Saturday, 31 January 2009

LVPS: Pataugas by K-Challenge Wins Against China Team

Pataugas by K-Challenge and China Team in their first match. Image copyright Gilles Morelle.

by Stephanie Nadin

First day, first race, first point: the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series have started well this morning for the Pataugas by K-Challenge crew, who was sailing against the new China Team, with Ian Williams, current World Match Racing Champion, leading the team.

An important win for Sebastien Col, Skipper and Helmsman of Pataugas by K-Challenge, as he was competing for the first time on an ACC boat against his toughest opponent on the World Match Racing Tour, Sebastien being the runner up of the World Match Racing Tour.

Sébastien Col, Skipper and Helmsman of Pataugas by K-Challenge: “It is good to start the Series with a win, « a point is a point » as we say. We made a couple of little mistakes which could have cost us the match. But we did some good things too. Tomorrow we have a day off, so we´re going to work in the debriefings about all of that, so that we come back stronger the day after, trying to avoid those little mistakes.

"Changing boat everyday is not easy to manage, as there are lots of small differences, and we have to adapt ourselves to the deck set up, the boat ergonomics, the feelings, and the adjustments. We only had 10 minutes to train this morning before the start, instead of the usual 40 minutes, so it was very tensed in terms of preparation.

"I'm very happy about the spirit we have in the team, as we were behind at the start, but we managed to come back close, to take the lead and to finish one minute ahead, which shows that we have a certain psychological strength within the team. It is really important after Jean-Marie Dauris hand's injury yesterday, as it affected us (he´s OK and will be back on the boat in a few days. In the meantime we had to proceed with a replacement to reorganize some of the positions in order to add a pit assist). Coming back like we did and getting this win against the Chinese was really good.

"Speaking about Ian Williams, every match we race together for now is like a “mini final” of the world championships, something is building up between our two crews, and so I really hope that the emulation each time we race against each other will allow us to improve even faster.”

Rod Dawson, Tactician : "We had a little bit of a tough start, because we only had about a few minutes to prepare for the race (we didn't have the mainsail before). So we were not so organised at the start, but from where we started, we actually got back into the race and our plan was just to keep it close, and make some more gains all the way round the course. We got closer and closer to them, we put a lot of pressure on them, and we were one boat length from them at the top mark rounding. From there they made a little mistake that we jumped on top off, as they jibed too early. At the bottom mark they got a penalty. After that we sailed really smoothly. We were fast, we got some shifts, and we just extended away. Plus they still had a penalty. So we got the point, and we´re happy.

"We will come with about 25 points that we came out of that race with, we will work on those in the debriefings so that we can improve for the next day to get better. The atmosphere on board is really really good, even if we ran through a lot of pressure on board at the start with no preparation, we made a couple of little mistakes, but the guys made a great job together."

So the team will be off tomorrow as it has no race scheduled, but there will be some work on shore to prepare the next match, on Sunday 1st of February, against Damiani Italia Challenge.

Pataugas by K-Challenge

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