Sailing: nice and clean sailing arena just outside the Venice. Weather conditions were gentle under clear and sunny skies, with winds never exceeding 15 knots and most of the time above 5 knots, enabling 9 races to be sailed.
As usual, the podium wasn’t final until the very last leg to the finish.
Whilst the competitors ran no risk of being distracted by the seascape during the races, all crews had a chance to motor toward the Gran Canal and have a splendid view of the ancient city.
Wednesday: Hand-over of the boats. Some motivated crews 5 crews had come early enough to get acquainted with the Salona 37, which appeared to be reasonably interesting boats to race as well as the comfortable cruisers anyone was expecting. The boats were actually quite fast into the wind, even in light wind conditions and despite their full batten main sails. An average 5 to 6 knots sailing upwind in 7-10 knots of winds isn’t too bad indeed.
Thursday: Given the easy sailing condition, no practice race was actually required and the committee immediately sent the fleet on a small technical course with legs not longer than 0.6m. It didn’t take long for the best teams to stand out. At the end of the day, 4 races had been sailed and 4 teams were clearly ahead. Maarten de Vries (INSEAD I) had taken the lead with 2 first places although with only one point lead (on a total of 10) over Rob Coterill (LBS) and Moritz Vielhauer (Columbia). Chicago Booth and Athens University, the new kids on the block, prudently let the others pave the way and closed the finish line.
Friday: In similarly good sailing conditions, with 10 knots of easterly breeze, the first race saw Marc Le Borgne (INSEAD II) taking the lead right after a bullet start at the port end of the line. At the end of the 1st downwind leg, the committee shortened the course in anticipation of stormy gusts threatening to come across the sailing area... much to the frustration of the IMD crew which was irresistibly catching up on INSEAD.
But even more frustrating was the decision by the Committee to cancel the racing for the rest of the day in consideration of a warning issued by the Marine Authorities of Venice. This proved to be over conservative as the wind never exceeded 12 knots during the whole day. There was a good in the evil and the early return made it easier for everyone to enjoy the rest of the afternoon strolling in Venice before and after the dinner. Even the most competitive teams eventually consoled themselves with a delicious wine tasting arranged by the MIP organizing team.
After this 5th race, the 4 leaders were still very much ahead, although with a different ranking, Columbia now leading by 2 points before IMD and LBS. The race was too short for INSEAD I (Maarten) to recover from a bad start and their 9th left them 5 points behind the leader. However, discarding the worst race, brought the leading pack of 4 in a nutshell, all having either 10 points (IMD, INSEAD, Columbia) or 11 points (IMD)!
Saturday: Very much contradicting the statistics, the wind on Saturday was still holding 12 knots and 4 more races were sailed, allowing for 2 races to be discarded in the final ranking.
The highlights of this day was presumably the spectacular port tack start brillantly executed by Nao’s IMD team on the last race. Not enough, though, to steal the final victory from the LBS team who made no mistake on that last day (2-2-1-1).
Statistics are always fun to run at the end of the races...
Maarten de Vries (INSEAD I) is the one with most wins (3 wins)
The other 3 teams of the leading pack: Rob (LBS), Nao (IMD) and Moritz (Columbia), each had 2 wins.
Alessandro Vitale (MIP), the organizing team, courteously did’nt interfer in the 1st half of the fleet but did score a win at the 6th race.
The ABCup official ranking takes into account the onshore contests (which cannot be discarded). This year, the result of the onshore game hasn’t dramatically altered the sailing ranking. It however enabled IMD (Nao) to take the silver out of the hands of INSEAD I (Maarten) thanks to their well thought presentation on the Thursday night onshore game.