Sunday, November 15, 2009

Louis Vuitton Trophy - Nice, France

Paul Cayard
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Photos: Sander van der Borch / Artemis

One win and one loss for Artemis today. The bad news is that we lost to Synergy who are on a bit of a roll. We beat All4One so they are definitely out of the top four.

Synergy then went on to defeat TeamOrigin in the third flight of the day, so now they are one point ahead of us and our tie breaking advantage has gone away as we both have beaten TeamOrigin.

In the Synergy match, we were just ahead on the first windward leg, not clear ahead, but with starboard tack rights as we came together for the second time. We tacked to leeward of Synergy as there was 4 times as much port to be sailed as starboard. We call that 4 to 1. However, we were not able to close up to them on the long port tack and we ended up following them into the windward mark. Approaching the leeward mark, we had closed a lot and almost crossed ahead of them. However, they were able to gybe inside of us and make the left gate mark. We may have not made the perfect tactical decision here as we could not quite pull off the pass. Once they rounded ahead of us, that was pretty much it.

Against All4One, we had a split tack start with us out to the right. This means that when we come together we have the power of starboard tack. We forced them away once and then the second time, they shot through to leeward of us as we completed out tack onto port. There were many protest flags flown here by both boats. There was a green (no penalty) by the umpires for the first incident, our tack, and then a penalty on us for the second incident, probably windward/leeward. Terry is at the umpire debrief so we will find out exactly what they saw and why we were penalized.

Anyway, we sailed well from there as the wind died considerably. I was up at the top of the rig most of this race and it was a very rough ride because there is a fairly large southwest swell running. Morgan Larson did a nice job calling the shots on the last lap and we stretched enough to comfortably get the penalty turn in at the finish line and take the win.

BMW Oracle lost both of their matches today against Team New Zealand and TeamOrigin so they are not looking good for the semi finals. BMW Oracle were well ahead of TeamOrigin in the first race of the day but lost the lead when they did not cover TeamOrigin and left them on their own going right. TeamOrigin got a big shift over there and passed BMW Oracle to take the win in that race.

There are three flights left. Team New Zealand, and TeamOrigin are very safe in for the semi finals and Team New Zealand will win the Round Robins and therefore chose their opponent for the semis. With Synergy beating us and TeamOrigin, we have our work cut out for us to get into the semis. I think they have to lose both (they face Team NZ and Azzurra) while we have to win both (BMW and French Spirit). If they only lose one and we win both we will tie and I am not sure yet how that gets broken. In any case, all we can control is the races we are in so we have to go out and win two tomorrow.

For complete results go to the team's site

Cayard Sailing Website