March 1, 2001 - We just finished up two days of practice down here in San Diego. Beautiful, sunny but chilly both days with 10-17 knots of Northwesterly wind. The race course for this event is inside the Bay where it should be. The boats are berthed at the Broadway Street Pier. Looks like about 12 teams are here.
We had fleet racing practice yesterday which meant Bob (Peaches) Little was on the helm and I was tactician onboard Katusha. We competed in about three races with 10 other teams around a short 1.25 mile course. Today we had match race training with our friends on Artemis Racing in which Bob and I inverted our roles from yesterday. Tomorrow in the first day of racing and will be Match Racing and we are first up against the other Russian team Synergy in the first flight. The format of the regatta's is different this year with the match racing becoming just one day of the event and having only an annual score. So at each event competitors will work their way through a portion of a round robin and by the end of the season we will have completed about three round robins in total. The podium for match racing will be determined only at years end.
The remaining four days of each event will be fleet racing which features the owners as the drivers of the boats. Unfortunately neither Torbjorn Tornqvist (Artemis) nor Guenaddi Timtchencko (Katusha) could attend the event in San Diego this week. Sarah Gundersen is helming Artemis with Morgan Larson calling the shots.
It is fun for me to be in San Diego. I lived here for 12 years. My son was born here and both kids started school here. I have lots of friends here some of whom I am hoping to get to see this week. I raced in the finals of the two America's Cups held in San Diego in the early 90's. I went for a run along the bay front this morning down to where the Stars and Stripes base was in 1995 when I sailed with Dennis Conner and his team. The base is now a harbor for large boats and the Rowing Club restaurant is no longer a Chart House but a Crab Shack.
Things change. That's life.