RC 44 Gold Cup-Dubai

A decent day for Katusha today. Actually apart from one incident, it was a great day. The wind came in around 1330 and we had 8-9 knots in the first race, then up to 12 knots at a moment between races, then 11-8 knots for the second race and 7-8 knots for the “DHL Coastal Race” (as DHL is one of the sponsors of the RC 44 circuit).

We got third in the first race in a very tight race all the way around with Artemis and No Way Back. At the finish line, the three of us were overlapped and we came out of it third with Artemis fourth. I honestly can’t even remember who won that race. Maybe TeamAqua.

Then in the second race, we had a nice start and decent windward leg to round 4th. Down the run we made some good choices, passed third and second, and got to the gate at the same time as Cereef who had been leading. Cereef was on starboard and we were on port as we approached. As we were laying the left gate mark, we slowed to let them go ahead. We were not sure which mark they were intending to go to but when they crossed our line and kept going, so we assumed they were going to the other mark. So we went behind them and toward the mark Just then they gybed just to leeward of us. We were instantly overlapped on the inside with no way to get out. They protested us for taking room at the mark. The umpires ruled that we fouled Cereef so we had to take a penalty turn. Then while completing that penalty turn, as we were winding back up onto the wind, Artemis was approaching, yelling and screaming, and they protested us for making them tack before we were finished with the penalty (totally on the wind). Both penalties were probably correct. So we went from 2nd to last, but hung tough on the second lap and passed three boats to finish seventh.

Then in the DHL race, we had a good start and worked the middle left of the course initially. A lot of the fleet really wanted to go to the right next to The Palm. We felt there was more pressure out to the left but the wind would eventually go right. Tricky. All these races have been tricky. Anyway, we were about 7th and then we got a break and ducked through a small hole in the traffic and popped out in a strong position for fourth. We defended that position as the course wound right around The Palm and up to the Atlantis Hotel. We set spinnakers up there and reached and then ran back to the harbor. The race was shortened as the sun was going down so we finished in 4th. And that race counted double.

So we now sit in 4th place for the fleet racing, 3 points out of 3rd and 3 points ahead of 5th. Still plenty of points to be had out there as racing continues tomorrow.

For more information go to www.rc44.com