A fantastic day for Katusha today with scores of 5, 5, 1. In the last race we played the shifts to stretch out to a massive 200 meter lead on the second place boat.

Unfortunately, that boat was Sea Dubai and by finishing second, they beat us by one point in the fleet racing that put us in a three way tie for third overall in the Championship. Unfortunately, we will lose that tie breaker to No Way Back but we will beat Artemis as the fleet racing score is determinant for tie breaks.

In any case, it could not have gone better nor could it have ended on a higher note for Katusha. On the way back to the dock, we counted up the days that Guenaddi has been sailing in his life and it came up to 14.

Next stop for the RC44 fleet is Miami, December 7-12.

My next sailing will be in Virgin Gorda in two weeks for the Bitter End Yacht Club Regatta where my friend Russell Coutts and I will fight it out with a few other friends…haha. Rum punches will be the only punches we will be throwing and “down” is the direction they will be going.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com


A very good day for Katusha today. We scored 2, 3, 5, 7 in the four races held in 10-15 knots of steady Southerly wind. A combination of good starts, good speed and minimizing maneuvers were the keys to a great day.

We moved from 12th place overall to 7th, just three points out of 4th. Sea Dubai is on 44, Cereef is on 45, Artemis on 46 and Katusha on 47. There is a bit of a gap ahead and behind our group.

USA 17 and BMW Oracle continue to dominate the racing and lead the standings overall. Third is the Dutch team of No Way Back.

It was a beautiful day today…prototypical for the near tropics. Crystal clear, 27C and a moderate breeze and smooth seas.

There were a few collisions, but fortunately none involved Katusha.

Three more races are scheduled tomorrow. The forecast is for 10-15 knots, so it should be another nice day for sailing.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com


The first three races of the fleet racing part of the RC44 World Championship were held today in very light winds here in Lanzarote.

BMW Oracle led the results with a 2, 5, 2 and USA 17, the winner of the Match Racing, is in second place. Artemis had a good day and is in 4th place and we on Katusha had a tough day and are in 12th. Ironically, the only boat behind us is the other Russian team, Synergy.

Racing continues tomorrow and the forecast isn’t much better. Normally the Canary Islands are blessed with steady trade winds but the Azores high has been displaced this week by a series of low pressure systems and associated fronts. Basically, we are in the wake of all that which is just a mess of turbulance.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com


One final race was held this morning in the Petit Final and Final of the Match Racing. Unfortunately, both Artemis and Katusha lost to the BMW Oracle boats, so we finished 2nd and 4th respectively.

For the overall World Championship, the results of the Match Racing will be combined with the Fleet Racing. So Artemis is in a good position to win. The fleet racing will be determinant in case of a tie in the combined scoring.

In the afternoon we had the fleet racing practice race. Our helmsman Guenaddi was not here yet so Bob Little drove Katusha. Torbjorn Tornqvist was here to steer his Artemis.

It was a light air afair as the whole day was with Southeasterly winds of 5-7 knots.

Team Aqua and BMW Oracle were first and second, Artemis third and Katusha made a huge comback after the first leg to finish 4th.

Tomorrow racing gets underway at 1130. The forecast is for light to moderate winds of 7-12 knots. The sun is out here and it feels like fall but still the temps are around 27C or 80F during the day. Very pleasant.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com


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


A good day for Katusha. We won three and lost two. We were just 6 seconds away from being 5-0.

We beat BMW Oracle, Ceeref and Mascalzone Latino and lost to No Way Back and Team Austria both by three seconds.

The wind was blowing off the land today and this made things very tricky with large puffs and lulls mixed with big windshifts.

In our two losses, we led around all the marks of the course and got passed in the final meters of the races on shift and gusts that favored the other boat.

Our race against Cereef and Rod Davis…the battle of the over 50s…..was a battle Royale. We shut them out at the committee boat at the start but they managed to hang close and rolled us on the first run. We went to opposite gates and we got a good shift out of the left that brought us back to even. They got a penalty for tacking to close. They led us by just one length at the top mark and decided for the tactic of trying to get a penalty on us. So neither boat set the spinnaker…they were waiting to set a trap on us and we were trying to keep clear. We swerved and gybed all the way down the run, each going as slowly as possible. I realize this is hard for some of you to understand.

Finally, we got far enough down the run that we had to sail upwind to the finish line. We managed to turn ahead of them and started to reach over them. They luffed and we were penalized with a red flag meaning ours was immediately due. But we were actually on the finish line and we both had to make the penalty turn. I think they realized this later than we did.

We managed to work off the penalty and beat Cereef by the narrowest of margins.

The format here is that the fleet is divided into two groups for the match racing. The first half of the schedule, each team only races other teams in his group. If the weather is good and it looks like it is possbile to complete the full round robin, then on the second day, each team will race the teams of the other group.

At this morning’s briefing the race committee suggested that the forecast for Tuesday was not good so we would most likely race in two mini round robins today with the top two boats from each group going on to the semi finals and finals tomorrow. All others would race in knockouts for place 5-13.

So our 3-2 record today put us in a four way tie for first place in our bracket. We ended up winning the tie breaker and BMW Oracle came through second.

Tonight the race committee said they would wait until tomorrow to decide if we go to the semi finals or if they try to finish the round robin by having each team race the teams of the other group.

For complete results go to www.RC44.com


The RC 44 Valencia Cup ended with two great races in 12-15 knots of wind on another perfectly sunny day.

Team Aqua put another great performance to win the fleet racing and the overall combined. Torbjorn Tornqvist finished second with his team on Artemis and BMW Oracle 17 was third. Onboard Katusha with Guenaddi Timchenko, we finished 6th in the fleet racing and 6th in the combined. Artemis was second in the combined.

So, it was a very good event for the Artemis Louis Vuitton Trophy team, with strategist Cameron Appleton on Team Aqua, Terry Hutchinson, Noel Drenan, Morgan Trubovich and Andy Fethers on Artemis and Robbie Naismith, Sean Clarkson and myself on Katusha.

Onboard Katusha, Guenaddi did a fantastic job steering in the steep chop and relatively breezy conditions. We have to keep reminding ourselves that he has sailed less than 15 times in his life.

Learning to sail while racing is a fast way to learn but it is also intense. Guenaddi is doing great!

Our next event in the RC 44 will be in Lanzarote in October. This event will be the World Championship for the Class.

The next event for Artemis is the TP 52 Audi Med Cup event in Cartegena, August 24-28.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com


We have had two great days of fleet racing here in Valencia in the RC 44 Class. The winds were lighter yesterday but up to 18 knots this afternoon. So far, eight races have been held.

Onboard Katusha with our helmsman Guenaddi, we won a race yesterday and have gotten two 3rd place finishes to go along with it. The fleet is very competitive with frequent place changes during each race. We were planing down wind at 17 knots at times today, so that was quite exciting.

Tomorrow will be the last day and only three races will be held. Currently Team Aqua is leading the fleet racing and Artemis is second. We are in 6th on Katusha.


We just finished the second day of Match Racing here in Valencia. 11 teams are competing. Both days were blessed with strong sea breezes reaching 20 knots and making the racing fast and exciting.

Cameron Appeton, strategist for Artemis TP 52, won the event with 9 wins. This is the second win in a row for Cameron after his win in Copenhagen.

Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for Artemis in the Louis Vuitton Trophy, and his Artemis RC 44 finished second on Artemis with 8 wins

Katusha, with more of us from the Artemis family, finished 6th in a three way tie on 5 wins. Tuesday was a bad day for us coming away with just one win. That was quite frustrating following our big win in Barcelona just 48 hours earlier. Didn’t get to enjoy that one very long!

Today was better for us with 4 wins and 2 losses.

It seems like we finally get sorted out by the last few races of the second day. The one day practice and go is a bit short but that is the way it is if you compete on both the TP 52 and RC 44 circuits.

We had Morgan Gutenkunst’s (bowman) mom on board twice as a guest and we won both of those races so I am sure that was a big thrill for her.

We even had a man overboard situation in one of the races but he hung onto the sheet that he was holding and we were able to drag him back onboard without losing the race. No names will be mentioned here but I think there may be some video of it. He was doing some pretty weirdious body surfing at 14 knots!

Tomorrow is the practice day for the owners driving their boats. There will be a few practice starts beginning at 1300 followed by a practice fleet race.

Racing begins Friday and continues through Sunday.

For complete results go to www.RC44.com


We had a pretty good day on Katusha. The winds were 15-20 knots from the west and very shifty. Fun downwind! Guenaddi had to leave last night so we had a guest helmsman, Maxim Logutenko who is also Russian. In the first two races we did very well passing boats downwind in the planing conditions to score a 3 and a 4. Then in the third race of the day, we were involved in a collision at the windward mark with Cereef. Cereef was penalized for being on port tack in the collision, while we were on starboard tack. Fortunately, these boats are built with a “false” bow and transom so no major damage was done as we hit bow to stern.

We are now ashore and going to have hearing with the jury to ask for redress as we could not sail the last race due to the damage to our bow. We are asking for the average of our points at that time in the regatta, as a score for the last race. There will also be a hearing for damage and if one of us could have avoided the contact.

Update: The hearings are over: Cereef got penalized 1 point for not avoiding the collision and one more for damage. We got redress; 7th in the 7th race and average of our scores in the last race which is 5.3 points.

The scores are not final and I have to run, but I am sure we did not score that well in this regatta. I think that BMW Oracle won the fleet racing and combined with their second place in the match racing they may win the event overall.

I have to head to the airport for the flight to Marseille.

For complete results go to www.rc44.com