Not a fun day on Katusha. We lost both of our races today in what were light and squirely winds.
First of all, the race committee did shorten the series after the first half of the round robins were completed yesterday. We were fortunate there as we won the four way tie in our group and moved on to the semi finals this morning facing our team mates in Artemis. The other semi final pitted the two yachts from BMW Oracle with James Spithill and Russell Coutts helming.
The winds were non-existent this morning and the committee stated that semi final racing had to be completed by 1500. We got our one and only race underway at 1330. We had a great start on Katusha, shutting out Artemis at the committee boat and forcing them to follow us through the line. We held a small lead around the first lap. After the leward gate, Artemis, behind, initiated a tacking duel which we split off by heading left. When we came back together, the right had paid and they had a one boat length lead and that was the way it ended. The wind subsequently got really weird and no more racing was held in the semi final.
Then after a two hour wait, one race was held in the final and petit final where Katusha was matched against BMW Oracle with Russell Coutts steering. After a fairly even start, BMW got a good shift on the right and played the shifts well the extend to a huge lead on the first leg. Again, the winds were light and fickle. On the final run, the wind died for the leaders first and we closed rapidly on BMW as both boats closed in on the finish. BMW hung on to beat us by two lengths.
In the final match, USA 17 with James Spithill on the helm, won a race that was tight for three of four legs, by a disproportionately large margin over Artemis, as the wind became very strange and died on the final run.
After that one race, we were sent in at 1730 for the day. I suppose the good news is that both of the boats crewed by Artemis team members are in the final four.
An early start is scheduled for tomorrow to see if we can get the final two races of the finals and petit final completed before the owners’ practice race which is scheduled for 1330.
For complete results go to www.rc44.com