I’m really excited to be joining Oracle Team USA for the defense of the 35th America’s Cup. We had our first training camp since the last defense this week in Sydney in parallel with Team Australia. Thanks to everybody for your support and excitement over the last couple weeks. Check back for more to come. Here’s a look at how things went.
Racing the AC45s this week was eye-opening and at the same time comfortable. Sailing consistent angle of heel upwind is not dissimilar to the Star or Laser days. Frankly sailing the boats downwind is as much like the E Scow as anything else, with the apparent wind angles, accelerations, and heel. The boats are hard to sail, no doubt. Heart rates are up and the same decisions about breeze and tactics still need to be made, often at a faster pace than most are accustomed to. The challenge is really refreshing and exciting for me. The team that’s put together is phenomenal and I’m excited to continue to progress.
We had an interesting weekend racing J105s on San Diego’s city front last weekend. Plenty of light air, some strange southerly conditions, and a big tide made the racing complicated but fun. I was a late fill-in with a great team led by Brad Rodi along with Al and Molly Pleskus, Steve Hunt, Chris Busch and V/C Chuck Sinks. The end result a close regatta was an SDYC victory in the 99th Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup. Looking forward to some good teams next year for the defense.
My crew John von Schwarz and I counted boats feverishly after we finished the final race of the Star Worlds yesterday. We could hardly savor the horns and cheers of congratulations from the many spectator boats as we crossed the line first because we were so keenly watching where the rest of our opponents were finishing and firming up the final positions.
We went into the final day of racing in 7th position. We could have dropped to 10th had things gone poorly, but the best-case-scenario was that we could move to 2nd. That would have taken a race win by us and a lot of luck that our competition stumbled in their final race. It was out of our hands except to go out and have a good race. John von and I started near the mid-line boat all week. It worked well in Race 1, 2, 4 and 5, so we figured we’d stick to the plan. We tacked onto port quickly after the start and spent the next 19 minutes sailing towards Point Loma. Staying out of the current and in the veins of pressure soon became the most important goal of the race as we neared the top mark. The wind got very wacky as thunderstorms floated over east San Diego county. For two legs Xavier Rohart was actually winning the regatta before sailing into a colossal hole and drifting back to a throw-out score giving us the 16 points we needed to catch him and pass him. All of the other great sailors just ahead of us at the beginning of the day tried desperately to find lanes of wind, but ultimately John and I got a great break go our direction. We won the final race and move all the way up the leaderboard to 2nd overall for the World Championship.
Big congratulations to Johnny Mac and Phil for a great regatta. We had a great time racing against them as always. We just wish we could have had a couple more!!! John said it’s taken 7 silver stars (continental or hemisphere championships) and something close to 20 blue stars (district championships) before he earned his gold star. For Phil, this is his second set of four gold bars. Having just won our first District championship last month, John von and I will have to be happy with a blue star and a few gold chevrons for winning the last two races at this worlds. I’m looking forward to another shot at the Gold star soon!
Thanks to SDYC for putting on a fantastic regatta, and even moreso to our great many fans out there on the race course and around the country. After all those years of campaigning this was one of the first times my family has been able to see us race. Thanks everybody for coming out. We’ve had so many great notes from people this week. Thank you all.
For full results click here.
Video Recap from Day 6
Here’s a look at how wild the up-and-down conditions were yesterday’s race 5:
We’re probably looking at more craziness today. Should be a in final race though. Lots of potential movement in the fleet. And the top spot is still up for grabs.
Follow the live tracker at starworld2013.com
Check www.StarWorlds2013.com for the latest entry info and to get registered.
Entry website: http://starclass.org/2013WorldsEntry.php if you haven’t done so already
Looking forward to everybody joining us in San Diego next month!