Wednesday: the hand-over process was seamless thanks to the efficient charter team put upfront by Atlantique Temps Reel. The ‘express check-up’ done by Bernardo and Erique with Marc on the Tuesday enabled the 5 earliest teams to do some good practice sailing in the morning. The welcome cocktail took place on the terrace of the Baia Hotel facing the bay of Cascais.
Thursday: the fleet of 12 Grand-Surprise could do 4 tactical races under a gentle breeze of 8 to 12 knots . The participants of this 15th ABCup regatta.were welcome by a glorious sun for this 1st day of racing. It became quite evident that the team formed by the alumni WU Wien were going to be hard to challenge. IMD (Martti Malka) and LBS (Rob Coterill) being aligned for a podium. Guy Le Péchon and ‘l’équipage des présidents INSEAD’ firmly established their lead on the rest of the fleet.
Friday: Whilst the initial plan was to sail to Lisbon in a series of coastal races, it was eventually decided to stay in the bay of Cascais in consideration of the rather light wind and the strong current which the fleet would have had to fight at the level of Oeiras. The first departure could only take place near 12:00. 3 tactical races left no doubt about the speed superiority of WU Wien, served by excellent maneuvering. With two places of 2nd, the LBS alumni started to threaten IMD’s position as N°2 of the fleet. At the end of the day, IMD alumni are only 1 point ahead of LBS. the ‘INSEAD presidents’ (Guy Le Pechon, Ole Roed and Hans Peter Finne) are maintaining their lead over the rest of the fleet, whilst Rottedam (Joost Zuidberg) and the mixed crew INSEAD/HEC (Gilad Lederer and Philippe Lerique) are not far behind. Interestingly, at 6pm on this Thursday, there is only one point separating the teams which return last to the marina: alumni of Bocconi led by Massimo Introzzi and those from HEC handicapped by the departure of their captain Paul Joubert who had to be taken ashore for an injured hand.
Saturday: At 10:00, everyone was set for a good windy leg toward the belem tower, when a very fog fell on the bay in less than 5 minutes. The race committee immediately ordered the genoas down. It was fun to hear Marc’s Breton pipe (he calls it a ‘bombarde’) in this typically scottish ambiance. The fog being still very dense after 15mn, the fleet returned to the marina ... to the great pleasure of the bars and restaurants which got some 80 unexpected customers for 2 good hours, the time needed for the bay to re-appear from the fog. Unfortunately there was no time left for the tentative cruise to Lisbon and the committee resolved to stay one more (and last) day in the bay for another series of tactical courses. Again VU Wien lead the fleet followed by IMD and LBS. 5 minutes before the end of the last race The 2nd place was still up for grabs. Eventually, a series of luffing matches between the two Insead teams Le Pechon and Le Borgne presented LBS with a wonderful opportunity which they didn’t miss. At the end of the Three days LBS is ahead of IMD by only 2 points... a small advantage which could easily be challenged by a good onshore performance by the IMD team .