Under The Cosh
It’s Day 1 of the 52 SUPER SERIES and the time comes for the talking to end, the preparations and planning are behind us and the hours have come to perform and put points on the board.
Winds are forecast to be light today, up to ten knots perhaps. The program is for two windward leeward races with the possibility of a short delay waiting for the breeze to fill as it has been relatively calm around the marina this morning. Despite the fact these are some of the top sailors on the planet, the owners are some of the most committed and experienced around, the nervous tension around the 52 SUPER SERIES dock is very evident this morning.
Ian Walker, double Olympic medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winner joins Gladiator this season as tactician. He admits:
“I’m slightly nervous. We just want to be in amongst it these first few days, to be in the mix.”
“From now I think you have to get through to Friday’s coastal race and then see where you sit. Between now and then, it’s a little bit about ‘holding your serve’. The thing that is most noticeable this year is that the teams have raised their game and everyone has improved after a season of racing their boats. The margin between last year’s best team, which was Azzurra, and whatever the worst team was was, is a lot closer. I think you’re going to have to scrap and fight and claw for every single point. I mean you could look back on a regatta and think ‘boy we lost one boat down the last run’, that boat is going to be critical so you have to sail the thing right through until the finish.”
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