Three races were held today in a very nice breeze of 14-18 knots from 315. This breeze comes offshore here on the South coast of

The TP 52 fleet has assembled in Portimao, Portuigal for the final regatta of the 2008 Audi

After a one hour delay onshore, the

Three races were completed today in Cartagena. That is a lot of laps. I can’t remember it all. I know we had three very good starts. The first race was tricky with the two winds, the 040 and the 090 fighting right in the middle of the race track. The wind speed was 14-16 knots all day with decent size waves which were good for surfing downwind.

In the first race, we got a bit too far to the right in the first windward leg and struggled to get to the windward mark which was still in the left (050) wind direction at that point. At the end of the first run the wind went to 095 which made things pretty interesting. We got 7th out of that.

In the second race, we managed a 4th and in the third race a 5th. We did have a problem in the last race with the jib up the leeward mark. The jib sheets both came off and we tried to use the jib as a flag for about three minutes. It also got one wrap around the headstay. After we got the sheets on, we were about 7th. We managed to pass Quantum and Synergy before the windward mark. In the end we finished 5th but will score a 4th as Mutua was disqualified.

Mutua Madrilena had a horrible day. Last in the first race, second in the second race and then disqualified in the last race for hitting Tao at the first windward mark. Quantum did not have a stellar day. Bribon and Matador had the best day with 13 points each. Everyone was up and down. No one stood out with consistently a strong performance.

Bribon has a protest against Synergy in race number two which may improve their 8th place in that race.

So the scores as of 2030 local time are:

1. Matador 35
2. Bribon 37
3. Quantum 44
4. El Desafio 44
5. Platoon 48
6. Mutua Madrilena 50

What a difference a day makes in this fleet!

Tomorrow, three races are scheduled. No start can occur after 1600. Forecast is a bit less wind that today.

For complete results go to

Not a great day for us on El Desafio today. It started out with someone forgetting one of the important sails for the coastal race, ashore… the A3 gennaker. That made things tricky for us on the reaches.

The wind conditions were similar to yesterday but with a little less strength. So 16-19 from 045-090. There are two different winds in the area… 090 wind and 035. There is a big headland that we are racing downwind of, that the wind splits on causing these two different winds. On each windward leg the tactician has to figure out which wind will be at the windward mark and therefore which side of the course to sail to.

The “Coastal Race” became more of a traditional race course with two reaches thrown in. So we went upwind 2 miles, downwind 4 miles passing through the start line, upwind 4 miles, then a 4 mile – 120 degree reach, gybe around the reach mark and another 4 mile 120 degree reach to the leeward mark. Then a 4 mile windward leg followed by a 4 mile downwind leg and then a 5 mile beat to the finish inside the harbor. Are you lost yet? Dizzy?

We had a good start and played the left for the first three minutes. We got a decent shift and tacked onto port and sailed up to the first windward mark. We rounded just in front of Quantum in 6th. From there we did some things well and some things not so well but eventually found our selves on the 120 degree reach with our code 0 up. Every one else had their A3’s on. The good news is that it was too tight for the A3’s so they had to take them down and go to jibs, which some did well, and others did not. We managed to move into 5th at the reach mark. Platoon and Bribon were right on our tail. They both set their A3’s for the second reach, which was broader than the first and smoked away. We sailed high with the “0” and then set our A4 runner and got to the scoring gate at the leeward mark in 7th. Around the last lap we managed to pass Quantum and Artemis to finish 5th.

Bribon had a big lead at the first leeward mark but could not drop their spinnaker and went well beyond the leeward mark before turning up wind. This gave the lead to Matador and Mutua Madrilena. Those two boats plus Platoon were in the lead group from the first scoring gate to the finish. Bribon, ourselves and Quantum were in the second group and then there was another space back to the third group.

There really was a lot more to the 3.5 hours race but I will spare you the details.

So Mutua Madrilena has a nice lead with 19 points, followed by Matador with 22, Bribon with 24, Quantum with 28 and ourselves in 5th with 29 points. 10 points can disappear in a heat beat out here so it is still wide open with four races to go.

Tomorrow there will be at least two races. The forecast has the wind continuing to drop a bit but still more or less the same direction… North East.

For complete results go to

We onboard El Desafio won the day today with a 3, 1. Mutua Madrilena had a 2, 2 for equal points and now leads the Series. El Desafio moves up to third place, just two points out of first.

Same wind, sky and waves as Tuesday. The race committee still had some trouble anchoring in the deep water but we eventually got two good races off. Very shifty conditions made it a challenge for the tacticians. John Cutler onboard El Desafio did a great job for us. The big waves and puffy wind made it a challenge for the trimmers and the helmsman. It was a day where you had to keep adjusting things to keep the boat in the grove upwind and downwind. It was never easy on any boat.

Quantum Racing had a bit of a bad day with a 4, 8 and Bribon a bit better but not what they would have preferred with a 9, 3. It just goes to show how competitive this fleet is. Just a couple of mistakes and you go from having a good race to finishing 9th. The scores are now very tight with the top 6 teams almost swapping positions each race.

There was one breakdown today, Platoon. On the first windward leg of the second race, after winning the first race of the day today, their headstay broke and they had to withdraw. They were well positioned at the time. The helmsman of the Platoon is three time gold medalist Jochan Schumann.

The light Trans Pac 52’s were hitting speeds of 17 knots down wind with the big waves and 20 knots of wind.

Tomorrow is the “Coastal Race”. In this race, you have one start but two scoring points, the midpoint and the finish. So getting a good start and being in front at the first windward mark is doubly important in this race.

The series resumes with 4 windward leeward races schedules for Friday and Saturday.

For complete results go to

Today was the first day of racing here in Cartagena, the 5th Audi MedCup event of 2008.

With a ten o’clock first start, the teams were up early and off the dock by 0830.

The wind turned 180 degrees today and we had a mistral of up to 30 knots. There was enough carnage after race one that the committee sent us to the shore where we waited a short time until they called it for the day.

Onboard Desafio, we had a decent result finishing 4th, but unfortunately did not leave the race track feeling really good. How is that possible?

After a perfect start at the pin end of the line with the left hand side of the course being favored, we were first to the first windward mark by 20 seconds over Mutua Madrilena. As we rounded and hoisted the spinnaker, now blowing 30 knots, the spinnaker tore on the hatch. It did not even get full, so we had to take it down and put up the back up. This took 45 seconds, pretty fast but still Mutua passed us. So we got the back up spinnaker up and started planning down the run at 21 knots. In fact we, went so fast that we caught up to Mutua, blocked them from gybing and then re-took the lead.

Being a bit gun-shy, we were overly conservative with the spinnaker drop and sailed for about a minute with no kite. Better that than what some of our competitors did?shrimping we call it. (That is expensive shrimp when you go shrimping with a $30K net.) Artemis gybed at the bottom of the run and took the favored gate. Here again we were conservative, just went straight and rounded the left hand gate to save a gybe in 30 true.

So Artemis had a two boat length lead on us when we crossed about ten minutes up the second beat. We rounded the top mark about 20 seconds behind Artemis and 12 seconds ahead of Matador. We sailed pretty fast but Matador was able to block us first and then we got free enough to gybe, but they gybed on top of us. In the fight, they rolled us, and then when the air got clean, we were slow and the gust knocked us over.

It was a pretty frustrating few minutes there and we even got rolled by Mutua just before the finish.

So that was fourth after being first. Now you can see why we weren’t ecstatic with our 4th place.

We are still 6th overall, not far ahead of Matador.

Tomorrow we will sail up to three races. The mistral wind is forecast to die and a sea breeze should build tomorrow, an 18 knot sea breeze. So the race committee has changed the start time to 1000 in order to try to get three races in before the 1530 cut off.

For complete results go to

Today was the coastal race which was basically two longer windward leeward courses tied together, with about eight miles of reaching each way.

The wind was more left in direction today and lighter. We started in 8.5 knots of wind. No one used the mast head genoas on the first windward leg although we were right on the cross over with the light jib.

We had a decent start and stayed on starboard for quite a long way. To leeward of us were, Mutua Madrilena, Bribon, Quantum, Mean Machine, Audi Q8 and Caixia Galicia.

We had no problem to hold our spot and Audi Q8 and Caixa tacked fairly soon after the start. Clearly, Mutua and Bribon wanted to go left. Most of the rest of the fleet tacked onto port as the right has been dominant., Platoon came out of the right 5 minutes after the start and crossed everyone who was on port by 1 minute. Seeing that, they tacked back for more on the right also.

Anyway, as we went up the windward leg, Mutua and Bribon starting making good gains on the left and Artemus who was behind us realized this first. They led our group over there and passed us and Mean Machine with that move. In the end, it was all about the left and that was about it for the day.

Down the run you had to go all the way to the right corner, then reach for eight miles, nothing changed, then up the second windward leg of five miles you had to go all the way to the left and one tack it. Anything ventured out the right was lost. Then down the last run you had to go all the way back to the same corner you had just come from and then eight miles of reaching to the finish.

That was about it. A delivery really after the first windward leg.

We did not do a brilliant job and finished 7th. Mutua Madrilena won, Bribon was second and Caixa was third. We actually moved up a place in the standings to 6th, but the bad news is that we lost contact with third place in the regatta which was Bribon and all the boats just in front of us in the standings. This race was a double counter, one finish at the second windward mark and one score at the finish. Nothing changed in between so it was a double counter based on the first windward mark which was about 40 minutes into the 4 hour tour. Quantum and Mean Machine had a bit of an off day (for them) finishing 5th and 6th.

There are four races left, so we can still come back but we have to sail better than we have been.

Tomorrow might be a better day for some of us, as it is the 4th of July. I am looking to anything for help at this point.

For complete results go to