Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good training for new crew additions in La Maddalena

After a good morning session, the afternoon training slot for BMW ORACLE Racing was cancelled with the wind exceeding 20 knots. With only four boats for 10 teams, and plenty of racing to complete over the next three weeks, prudence is surely a sensible course for the organisers to take.

But the morning session was a fruitful one for BMW ORACLE Racing, who were paired up with Azzurra, for a 75-minute session.

Among the new faces on the crew list (see full list below) is navigator Ian Moore, who joins the team after recent stints with Green Dragon in the last Volvo Ocean Race and TeamOrigin in the Nice and Auckland Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas. 

Moore also sailed with Louis Vuitton Cup winners Emirates Team New Zealand in the 32nd America's Cup and knows tactician John Kostecki from their days together with illbruck, where they won the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race. Trimmers Ross Halcrow and Dirk de Ridder were also on that illbruck team, so Moore isn't in unfamiliar territory on board, although he says it's been a while since he's sailed with the guys on the team. 

(Ian Moore between Jimmy Spithill and JK)

"I don't think I've sailed with JK since the Volvo. But he seems very relaxed and is enjoying the sailing. It's a nice feeling on board. I haven't sailed with Jimmy before, but I sailed with quite a few OneWorld guys (Spithill was helmsman for OneWorld in 2002-03)  at Team New Zealand, and they all raved about him and his starting, and although they're all just getting back into the swing of things on the monohuls, you can tell already it's going to be good.

"I think they're finding it really interesting to get back onto an ACC boat. I think they're enjoying racing two very similar boats. The closeness of the racing, the pre-starts, it's something the guys seem to be enjoying after the multhihull experience."

The training sessions are action-packed. With just 75 minutes on board, the teams roll immediately into a couple of practice starts, before sailing a one lap, short course, race. Today, the team was paired up against the very strong Azzurra team and Moore said it was great, intense, practice session. 

"We might have copped a penalty in one of the pre-starts, but that's also good in a way… to learn what you can and can't get away with while it doesn’t count against you, but we had a good race against them."

The team has more training scheduled on Wednesday.

The crew list for the team in La Maddalena is as follows:

Bow - Brad Webb
Mid Bow - Ryan Godfrey
Mast - Shannon Falcone
Pit  - Matthew Mason
Port Grind - Brian MacInnes
Starboard Grind  - Jono Macbeth
Main Grind - Joe Spooner
Upwind Trim - Ross Halcrow
Downwind Trim - Joey Newton
Main Trim - Dirk de Ridder
Traveler/Up Mast - Mark Mendelblatt
Helm - James Spithill
Tactician - John Kostecki
Runner Strategy    - Michele Ivaldi
Navigator - Ian Moore
Aft Grind - Simeon Tienpont
Aft Grind - Gillo Nobili