Groupama Team France v. SoftBank Team Japan. Franck Cammas v. Dean Barker. I have been asked not to put the results in the headline so as to not to spoil it for those of you who are recording the races and watching them later. This was the lightest, slowest race of the series by far. There were a couple times when one boat was going 20kts and the other doing 10. Shorter legs were set by Regatta Director Iain Murray to keep the times within the target 20-minute window agreed with TV. Full course time limit is 25 minutes. The course can be shortened at a gate after, I think, at least 5 legs have been sailed. Will check on that. Regardless, FRA was at least 5 seconds late to the start, and JPN was a bit late, too, but well ahead. JPN launched out to a big early lead which they held throughout the race. Boooooring.
Indeed the race was shortened at Gate 6, eliminating the final Leg 7 "blast reach" to the finish line. Not much of a blast today. The breeze has dropped off to 3-4 knots if that, at least at the bottom of the course. More wind at the top of the course than the bottom. JPN are a leg ahead at Gate 5 doing 20kts while FRA are drifting through Gate 4. JPN wins at Gate by more than a leg, the largest delta of the regatta by far – 5:59. Ugh.