RC44 Valencia Cup - Day 1: Artemis leads undefeated
Just another day in sailing paradise! Pick any superlative from the dictionary and it will pretty well sum up today's conditions, first day of the RC44 Valencia Cup. It was a great, fabulous, glorious day and the 11-strong RC44 fleet raced the first 7 flights of their match race round robin. In what has now become the usual pattern during the last two weeks, the thermal breeze kicked in at around 11am, racing started right on time at 1 pm with a nice breeze of 10 knots that later built up to a testing 20 knots.
Artemis, helmed by Terry Hutchinson, comes out of the first day undefeated, having won all of its 6 races. As Hutchinson stated, it was one of the windiest days ever he had match raced. My report will, unfortunately, be quite limited as I was onboard "17", helmed by James Spithill, and missed most of the other action. After flight 4, the organizers decided not to allow more guests onboard as the gusts of 22 knots and the waves made it too risky. Still, being onboard a spectacular yacht helmed by Spithill with great wind conditions is similar to having a crash course in America's Cup top of the class racing. It also made me realize how fast these boats are downwind.
It was tremendously difficult taking any shots upwind, so I had no option but try my luck downwind. Nevertheless, by the time the camera was out of the plastic protection, the lens cleaned and I was in a good position, Spithill was ready for the last gybe to the gate!!! The race was against the Spanish team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and Spithill & Co had no trouble at all getting the point.
Planing onboard "17" with 19 knots of wind in the match against Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Valencia, 27 July 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Gybing onboard "17" in the match against Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Valencia, 27 July 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
James Spithill helming "17" in the match against Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Valencia, 27 July 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Remember the name: Kyle Langford. He still can't buy a beer in the States but the young Australian sailor will certainly be one of the world's top trimmers. Valencia, 27 July 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
It was a very tough day for Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Not only did they lose all five races, they repeatedly suffered from gear failure. Valencia, 27 July 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
RC 44 VALENCIA CUP
(Match racing, after seven of 14 flights)
1. Artemis / Terry Hutchinson (SWE) 6-0
2. BMW ORACLE Racing / Russell Coutts (USA) 4-1
3. Team Aqua / Cameron Appleton (UAE) 4-1
4. 17 / James Spithill (USA) 4-1
5. Ceeref / Rod Davis (SLO) 3-1
6. No Way Back/Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies (NED) 3-3
7. Team Sea Dubai / Markus Weiser (UAE) 2-4
8. Katusha / Paul Cayard (RUS) 1-3
9. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team / Tommaso Chieffi (ITA) 1-4
10. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team / Christian Binder (AUT) 0-5
10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero / José Maria Ponce (ESP) 0-5