We are heading into event two here in San Francisco, the last event was certainly a whirlwind, we were limited in our training time on the water and I was coming into the event straight off the back of the Olympics. This time we have a base here in San Francisco and it’s starting to feel a little like home. We have had an opportunity to get some decent training time in on the water and we’ve been lucky enough to train alongside the ORACLE TEAM USA guys as well as some of the other teams when they arrived here.
It’s been great to train with Jimmy and Russell we have definitely learnt a huge amount, we still have a lot of learn, but I certainly hope that we can have better form than last time and I feel that we are definitely capable of raising our game. It was pretty difficult getting focused and into the flow of things last time, I feel much more focused and prepared and the whole team is starting to really come together.
The big interest is of course on Sunday or ‘Super Sunday’ as it’s more commonly known around here. The opportunity is certainly there for the taking, you have to keep yourself in the hunt going into that race if you have a good race there then the results can be great.
San Francisco itself it buzzing, we are in the middle of a host of events, from Fleet Week to Oracle World, there is a great atmosphere helped somewhat by the balmy indian summer weather we are experiencing, the chilly winds have been replaced with sunshine and the temperature is rising. It would be great if the expected thousands of spectators turn out, we had a bit of an experience of that at the Olympics at home, it’s good for sailing, there is a lot of interest and it’s great for the sport. There is so much interest in sailing here in San Francisco and the America’s Cup. America is so vast things can easily get lost, especially with al the football, basketball and baseball going on, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in here in San Francisco so it is great to be a part of that.
In terms of the racing, we have a difference course, it has moved a little further east towards Alcatraz, so that will require a certain change to strategy as we deal with some potentially slightly lighter winds this week. It’s a different challenge and there are some different players in the game at this event, so it should make for some fun racing. I think the main thing I have learnt over the last few weeks is the importance of the nuances, the techniques. As the racing is so close you have to have really good technique on the boat, just basic things like trim,ing the wing on my own, learning the best technique for doing that. If you can get the boat handling around the course slick then that makes a huge difference to the results. It’s still early days but I think we have stepped up another level from last time. Frustratingly I seemed to have picked up a virus this week, so I’m hoping that a day’s rest and a good nights sleep will help ahead of racing tomorrow.