D35 season opener - Lake Geneva

2012-05-05 - Artemis Team Update

Final Day

Today was the final day of a great weekend of racing on Lake Geneva. We sailed four great races to go with the previous ten, for a total of 14 races. The winds today were again in the 10-12 knot range with gusts to 16 at times.

Artemis Racing had a pretty good day with scores of 5,2,5,6 and held our third place overall. We were pretty pleased with that result considering we did very little training as a complete crew prior to the regatta.

Alinghi and Realstone ('the kids') tied for first place overall, but Alinghi won the tie breaker due to having more first place finishes. Alinghi won the last two races of the weekend, while the kids finished 7, 3 and thus closed the gap and forced the tie. Realstone is known as "the kids" as the crew are all about 23 years old or younger and they train a lot. They trained for two months in the D35 prior to this weekend and it showed. Very smooth on boat handling and they know the lake pretty well.

We were just two points ahead of Lady Cat this morning so we were happy to extend that gap to eight points by the end of the weekend.

The Southwesterly wind was shifty as always and in the last race there were some very large "holes" of no wind. There was so much passing and being passed that I can't possibly recount it all. Suffice to say that it was never over until you crossed the finish line and often boats made big comebacks after being last after the first lap.

I want to thank Yvan, Frank, Gilles, Sarah, Noel and Maxime for a great job this weekend! 14 races is a lot and the wind was up so the crew work load was high and everyone put in 110%. Catamarans are fast and fun but also a lot of work. Sailing a D35 with six gives one a good appreciation for the AC45 which is sailed with just 5 crew and the AC72 with its 40 meter wing which will be sailed with just 11.

The next event for the D35s is Le Grand Prix de Crans in three weeks time. Before that, we have the AC45 World Series event in Venice in 10 days.

I am back to Valencia tonight to the Artemis Racing base of operations.



Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs - Day 2

A much better day today onboard Artemis Racing as we moved up into third place overall. It was a long day on the water with six races in 12-18 knots of wind from the Southwest. We were much more consistent in our speed and handling of the boat and this gave us scores of 3, 3, 3, 1 5, 6.

One boat capsized today and another lost a crew member overboard. During the 3rd race, the breeze came up to 18 knots and was very gusty so bearaways around the windward marks were dicey depending on the wind strength you had when you got there. Fortunately, we had a pretty safe day although crew member Sarah Gundersen got her knee pretty badly banged up and will probably not sail tomorrow.

These boats are very demanding on the crew. After six races, they are beat. There is a social function on at the Societe Nautique de Geneve tonight and I will go alone to fly the Artemis colors as the rest of the team wants only to eat and go to sleep.

The forecast for tomorrow is for lots of rain and gusty winds again from the Southwest. We can expect 4-5 races again.



Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs

Today was the beginning of another season in the D35 Class here on Lake Geneva. This first regatta, Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs, is part of a series of regattas called "The Vulcain Trophy", which includes the Bol d'Or in June. Artemis finished 4th last season and we were excited to get back out there this morning.

Six races were planned for the fleet of nine boats sailing out of the Societe Nautique de Geneve today. We had clear blue skies this morning and the wind filled in around noon. Racing got under way at 1230. We had a very mediocre day onboard Artemis during the first 3 races, with scores of 8th, 4th and 6th, in the 6-8 knot breeze from the Northeast. Nothing in particular happened but a lot of little things did not go well. Probably a little "rust" from not having sailed competitively in the boat for six months.

Then there was a long pause while the wind shifted 180 degrees and filled in at 20 knots with gusts to 22 knots and lulls to 9 knots. As the wind was coming off the city, it was very puffy and shifty. The sailing was very exciting and the boats were traveling at high speeds in the conditions. We'd had a decent third race in the 4th race of the day were sailing upwind on starboard tack and we were on a collision course with Zen who was on port tack. They tried to slow down to get behind us and miss judged it. The result was a violent crash into our port side. The hull is ok but the port "rack" is destroyed. We had to withdraw from further racing for the day. One of our crew members was thrown into the water from the impact and we narrowly avoided a pitch pole (capsizing by putting the bow under (a cartwheel) as Zen spun us away from the wind.

Anyway, we got the boat back to the dock at the SNG and are in the midst of a repair so we can compete again tomorrow.