Monday, 2 February 2009

LVPS: Pataugas by K-Challenge Gives One Point Away in Tight Match Against Damiani Italia Challenge

Pataugas by K-Challenge is just ahead of Damiani Italia Challenge downwind. Image copyright Gilles Morelle.

by Stephanie Nadin

Second match for Pataugas by K-Challenge, racing against Damiani Italia Challenge in Round Robin 1 of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.

Led by Vasco Vascotto, the Italian team won this point against the French Team in a very tight race which held the public's breath for nearly one hour.

Sebastien Col, Skipper and Helmsman of Pataugas by K-Challenge: « we almost had an equal start, even if it could have been better (the spectators boats were a bit on our way). We take the side we want on the race course, and we are ahead for the first crossing on the first leg. But then we don´t make the best “fake” jibe with them, so we find ourselves a bit behind with this situation. On the two following jibes they´re faster than us, and they manage to take the lead back. We make a better manoeuvre than they do to hoist the spinnaker, we jibe at the same time, and then we manage to sail in front of them on the first downwind leg.

"Here we have a classical situation where we split on the race course, while being with our boat windward on starboard tack. Then, for us, there is a communications problem between the observer on board who says we are clear for the other boat, and this information doesn't seem to be taken into account by the Umpires, as three lengths after that, we get a penalty that doesn't appear to be justified given the information we had. I have to say that we are very surprised by this penalty. The race looks for sure a bit different from the moment we have a penalty, so we try to take some tactical risks to come back on our opponent, but that doesn´t really pay back. We carried on with the match, and we did our penalty before the finish.”

Pataugas by K-Challenge and Damiani Italia Challenge split tacks on the beat. Image copyright Gilles Morelle.

Christian Scherrer, Trimmer: “it is quite difficult for me to judge the penalty, as I´m further in the boat, but I don´t think that we completely lost the race because of that. We were leading on the first upwind leg, then there were some jibes situation and we lost our lead, rounding the upwind mark behind the Italians. So we lost the race due to several things. But the penalty didn't help us for sure. We sailed well despite all of that, with good manoeuvres, and we did what we could, but it didn´t start the right way. We are much more happy with our manoeuvres and our work today compared to the first day, but the result is not as good, so it is a disappointment, as we really wanted to win this race.

"But we take the races as they come, one by one, and with such a short course, with boats that are even, and even if we will race against big teams, we still have a chance to succeed. We are 100% in the competition no matter what happens! So we have a chance to win if we do a good job tomorrow against BMW Oracle Racing. One feels more confident when winning races, and during the training in Valencia, we did well against these guys.”

After this afternoon´s debriefing, Pataugas by K-Challenge´s team is now focused on its coming matches in Round Robin 1; first tomorrow against BMW Oracle Racing, then against Emirates Team New Zealand in two days' time.

Race details:
Start : advantage for Damiani Italia Challenge : 1 second
Mark 1 : 12 seconds for Damiani Italia Challenge
Mark 2 : 4 seconds for Damiani Italia Challenge
Mark 3 : 20 seconds for Damiani Italia Challenge
Finish : 45 seconds for Damiani Italia Challenge

Pataugas by K-Challenge

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