SWE v. GBR. Artemis Racing v. Land Rover BAR. Nathan Outteridge (AUS) v. Ben Ainslie (GBR). Artemis looked slow in their loss to NZL in the first race today, like they were sailing in cheese fondue not the clear blue waters of Bermuda. Will they find their light-air legs against the lowly Brits? On the approach to the start, both teams got low of the starboard layline to the pin end. They had to pinch hard to get up to the line, and both were very slow at the start, GBR behind SWE. But Sir Ben did a better job pulling the trigger, and got around SWE to windward, and took an early lead that eventually stretched to 350m on Leg 4. SWE came back a bit midway up Leg 5, but it was too little, too late.
I just noticed that Annabel's has hard-to-see branding on LRBAR's red rudders. Have you ever been to Annabel's, the swanky black-tie (or was last I knew) night club in London's posh Mayfair district? Speaking of colors, for a brief moment the blue and yellow Artemis livery (IMHO the best looking boat) reminds me of IKEA and their delicious, inexpensive Swedish meatballs. Must be time for lunch.
You know the race is boring when I have time to think, let alone write, about the distractions in the foregoing 'graph. Sorry! GBR wins by 30 secs.
This is a big loss for SWE, their third in a row. They're tied for last on two points with JPN and FRA. Who would've thought? Well, SI, ahem, is looking prescient for having said in our pre-regatta predictions that Artemis were over-rated. If GBR didn't have the two bonus points going in to the RRs, they, too, would be on 2 points with the other three laggards. We also predicted for you that OTUSA and ETNZ would be the class of the AC50 class. As the Bard famously said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and for our SAILING ILLUSTRATED team our prediction pudding is tasting pretty good just now.
But there's a lot of regatta left, and some room if not much time for teams to improve.
Your Ed. is very happy to see Sir Ben and the Brits get a win on the scoreboard. Very. Have the Brits improved overnight? Or did Artemis make the wrong foil choice for the conditions? Did the lighter air hurt SWE who have looked good in the windier conditions of RR1 and pre-regatta practice racing?
If OTUSA had not lost their RR1 race with Artemis, the Swedish team would be in last place on only one point. For the past couple days in BDA the woumors have been wampant that OTUSA tossed that race to help their give their Artemis friends a leg up against the Kiwis. SI has no idea if that rumor is true, but you can bet we are looking into it.
One last thought – as we get into and through June the weather trend is for lighter air, which does not bode well for Artemis.
NBCSN's programming is now is back on something more popular with the masses – fishing. Sorry, not my thing. But to commemorate what we've seen this morning, maybe we'll cook up some IKEA meatballs. I think we have some in the freezer....