RC 44 Maktoum Trophy
Light winds dominated the race course today. We had a two-hour postponement and racing finally got underway at 1345 in 7 knots of wind with smooth seas.
We onboard Katusha had a much better day today winning both of our races. In the first flight of the day, we were up against BMW Oracle which is being raced by the young Kiwi team led by Adam Monoprio. Adam and his team are the current Match Race World Champions. They had a slightly better start than we did but we quickly got to the right of them and that paid off. We led the whole way around, but up the second windward leg we had a nice tacking duel, complete with fake tacks and lots of downspeed sailing. The Katusha crew did a great job there and we stretched out our lead and went on to win rather comfortably in the end.
In the second flight of the day we were up against Puerto Calero from the Canary Islands. This team always gives us a tough race and today was no exception. We had a very good start in that we were able to dial them on the entry and hold them on starboard for the entire four minutes. We eventually pinned them outside the left side of the line and led them back to start late. We then retained control of the right. They closed in on us at the top mark and we had to luff them head to wind and park them there. We then stretched a bit and had a nice lead at the bottom mark. But by this time the wind was dropping in strength, now down to four knots and things got dicey. We picked the gate that sent us to the right side but that was wrong and before we knew it we had a race on our hands again. We barely managed to corral them out on the left layline, there we stretched and won the race comfortably.
The wind died soon after and the race committee called it around 1630.
Sea Dubai continued its roll and won both of their matches including a critical one against Artemis in the battle of the unbeatens. Artemis actually won the start in my opinion and had control of the right. But three-quarters of the way up the leg Artemis tacked and crossed to the left leaving Sea Dubai to the right. There wasn’t much room left out there but it was enough for Sea Dubai to grab the lead and they never relinquished it.
So, tomorrow morning we will have to finish up the round robin. Sea Dubai has mathematically won the Match Race part of this event. We still have a chance to be in the top four. We only race one of the remaining two races as we haven’t had our “bye” yet. There will surely be a few ties on points so depending on who beats who in the match ups, the ties will be broken and teams may go up or down 3-4 places.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for even lighter winds than today so that is not good. But then again, it is just a forecast.