The Weather - The memorial travel back to the origins of the ABCup didn’t go without the typical (so they say) Breton weather. From the 35-knot southerly gale on Thursday to the total lack of wind which killed the 8th and last race, we had all possible conditions.
It started on Wednesday with 20 knots for a rather robust practice session. Half a dozen teams gathered near the entrance of the river for a series of starting procedures and tactical races supervised by the local coach, Arnaud Walter.
Unfortunately, the predicted foul weather did show-up on Thursday. 35knots of southerly wind and the resulting high seas triggered a BMS (Bulletin Meteo Special) from the National weather office, which grounded all teams for the day. A visit to the entrance of Golfe du Morbihan and to the Côte Sauvage de Quiberon was informative and ... releaved the most keen sailors from the urge to ‘have a go at it’ (not to mention the killing sentence dropped by the Team Wind manager: «vous n’êtes pas assurés (insured) si vous sortez»..., which hardly kept Maarten de Vries onshore)
The wind had turned west during the night. Therefore, eventhough it was still blowing 25 knots on Friday, the sea, sheltered by Quiberon was more friendly. The SNT (Société Nautique de La Trinité sur mer) sent the fleet out, with a strict ban on Spinnakers and a limitation on the headsail (no genoa). The combination of sun and good breeze made for nice and dynamic photos by Eric Rousseau. See on the ‘photos’ tab. By the end of the day, half a dozen winch handles had jumped overboard. The fact that the Team Winds handles have no clip didn’t help. The proposed justification is that a damaged clip transforms the then unremovable handle into a dangerous animal.
The Saturday weather was much more civilized. The gentle westerly breeze of 7 to 12 knots allowed for the spis and genoas to go up for 3 good races toward Port Haliguen. Unfortunaly the wind died out before the fleet could cross the finish line of the 4th race of the day.
Langoustines and white wine were distributed to each boat at lunch time on Friday... an episode much appreciated - in particular - by Johannes Tinsobin and the IE and RSM sailors!
The racing - The solid 25-knot breeze blowing over the Bay on the Friday drew a firm line between the 3 leaders and the rest of the fleet. After the 4 races of the day, IMD, Insead (de Vries) and LBS (Cotterill) were within 3 points, each one having scored a win and never worse than 5th. INSEAD (M Le Borgne) and HEC (Lerique), not too far behind, were leading a pack of 4. Bocconi and Oxford were very courteously sharing equal numbers of 11th and 12th rankings.
Saturday provided ideal sailing conditions for tactical and sail-tuning skills to emerge. The clear winner of the day was HEC with one win and two 2nd ranks. Whilst this threatened the two INSEAD teams (De Vries and Le Borgne) it was not enough to divert LBS and IMD from their mercyless fight for the highest step.
As far as pure sailing is concerned, IMD won the gold just 2 points ahead of LBS and INSEAD (Marteen) hardly saved his bronze medal against HEC and INSEAD (Le Borgne).
At the end of these two days of racing, it was evident that, once again the onshore games were going to be decisive for the final podium of the 20th ABCup.