Cascais, Portugal

Race Day 2 – Two races were held today and the competition was once again extremely tight. The conditions were a bit breezier than yesterday with a maximum windspeed in the second race of 25 knots. The wind was also very shifty, with the range from 305 to 005. Being in the middle of the course was not good.

Onboard ARTEMIS we had a good day with an 8 and 3. Our regular helmsman Torbjorn Tornqvist joined us today after missing yesterday due to work commitments. In the first race, we got off to the right side thinking that the typical conditions would prevail following a small frontal passage. But once again, the left was good and we rounded the first mark about 8th. We passed one boat up the second windward leg but unfortunately lost them again on the final run when the gennaker sheet got under the bow in a gybe. Emirates Team New Zealand picked up where they left off yesterday with a win and Quantum being helmed by Adrian Stead finished second. Quantum helmsman Terry Hutchinson suffered a concussion prior to the start of the first race today and won’t be sailing tomorrow either. He is ok, but needs to take it easy.

In the second race, we got off to a bad start but headed right once again. And this time, the right was a charm. We got to the first mark in second place right behind All4One with a huge lead on TeamOrigin in third place. Things stayed pretty much even down the first run. The boats were planing in the now 20 knots of wind, which was a lot of fun. Around the gate, one of our mainsheet blocks broke and we were not 100% up the second windward leg. This allowed TeamOrigin to catch up to us a bit. Down the final run, we passed All4One and were looking good for the win on the final gybe into the finish. However, the wind shifted 20 degrees in our favor but it was too much and we had to put the jib up to get to the finish, which let TeamOrigin pass us. We finished third. Still a good race!

So TeamOrigin is leading now with 21 points just 6 points ahead of us on 27. We are in a three-way tie for 5-7th. Still a lot of racing to go and tomorrow’s forecast is for good breeze again.

To watch the racing live go to and for complete results go to

Cascais, Portugal

Race Day 1 – Three races were held today and the competition was extremely tight. In fact, just three points separate the top 6 boats at the end of the first day. Emirates Team New Zealand, last season’s winner, scored both a first place and a last place in today’s racing.

Onboard Artemis we had a good day. We had three good starts and were always in a good lane coming off the line. We scored a nice third place to start things off, then in the second race tore our gennaker at the first mark and were well clear in last place by the time we got the replacement sail up. Still, we managed to claw our way back to 6th. Then in the last race, we got a bit too far to the left of the fleet on the first windward leg and were deep in the pack. We did manage to pass a few boats on the final run to finish 7th.

The racing was always tight with lots of action around the marks. No one dominated the day, neither on speed or tactics. Likewise, the closeness in the scores.

Another feature today was that the left side was pretty good at times, so that kept the race course more open than usual. The winds were 12-16 knots from the Northwest with oscillations of 20 degrees. Very fun conditions in these boats.

Tomorrow, the forecast is for a bit more wind and the race committee will probably shoot for three races again.

I took some photos of the fleet at the dock this morning. The race village here is the best on the circuit.

To watch the racing live go to and for complete results go to

Cascais, Portugal

The TP52 Audi MedCup season is set to begin tomorrow. The first of the five event season gets underway here in Cascais, just west of Lisbon, with two windward leeward courses tomorrow. There are 11 teams here competing in what is one of the most competitive professional sailing circuits in sailing. The list of helmsmen/tacticians is very impressive; Team Origin: Ben Ainslie (3 Gold medals), Iain Percy (2 Gold), Luna Rossa: Robert Scheidt (2 Gold, 1 Silver), Torben Grael (5 Olympic medals), All4One: Jochen Schumann (3 Gold), John Cutler (1 Silver), Emirates Team New Zealand; Dean Barker/Ray Davies (America’s Cup winners), Quantum; Terry Hutchinson/Adrian Stead and the list goes on. All of the 12 man crews are the best in the game at what they do.

The boats have under gone a few changes since last season due to some rule changes. Bowsprits have replaced spinnaker poles, square top mainsails are in and running backstays are necessary. The crew are down by two to 12 and the keel is a bit heavier and the gennaker is a bit larger. All in all, the boat is more fun to sail. With no discards, the TP52 rewards consistency.

ARTEMIS is ready to go. Torbjorn Tornqvist, our helmsman, isn’t able to be here at least tomorrow so I will steer the boat and Cameron Appleton will be the tactician. Hopefully, Torbjorn will join us later in the week.

The forecast for tomorrow is for 15-20 knots of wind in the afternoon from the Northwest. The first start is at 1330.

To follow the racing live, go to and for complete results go to


San Francisco –

I am supposed to leave Friday for Moscow with my “Chairman of WSTA” hat on. The Synergy Team, one of the original founding members of WSTA, wants to host a Louis Vuitton Trophy event in Sochi, on the Black Sea, in one year. This would be a meeting with the sponsors and a site visit. We will see what the Volcano lets us do…

Then onto Austria for the RC44 Austria Cup on Katusha and a consecutive string of regattas and events in Europe through June 21.

Going to try to get a bit of R & R in these three days.


Lisbon –

A few more airports in Europe are open today than yesterday, mostly in the South. Northern Europe still closed. Luckily, I tacked to the Southwest! My original route was through Frankfurt…..No go zone.

I have my boarding pass….again-been there before….24hrs ago. Planes are taking off here in Lisbon although 75% of the flights from here are cancelled as their destination airports are closed.

Watching the news here in the lounge, 63000 flight have been cancelled since Thursday. If you figure an average of 200 people per flight, that’s 12.6 million people effected! The airlines are losing $200 million/day in Europe alone.

But stepping back a bit from my immediate problems and what seems to be earthshatteringly important, this volcano is mother nature. She was here long before we were. We have created this life and these systems, and ultimately we have to fit in. These eruptions have been going on long before we figured out how to fly. This volcano may spew ash for months or even years. So far this volcano hasn’t killed or even injured a single person! So, patience. We may have to adjust a bit.

Easy to say now that I am in my seat with my seatbelt fasted and the stewardess glaring at me to turn off my Blackberry.

Out of here!


Between Barcelona and Lisbon on the train –

I could never explain well enough what the situation is like over here in Europe for anyone who wants to travel somewhere or get a hotel room.

Since making the decision to try to escape one day early, here is what I have encountered:

1. Got to my hotel in Barcelona and had them tell me that the hotel was oversold, but that had covered me in another hotel.

2. Was boarding the flight to Atlanta this morning when the airport authority ordered the airport closed.

3. Waited there as told by Delta, and lived through all the “we’re going”, “no, we’re boarding in 20 minutes”, “no it’s canceled”, “wait, we’re going at 12:00”. During these three hours I was asking Torbjorn’s pilot, Henry, who was in Palma with Torbjorn’s plane, about the likelihood that Barcelona would reopen, as well as about Madrid and Lisbon. Finally, Delta pulled the plug at 1300.

4. Onto plan C. Get a car or train to Lisbon for tomorrow’s flight to Newark which my travel agent Elin had booked before Plan B. (Plan A was flying through Frankfurt on Monday in Business Class arriving into SFO at 1200, nice and fresh. That plan got nixed on Friday).

5. No cars available in BCN.

6. Called Russell Coutts’ PA Alex who is Spanish. She had been stranded in Paris and was on a 13 hour bus ride to Barcelona. All the while, she had been working on getting Russ out of London where he had been stranded since Friday. He eventually took a train to Paris this morning and is now driving from Paris to Madrid…18 hours.

7. Alex had a network modem and got me a train to Madrid and a car to rent there to drive to Lisbon, all from the bus.

8. I then went to the same train station in Barcelona where she was arriving by bus to then take a train to Valencia where she lives.

9. When I got to the train station it was total chaos. The line to buy a ticket was out the door. Thank God she had sorted it all for me and bought the tickets on line.

10. I then started to think that driving 8 hours tonight from Madrid to Lisbon might not be a good idea. So I asked her about a train. At first, nothing. Then she did something else magical and found one that leaves at 1030 tonight and get to Lisbon at 8am tomorrow. “Perfect…let’s buy it”

11. What about Lisbon airport? Is it still open? Called Torbjorn’s pilot Henry again. Yes, still open but Palma and Madrid closing. The cloud is still creeping South! Lisbon expected to stay open. Better start moving Southwest!

12. Called United to reconfirm the flight. With all the hecticness, that reservation had been voided somehow. My heart was in my throat as the agent told me this very calmly. I knew this flight was my last chance.

13. I resurrected the reservation. Thank goodness.

14. Then my credit card would not work. Unbelievable! If he could not issue the ticket I would not have a reservation and the flights for the rest of the week are oversold. All the people in Europe who want to go to the USA are running like rats down into the Southwest corner.

15. I had one more credit card…one I never use it…. it is for my kids. I used it!! And it worked!

So, I am now on the train. Surely, I am not done jumping through hoops. Going to try to sleep a bit as I am pretty fried and I will need energy tonight for sure. If I get on the plane, I can sleep all I want.

Obviously in cases like this you don’t ask what it costs or if you can get an upgrade. All that is out the window.

Fortunately, Artemis won the regatta so I feel a little less badly for leaving them. But my poor teammates are stuck in Palma I am afraid. Maybe they will take the Artemis RIB or a ferry to Valencia and drive to Lisbon.

I am sure by now you are seeing it on the news in the States or wherever you live.

In summary; We have a situation over here! Looking for my next hoop.


For complete results go to

A decent sea breeze filled in today around 1400 and two races were held in 8-9 knots from the southwest. The wind was more shifty and the race course more open than the usual, “must go left” Palma.

Matador came back on form today and won both races leading all the way. They had slightly better starts than we did. Both races were very competitive with us and Cristabella, Matador and ourselves always within 5 both lengths. Very good training for the upcoming Med Cup season.

We finished second and then third. So the points going into the last day are: Artemis 9, Matador 12, and Cristabella 15, Weapon of Choice 19.

I got a bad case of Volcanoitis in the last 24 hours and decided to leave tonight. I am in Barcelona waiting for a flight tomorrow morning to the states. Hopefully the plane will leave from the states tonight and hopefully Barcelona will stay open long enough for us to leave tomorrow. 7 airports in northern Spain have closed tonight. The ash is spreading down south so I figured that if I wait to Monday it may be too late. I have a very short window to be in SF before leaving again this coming Friday for Russia and then 8 weeks of sailing in Europe. Torbjorn Tornqvist, the owner of Artemis was very understanding. It is going to be a long season with lots of racing so no need to get over stressed in April. I felt bad leaving the guys there as they all want to get home to their families. I hope the jet stream cranks up and blows the ash off to the north east so everyone can get out on Monday.

So no final report from me tomorrow.


For complete results go to

A very good day on Artemis today with three more bullets. It wasn’t as easy as it looks from the score line. In fact, in the last race we were third at the last windward mark.

The wind filled in from the southwest at 8 knots around 1230.

In the first race we had a good start and led all the way. Matador was second, Weapon was third Cristabella fourth.

In the second race, with the wind now at 10 knots, we wanted the left and got the pin end start. We flushed Matador out pretty quickly but could not cross Cristabella who was to windward. We tacked and crossed behind them by a length but later up the leg, the three of us came together about even. After some close tacks, we pinned Cristabella to the left with our starboard tack right of way and then tacked on Matador, who was ducking the two of us on port, to lead around the first mark. We went on to win by more than a minute over Matador. It was fun to mix it up.

In the third race we had our hands full. Matador led for most of the race with Cristabella and us close behind. On the final run, Matador and Cristabella got in a battle and gave up a bit of distance to us. The wind had lightened off to 7 knots so the gybes were expensive. We managed to win the race right on the line.

The boat seems to be going well so a nice job by our shore team and Captain Nipper.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for rain and the sailing instructions are calling for short coastal races.

For complete results go to


Artemis is in Palma racing in her first TP52 regatta of the 2010 season. The Palmavela event is not part of the Audi MedCup circuit, but it is an opportunity to test the boat after the winter modifications. The TP52 Class made some rule changes allowing bowsprits, square top mainsails and a lower crew weight limit.

Today was the first race day and the wind had trouble establishing itself. Finally, at 1430 we started the only race of the day in 8 knots from 220. We wanted the left so we started at the pin end of the line and controlled the left. We had a nice lead at the first mark but had a problem getting the jib up at the leward mark. We went around with no jib and Cristabella crossed ahead half way up the second windward leg. They tacked on us a few times, but we closed in on them at the second windward mark to round right on their stern. As the wind had gone quite a bit right, we then proceeded to do a gybe set. This got us on the long board coming down to the finish. At the line we beat Cristabella by one boat length. Matador was third and Weapon of Choice fourth. There are just 4 TP52’s here. Racing continues through Sunday. There are two other classes of boats, with some big Wallys racing. The forecast for tomorrow isn’t much more promising, but hopefully a light seabreeze will fill in in the afternoon.


Artemis finishes on the podium in third.

It was a complicated 24 hours. After no race yesterday, we came ashore to find out that Matador had been reinstated in a race that took place last Wednesday! That made for a change in their score of 7 points. Needless to say, this was not the most popular decision amongst all the other teams.

So, we went into today in fourth place, 7 points behind Bribon.

Two races were held today in 8-10 knots. We had a bad start in the first one, but came back nicely by playing the right on the windward leg. Quantum won the race followed by Synergy, Matador, Bribon and us. However, Bribon fouled us in a port-starboard situation just prior to the finish and we protested them. As they did not do a penalty turn, we were forced to go to the jury room at the end of the day to seek our justice. Something no one really wants to do.

In the second race, Matador had a great first windward leg and controlled the race easily. Valars had an excellent race and finished second. We were ahead of Synergy at the last windward mark and just really focused on staying ahead of them as this would give us our third place overall.

So, we did have to go to the jury and I represented Artemis and my long time friend Ross MacDonald represented Bribon. It was not fun for either of us. But in the room, we all agreed on the facts. The jury did so as well, as they had witnessed the incident.

After the decision, Ross and I shook hands in the room. Later, I told the Artemis team about Ross and his integrity and I said that this was a great testament to what sportsmanship and integrity is all about. Two Star World Champions and their friendship will never fall prey to a protest.

So that is the end of the season for the TP52. Pretty respectable for Artemis, 3rd in the Audi MedCup and 3rd in the World Championship.

I am flying to San Francisco tomorrow then to St. Louis on Tuesday to race in the Rolex US Sailing Champion of Champions Regatta on Lake Carlyle. The regatta will feature US National Champions and World Champions of many one design classes and we will all race on Lightnings. I have never stepped foot on a Lightning, but I am really looking forward to the event and meeting the collection of champions!