Thursday, 14 October 2010
by Paul Cayard
A good day for Katusha. We won three and lost two. We were just 6 seconds away from being 5-0.
We beat BMW Oracle, Ceeref and Mascalzone Latino and lost to No Way Back and Team Austria both by three seconds.
The wind was blowing off the land today and this made things very tricky with large puffs and lulls mixed with big windshifts.
In our two losses, we led around all the marks of the course and got passed in the final meters of the races on shift and gusts that favored the other boat.
Our race against Cereef and Rod Davis...the battle of the over 50s.....was a battle Royale. We shut them out at the committee boat at the start but they managed to hang close and rolled us on the first run. We went to opposite gates and we got a good shift out of the left that brought us back to even. They got a penalty for tacking to close. They led us by just one length at the top mark and decided for the tactic of trying to get a penalty on us. So neither boat set the spinnaker...they were waiting to set a trap on us and we were trying to keep clear. We swerved and gybed all the way down the run, each going as slowly as possible. I realize this is hard for some of you to understand.
Finally, we got far enough down the run that we had to sail upwind to the finish line. We managed to turn ahead of them and started to reach over them. They luffed and we were penalized with a red flag meaning ours was immediately due. But we were actually on the finish line and we both had to make the penalty turn. I think they realized this later than we did.
We managed to work off the penalty and beat Cereef by the narrowest of margins.
The format here is that the fleet is divided into two groups for the match racing. The first half of the schedule, each team only races other teams in his group. If the weather is good and it looks like it is possbile to complete the full round robin, then on the second day, each team will race the teams of the other group.
At this morning's briefing the race committee suggested that the forecast for Tuesday was not good so we would most likely race in two mini round robins today with the top two boats from each group going on to the semi finals and finals tomorrow. All others would race in knockouts for place 5-13.
So our 3-2 record today put us in a four way tie for first place in our bracket. We ended up winning the tie breaker and BMW Oracle came through second.
Tonight the race committee said they would wait until tomorrow to decide if we go to the semi finals or if they try to finish the round robin by having each team race the teams of the other group.