Pressure and The Cup
(C)update: America One Evens Up
America One overcame a 1:49 deficit at the first mark to beat Prada and tie the Challenger Final series at 1 each. For a complete report see www.torresen.com/cd.htm
Notable through two races has been the shiftiness of the breeze. Race 2 saw the wind move a total of 150°. Correctly ciphering the ongoing change America One overtook Prada on a run. This run saw America One fly three different spinnakers. The first one was ripped and a new one was hoisted in a peel. Soon after USA 61 jibe peeled to a 3rd kite. Without excellent crew work under pressure America One might be down 2-0. Conversely a bad jibe at the end of the first run was the start of Prada's loss.
Many commentators go back and forth on who has the psychological advantage. I think the first two days have shown that the Huraki Gulf winds have the advantage. The shiftiness and unpredictability has made for tough sailing. Still, both boats are staffed by professional sailors. Just like us with our own careers they are experienced men who work to win each day.
The notion of either team being psyched out is a bit much. Both teams will take a serious look and try to figure out the wind patterns before the other. Which ever one overcomes the barriers that the Huraki Gulf has put up will end up winning. The winner will get credit for out psyching his opponent when in reality it will be the team of professionals which outperforms the other in spite of oppressive pressure from wind and opponent that will win. Their advantage will be analytical not psychological.
Race 3 looks to be another tricky test. Forecasts call fore NE winds @ 5 knots with some sea breeze in the afternoon. Competitors have commented that the sea breeze makes the left favored. Watch for who can correctly call when to go left, this analytical call may decide race 3.
Miami Olympic Classes Regatta
Day 1 of racing was completed with classes sailing from 2 to 4 races. Conditions were moderate.
Day 1 top performers include Danish sailor Soren Jehnsen in the Europe class with 3 1sts. America Courtney Dey posted finished of 7th, 2nd and 5th.
American Mark Herrmann sailed strong winning a race and finishing 2nd twice. He leads Canadian Richard Clarke by 1 point.
Mark Mendenblatt a Florida native scored a total of 7 points in the Laser class. This puts him 11 points ahead of Norwegian Per Moberg,
The Tornado fleet has all American entries. Three teams stepped out on day 1. Lovell and Ogletree lead with 3 wins in 4 races. 2 points back are Daniel/Bernier with who finished 2nd in all 4 races. Not far back are Lars Guck and P.J. Schaffer with 13 points.
The Star class is led by Americans Reynolds and Liljerdahl with 1 win in two races and 4 points. Then comes six international boats with current world champion Eric Doyle in 8th after an 18 and a 4. The 18th perhaps showed Doyle's rust coming off the America's Cup sailing he did.
Day 2 will see many sailors try to continue their fine day 1 performances. The weather outlook for day 2 is temperatures in the 60's with Northerly winds from 10-15 knots.
Monnett and UUNET cross the Line
French sailor Phillippe Monnet left France on 10 January. The purpose of his voyage is to break the record for fastest circumnavigation sailing east to west, or against the prevailing winds. He is sailing an Open 60 monohull UUNET. British Sailor Mike Golding is the current record holder at 161 days. Sailing Daily will provide periodic reports tracking the success of his attempt.
At 12:54:01 on 26 January Phillippe Monnet and UUNET crossed the Equator. As usual passing through the fickle Doldrums was draining, "it was laborious and the Doldrums were difficult to cross in the second half" according to Monnet.
According to Monnet the crossing of the Equator really is significant, ""psychologically a gate has closed : home is astern and ahead its the great adventure".
Checking UUNET's progress she is 6 days ahead of current record holder Group 4. Monnett is even ahead of the pace set by Jean Luc Van Den Hede who made a recent failed attempt at the record.
Monnett is now sailing the hemisphere of the earth that will provide the severest test. He now heads for his first great Cape, in this case Cape Horn.
The Race: Club Med