We had a very good day of practice today on Katusha, our new Russian RC44. A lot of work has gone into getting the brand new boat ready for our first event here in Slovenia. Brad and JR have been here a month putting the keel on, getting the bottom perfect, assembling the rig and fine tuning all the bits and pieces. They have done a great job and we have a very nice boat to sail.
The Katusha crew is all new, so we have not sailed together before. These boats are really demanding from a crew stand point. The boats are very powerful and agile, so things happen fast. We have made great strides since our first day sailing together last Wednesday, but we have a ways to go to be as proficient at the teams that have sailed together for the past two seasons.
Tomorrow is the practice race. Since the practice race is a fleet race, we will do three or four practice match races with the Team Artemis beforehand. I know this is confusing, as I usually sail on Artemis. But that is the Artemis TP52 and this is the Artemis RC44, which has Dean Barker as helmsman.
The RC44 class allows four professional sailors and the remaining sailors must be non-professional. The owner or his representative, in any case an amateur, may helm the boat in the fleet racing. This has proven to be good for sailing in many other classes like Farr 40 and Melges 32. The pros, who are the tacticians in the fleet racing, helm the boats in the Match Racing. This is a lot of fun for us.
The format is that the first two days of the event are match racing and the last three days are fleet racing. There is placing for each discipline, as well as an overall combined placing.
The forecast for the next few days is for light winds.
For more information go to www.RC44.com