Yesterday the MedCup fleet raced a spectacular 36-mile coastal course, in winds that pumped up to 26 knots. I was at the back of the Team Origin boat, and had a great view of Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and the rest of the team working their new TP52 around the course. We had two breakdowns, which the crew jumped on quickly, so there was plenty of fast and furious action. Here are some of the views:
Here’s another downwind. You can see all the crews crowded into the stern, trying to keep the bows from submarining:
At the bottom of the run, our spinnaker halyard broke:
But despite all the chaos it was hard not to notice how profoundly beautiful the coast is here off Marseilles:
Today the wind is forecast to pump it up again, and we’ll be back to round-the-buoys racing…
Yesterday I caught a ride with Luna Rossa/Prada for Day 1 of the racing at the MedCup.
Torben Grael was calling tactics, Lorenzo Bressani was driving, and Matteo Plazzi was navigating. The racing is as tight as it gets, and any mistake, or bad luck with a shift, makes a big difference on the leaderboard. At the first windward mark we came in on port tack, and the lack of half a boatlength cost us two boats.
You can watch video replays of the racing here, but I shot some sequences which give a slightly tighter view of what this sort of racing, even in light wind, is like:
Here’s the Race 3 start, where Luna Rossa is the right-most boat (unfortunately the left was the place to be AND we sailed the race with a shrub wrapped around the keel).
At the second windward mark rounding in the second race, Emirates Team New Zealand was right on our stern, but ran into this little problem (they got a replacement up so fast they did not lose a single place).
And here is the start of Race 1, proving even Ben Ainslie (on Team Origin) sometimes has to bail.