We had a good day today on Katusha. The forecast was for fresh winds and big seas, so most teams stayed at the dock until 1300. Since our boat is still relatively new, we took the opportunity to get out early, on our own, to check our boat and rig thoroughly from structural point of view. All was good and we had a nice sail from 1100 to 1230.

We came back to the dock, made a few changes to a new mainsail, ate lunch and headed out at 1330 with the other RC 44s for the practice race. As the seaway was large outside the harbor….2 meter waves, Peter Reggio the Race Committee Chairman, decided to have three practice starts inside. What does “inside” mean? It means between The Palm and the shore, so hidden a bit from the waves. This was also a great idea because we were sailing right under all those big buildings I sent you pictures of yesterday. Good spectating and good PR for our sport!

We had Bob Little (“Peaches” as he was nicknamed by his mother) on the helm. Bob is a very good sailor who decided to get a real job a number of years ago. As the fleet racing is an amateur driver competition, Bob enjoyed the opportunity to get some starting practice in. He did a great job working with our bowman Morgan Gutenkunst getting their time-on-distance judgment down.

Then we went outside for the practice race. We had a good start, but struggled to find the groove in the big waves. We got better as the race went on. Downwind was a lot of fun as the boats were surfing the big waves and it was easy to gain and lose a lot of ground downwind. We did not do that well in the end, 6th I think. We have a debrief every day after sailing and we have been very positive about our training whether we win or lose. The key is to keep building our strength as a team. We will learn the tricks of these boats.

We had a nice welcome cocktail tonight and tomorrow is the first day of match racing. The format is a single round robin and since there are 10 teams here each team will have 9 matches. The winner of this part of the competition will be the team with the most points. We should be getting underway with the first flight around 1130 wind permitting. Unfortunately, the forecast is for the wind to lighten up substantially so let’s hope it doesn’t all go away. As you know, we have been sailing in plenty of light air recently.

For more information go to www.rc44.com