On ARTEMIS, we headed into today undefeated with four wins, having been at the top of the scoreboard for the last two days. A nice, but precarious position to be in with the best sailing teams in the world racing here in La Maddalena.
Emirates Team New Zealand, winners of the last Louis Vuitton Trophy were first up this morning winning their two races back to back against AZZURRA followed by ALEPH.
In race three it was Ben Ainslie and his team onboard TEAMORIGIN against the Russians on SYNERGY. In a tight fought match, it was the Brits who prevailed, winning by just 6 seconds.
Our race against Mascalzone Latino got underway at 1415, with a wind transition coming down the course. Gavin Brady, Skipper of Mascalzone Latino, wanted the left and we were happy with “wide right” as the right side of the line was favored. As we both headed back up to the Committee Boat end of the line we were overlapped to windward. The wind went even further right which further favored the right side but it was too much of a good thing as we found ourselves on the lay line to the committee boat. When the gun went off, both of us were at a stand still right next to the committee boat with Mascalzone Latino able to peel away and accelerate off the line.
By the time we got to the top of the course, the wind was gusting up to 20 knots and had actually gone 40 degrees back to the left. Mascalzone rounded with a nice gybe set and we planned to do the same. Unfortunately, our kite snagged on something and as soon as it filled…it exploded! We all carry a back up spinnaker onboard, but in the time it took to recover the halyard and hoist the new spinnaker, Mascalzone were well out in front. They sailed conservatively for the rest of the race and finished 46 seconds ahead of us.
In the fifth match of the day the Russians in Synergy defeated the French of Aleph. In the sixth race BMW Oracle faced Luna Rossa and this race went to the Italians.
Torbjorn Tornqvist, the chairman of ARTEMIS arrives tonight. We are all looking forward to seeing him and having him sail with the team for the next couple of days. I’m off to the gym.