It’s all on here in La Maddalena. Six matches were scheduled for today, two of which included ARTEMIS.
First we were up against the Italians onboard AZZURRA, in their home waters, immediately followed by SYNERGY. The Russian team has shown remarkable improvement since Auckland and as of last night was tied for first.
Just as we entered in the starting sequence against AZZURRA, the wind shifted considerably. Terry Hutchinson controlled the pre-start well for us, but with only 20 seconds to go, PRO Peter Reggio abandoned the race and reset the course.
Without much of a delay, we were underway again and this time managed to get a penalty on AZZURRA and a good start. We stayed close to the Italians on the first upwind leg and rounded the mark first, but Francesco Bruni was able to roll us on the run as we both gybed to starboard. We rounded the right mark of the gate, just behind AZZURRA, and rolled into a tack immediately. We sailed out to the right a bit and when we came back to AZZURRA, they could not cross. We kept “bouncing” them out to the left. We had a near collision at the top of the beat as the Italians made a huge bear away to get behind us. We sailed a good race and by the end of it, were 100m ahead of the Italians who still had a penalty owing.
This left us feeling pretty positive for our race against SYNERGY that got underway just after 1700. The pre-start was intense and Karol Jablonski managed to start on port at the pin end of the line while we were to leeward. We decided to keep it close rather than start a tacking duel from behind. The Russians led us by two boat lengths at the top mark and down the run. As we went to drop the spinnaker, our pole went in the water and the kite followed soon there after. It took us a while to clear up the mess and the Russians won easily. As more racing was scheduled for the day, we retired from the race to give the shore team as much time as possible to prepare the boat for the next race between ETNZ and ALL4ONE.
It’s was a very valuable win for SYNERGY who will now be tied with us for first overall. Tonight, there is another protest hearing (BMW Oracle vs ETNZ) and the shore crew are going to be busy – especially the sailmakers in the sail loft.
In the other matches of the day, TEAMORIGIN defeated Luna Rossa and AZZURRA beat SYNERGY.
We are headed back to the hotel for a team debrief with our coach ‘Dog’ who captures it all on video.
Tomorrow we race Emirates Team New Zealand and ALL4ONE. A Mistral is heading our way so sometime Sunday or Monday racing will surely be suspended for at least 24 hours.