Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday split

The guys split their two matches on Monday at the Louis Vuitton Trophy, earning a morale-building win over Artemis to close out round two. Unfortunately, it's not enough to break into the top four and qualify for the Semi Finals.

Instead the team will race for final ranking position on the leaderboard against the bottom half of the fleet.

Today's conditions were outstanding for racing, especially in the second match. Probably the best of the entire regatta, and the team revelled in the stronger winds (12 to 14 knots).

Mast man Shannon Falcone (ANT) said it was nice to finally have a chance to get the heart rate up on the handles.

"The guys felt good. Up in the front of the boat we've always wanted to kind of 'take it to them' all week," he said. They had that chance in race two, with a 19-tack tacking duel that BMW ORACLE Racing used to slide in front of Artemis on the first beat.

Earlier in the day, Shannon found himself out in unfamiliar territory in front of the mast, perched on the bow, during the first race. At the leeward the gate, the guys 'trawled' the spinnaker and needed some extra muscle to get it back on board.

"If you've never experienced how much a chute can pull in the water, it's unbelievable," Shannon said. "Smitty (Alan Smith - NZL) was in front of me, and he's standing on the chute, which isn't very stable so I was trying to decide whether to hold him, or pull the sail in. Normally, you'd probably just cut the lines and let the sail go, but you can't do that here. We have the one sail for the regatta."

Check out the Louis Vuitton Trophy website for more info on what's happening in Nice.

(Thanks to Paul Todd and Bob Grieser from Louis Vuitton for the images)