Saturday in Valencia
was another gorgeous sailing day. Sunny, not too hot, 15-18 knots. Same as it was Friday, indeed as it has been much of August. Town is quiet, traffic is minimal, the beaches are packed. One wonders why we are not racing the LVC finals and AC Match in August instead of June, with the run-ups in June-July when the breeze is clearly more reliable than in April-May.
After a well-deserved two-week break for most of our colleagues, we have been back at it this week in VLC enjoying the excellent weather and sailing conditions. At this point most of the other teams are racing elsewhere (TP 52s, match racing tour, Farr 40s, Olympic test event in China, etc.) or are on holidays, or both.
Yesterday (Friday) we saw SWE and RSA also sailing here (one-boating); today only BMW ORACLE Racing was out. For the coming weeks we will continue to take advantage of the good breeze normal this time of year, before it goes lighter as it cools off next month -- and the days get shorter.
ETNZ trained here until early August. They have now packed up and are headed back to New Zealand to launch their second new boat (now identified as 92). They will train in NZL until Christmas and then return to VLC in February, or so we read.
In early August one of Luna Rossa's boats, presumably their new ITA 86, was shrink-wrapped and trucked off to points unknown. Carving already? Otherwise quiet at our neighbor's next door.
Alinghi trained here last week but it has been quiet at their base this week. They trucked 75 off to Switzerland a week or so ago for a promotional tour. We hear Alinghi are planning to train in December and January in Dubai of all places, possibly joined by the Swedes. Wonder what Emirates Team NZ's title sponsor thinks of all that?
After the hugely successful German Sailing Grand Prix at Kiel (still generating nice ink
for Shosho, UITG and ourselves -- and the Cup in general), UITG trained in VLC for a week or so with their new GER 89, but we have not seen them out this week. No apparent action at +39 while they finish up their one new boat ITA 85. Mascalzone, too, are quiet; they are said to be building a second new boat after rumored concerns with their first ITA 90. [30 Aug update -- our longtime friend, Margherita Bottini (ITA, Mascalzone press officer and a real pro) wrote today saying, "...certainly our second boat has been in our program from the beginning."] China Team are working on their new base; press reports indicate they are now building their one new boat on a wooden male mold in China. No action at the Areva Base; they are building their one new boat now announced as FRA 93 in France. Press reports say that the Spanish are working on their second new boat; otherwise it's also been quiet at the green base most of this month.
Dog days of summer? But some of the best days all year for testing and training in VLC.
Wrapping up a good week of training and testing on a gorgeous and breezy Saturday off Valencia, Richard Slater (AUS, rules advisor) umpires practice racing between USA 87 and USA 7X. Richard was with Alinghi in the same capacity during AC 31, and is widely considered one of the best in the business.