Update from Valencia

Well we got one in today. Still very light wind and the forecast for tomorrow is a bit less than today…so marginal.

Today we had a NE gradient that was altered by the thermal heating on the land which pulled the wind right, closer to perpendicular to the coast line, and this made the wind speed drop. It was not a strong thermal because we are not getting the really high temperatures that we will see in June and July.

So we got one race in 8 knots, the right was favored on the first windward leg. In the first match of the day, Germany got the right side of the start and first leg against Luna Rossa and led for the first half of the first windward leg. Luna Rossa split off the line for 2 kilometers before heading right. That impressed me that they were willing to take such a large gamble against a team like Germany. Eventually Luna Rossa won fairly comfortably.

In the next match, Shosholoza led BMW Oracle for three quarters of the race. Shosholoza won the right side of the starting line and played the right to lead at the first mark comfortable. Down the run the boats seemed equal in speed. At the bottom of the first run, Shosholoza had some indecision on board as to which mark to round there are two no adays, they use a gate and they shrimped the kite (Dropped the spinnaker in the water) and had to cut it loose. Still they held the lead most of the way up the second windward leg and finally BMW Oracle over took them. Once they did, BMW Oracle quickly put 300 meter on Shosholoza. It was interesting to see how much having the correct side of the race course was worth to the slower boat.

Next we saw Victory beat the Chinese but again only after letting the Chinese lead for a while by winning the right.

Next we Team New Zealand taking command over +39 easily. Just a much faster boat for the Kiwis.

Finally, Desafio Espanol had a great start over Areva of France and led at the first windward mark by 80 meters. On the first gybe the Spanish broke the spinnaker pole and shortly thereafter the French boat passed them. The bad news was that the Spanish had no spare pole and no real repair kit so while the recovered a lot of distance on the second windward leg to round the second top mark just three boat lengths behind, they lost 300 meters on the final run having to sail without the pole again. A real shame for Desafio.

Mascalzone had a bye in that flight.

Tomorrow, the big match in the first flight is Desafio vs. Mascalzone. This could be a very important match for determining who goes to the semi finals. With Mascalzone getting a leg up by beating one of the big three last Friday (TNZ), and with Desafio suffering a loss to Areva, this is almost a must win race for Desafio.

In the second flight if we get that far, BMW Oracle will take on Luna Rossa who are both undefeated in this round and share the top of the leader board.

Forecast for the tomorrow is a bit less wind than today and for Tuesday is less wind than that. In fact, the forecast for the rest of the week is not that great.

On Tuesday, I am going back to San Francisco for a week or so to be with may family. I will come back to Valencia toward the end of Round Robin 2 to see the determinant matches to decide which seven of 11 will be going home and which four will be going onto the semi finals.