Extreme Sailing Series - On Artemis Racing it could have been worse

Second day of Racing, 21st of February. Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1, Muscat, Oman (20 - 24 February 2011)
Extreme Sailing Series Act 1, The Wave, Muscat. Day 2 report from the Artemis Racing Team.

Well, it was a different day today. In the days leading up to the racing, it certainly felt like all the days had been pretty similar. Sunny, warm, fairly flat water and 8-14 knots of wind. We were starting to feel pretty comfortable sailing the Extreme 40 in those conditions (even though we are newcomers to the class). But today was different. It was cloudy, very lumpy water and 15-22 knots of wind. In fact, the race committee made all of the teams reef their mainsails before the first start to reduce sail area.

Today was a reminder that we are still learning these boats and this style of racing. We had never done a race with a reef in. Or raced in big waves. We certainly learned a lot today and the price of most of the lessons were a few places here and there. The result is that we are fifth overall, but still within reach of the lead group. We definitely sailed below our potential today, but we will show some form again before this event is done.

An interesting incident today. The company responsible for capturing the onboard video gave me a 10 minute lesson this morning on how to turn on and operate the camera that is mounted on a carbon fibre post on the transom of the port hull. They made it clear that it was critical for me to turn the camera on for all the racing and treat the camera like gold. Approaching the top mark of Race 4 today, Team 'NiceForYou' misjudged their distance when trying to go behind us. The spinnaker prod on these boats extends well beyond the bows of the hulls.

As they came hurtling towards us, I saw Terry duck at the last second as this huge carbon prod went flying over his head! It was a well timed duck, as I think his head would have rolled off if he hadn't! Then the prod continued it's path across our trampoline. It miraculously did not damage any part of our boat, or crew, but as it left the back of our boat it smashed that camera right off it's post. I just saw this little device flying into the ocean, never to be seen again. I thought to myself: 'What a waste of time that whole on/off thing was!'

So it wasn’t the greatest day for us today, but it could have been a lot worse. Decapitation fits into that category.

Tomorrow we begin three days of 'stadium racing'. We actually have no idea what that means, but we know one thing for sure: We need to be ready for anything! And we will be!