Paul Cayard at the Louis Vuitton Trophy - Into the semifinals

Paul Cayard at the Louis Vuitton Trophy - Into the semifinals

Friday March 19 2010 Author: trimsailing Location: New Zealand

Another good win for Artemis today over the Brits on TeamOrigin. It was another tight race in tricky conditions. Winds were 12-14 knots from the southwest.

We were on hold for two hours as the winds were absent at 1000 this morning. The race committee informed the competitors that the best of three quarter final was reduced to sudden death as there would not be time to run six matches which would have been required had both quarter final matches gone the full three races.
At 1330, conditions were acceptable and the heat was on....win and go forward...lose and go home.

We wanted tight left, but Ben Ainsle did a nice job in the prestart and had that spot occupied. He was in a bit of trouble as the wind went even further left in the last 30 seconds prior to the start. Terry Hutchinson was quick to take the race back at them and that got us out of phase and a tacking duel ensued. We kept it close up the first windward leg and trailed by two boat lengths at the top. My strategy was to keep it close and not do anything that had low probability of paying off. Down the run, we gybed first on a nice shift and closed in to round the gate just one length behind.

We rounded the same gate as the Brits, which plays to their advantage but the other gate was surely out in more adverse current so again...keep it close.

Up the second windward leg we had to tack away first and TeamOrigin tacked on us the next time we came back. We were forced out toward the worse current but we were on a big left shift. So we rode it out patiently and sure enough a righty filled in. When we met the next time we were just ahead crossing on starboard tack.
Normally in this position, we should have tacked on them and kept to the right as this puts you on starboard tack right of way the next time the boats meet. And I have gotten burned in the first race we had with TeamOrigin two days ago by not following this strategy.

BUT, we were on a big lift as we crossed and it is also important to "stay in phase" with the wind. So I took the risk and played the odds which were in my favor. Fortunately, the wind cooperated and we crossed them the next time but just 1/2 a boat length but with much more speed and on lay line. So we simply sailed with full speed around the mark while they were slow and had to tack to round. We stretched to three lengths ahead there and that was pretty much it.

The made a desperate gybe away from us, we chose not to match them as we stretched into the stronger current, now favorable, and kept it simple...one gybe and in.
We won the race by 30 seconds in the end.

In the other quarter final race, the Italians from Azzurra beat All4One.

At the draw tonight, Emirates Team New Zealand the top ranked semi finalist, got to pick their opponent and they chose Azzurra. That means that we will meet the other Italian Team, Mascalzone Latino.

Racing resumes tomorrow at 1000 and the forecast is for 12-16 knots from the southwest again.
 

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