast through the windless hole and win the race. Heartbreaker for the Russians, as they had sailed well.

In the other match, Azzurra had the lead the whole race and despite the race being crazy in terms of wind direction, they managed it all well and won fairly easily. This was a bit of justice for Azzurra as on Saturday, they led the whole race against BMW Oracle only to have the time limit expire when they were just 100 meters from the finish.

We got in our boat, Mascalzone 90, and began to train before our start. But as the race committee prepared for the starting sequence the wind died completely and never returned. I was up the mast in my new position and took a couple of photos to try to give you an idea of the perspective from 100 feet up. It is like being in a helicopter. In the one looking straight down the forestay, what you see is my legs, the black flat thing are the top of the top spreaders holding up the mast. Then you see the boat way down at the bottom and those little red dots are the hats on the guys heads.

If all goes well tomorrow with the wind, we will race 3 out of the four flights. Let’s hope for wind!

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site

Race Day 2

Light winds were on the cards today and again we only got two flights in. In the first one, Emirates Team New Zealand had a handy lead around the leeward gate before All4One’s mainsail broke and that was the end of that.

In the second match of the day we, on Artemis, benefited from French Spirit being over the start line early on an unforced error. That gave us a bit of breathing room and from there tactician Morgan Larson did a great job of playing the very shifty winds to keep us comfortably ahead all the way around the track. It was great for us to notch up our first win, in our first race, in this America’s Cup Class racing.

The wind died after that match and unfortunately, that was it for the day.

Tomorrow, all four boats will be back in action (one of the Mascalzone Latino boats had gotten damaged on Friday) so that, combined with a good forecast for winds from the northeast starting at possibly 20 knots, and dropping to 10 knots as the day goes on, should allow us to complete 8 matches which means every team would race twice.

On a personal note, today was the first time in my life I have ever been up at the top of the mast as my primary role while racing. Let me explain. I am the strategist here in Nice for Artemis. Terry Hutchinson is our helmsman and Morgan Larsson is out tactician. So my job is to look at the race course and help Morgan figure out which side we like. The practical side of this is that if the wind is under 10 knots, I do this job from 100 feet up in the air. I have a headset so I can communicate with Morgan and tell him what I see. The view up there is amazing. I have never been a bowman so, I have no real experience being up a mast. Today the winds were light enough before the start that I went up for our training period. There was a leftover sea so it was a bit rougher than normal up there, but I was fine. I don’t get seasick, so no issues there either. During the race the wind actually came up to just 10 knots, so I was not up there but rather down in the cockpit in a more traditional position.

One of the other reasons someone has to be up the mast in light winds is to help the battens in the mainsail “pop” when we gybe and to make sure the gennaker doesn’t get torn on the jumper struts. There is a bit of technique when it comes to “popping” the battens in the main. You actually launch yourself away from the mast and gravity swings you back toward the mainsail and you “pop” the batten with your feet as you land. These are full length battens and the compression in the batten is so much that in light winds the pressure of the wind is not enough to reverse the bend that is induced by the compression. So you have to jump on the batten to “pop” it. Kind of wild really. But there are guys who do this all the time. It is just new for me. Hopefully my mother won’t read this update.

I will try to write more about this job, my new clothing attire and I’ll even take some photos from up there to share with you in the coming two weeks. I love new things and this one is no exception.

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site

Today was the first day of racing for the Louis Vuitton Trophy-Nice. The concept is very simple really and that is why it works so well. Four America’s Cup Class yachts are used and eight teams are racing. The format is match racing. So the teams rotate through the boats and their opponents, until they have raced each competitor twice, in Round Robins 1 and 2. Then the top four boats go onto a semi final and the top two from there go onto the final. There are other consolation series for those eliminated, so that keeps everyone racing pretty much until the end, which is Saturday November 22.

Today the winds were light and only two flights were completed. In the first flight, Emirates Team New Zealand beat French Spirit – Pages Jaunes and in the second Team Origin beat Synergy. On Artemis, were slated to race All4One in the fourth match but the wind did not allow us to get that far. The other two teams are Azzurra and BMW Oracle. The latter pair were nearly finished when the time limit ran out as the wind died during their race. Azzurra was leading comfortably.

Tomorrow the racing continues and we are the second match of the day so we should get one in.

I will fill you in with more information as the two weeks go on about where the boats came from and the other teams. I just flew in this morning, so going to keep this one short.

For complete results and even live streaming of the races go to and the team’s site .

A demain.