A Perfect Race Clinches Second Place
11 September 2016
It was an amazing day on the water yesterday for Team Prospector. We needed a win to have any shot of improving our standings in the regatta. We not only won, we smashed it.
We lead the race wire to wire. Our lead increased at every mark of the course 1.5 minutes, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 6.5 minutes, 12 minutes and finally 15 minutes over Lucky who rounded each mark behind us. Lucky is an exceptional yacht, sailed by a very talented crew. She has a great pedigree, winning the Transatlantic Race in 2015 and the Sydney Hobart race in 2011. We knew going in she would be stiff competition and a good benchmark for the new Prospector and her crew.
We sailed a perfect race. None of us could recall a single mistake over the entire 25 nautical mile course. We had no drama. Nothing broke. The boat was the quietest it had been for the whole regatta. Everyone kept their head down, a hard thing to do on such a scenically beautiful course, and did their job. Sail changes and crew work were flawless, Peter’s tactics and Paul’s driving perfect. I kept us from hitting anything. Prospector responded to our efforts and was just fast, fast, fast.
I didn’t get to take a look at the results we were back at the villa for a post awards party celebratory dinner. I knew from the splits above that we had sailed well. To finish ahead of Lucky by that margin was instant confirmation that we sailed a great race yesterday. When I reviewed the results quietly and saw the margins we won by it dawned on me what an accomplishment yesterday’s effort was.
We finished second, 2 points behind Atalanta II and 1 point ahead of Lucky. The 6 points we got when we were scored DNF after we withdrew when our headstay broke in the second race was too big an obstacle to overcome in a short series. Though it is hard to not to think about what the results would have been had we gone on to win a race we were leading before the headstay broke, we have no regrets. Second place in our first event, in our first time at this regatta with virtually no time in the boat is a tremendous outcome.
After the race the crew loaded all the gear back on Prospector and Tery and a few of the crew took her back to Olbia to get her ready to be shipped back to the US at the end of the month. Some headed to the airport to begin the trip home. The rest of us took up residence in the bar at the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda and began a proper celebration that lasted through the awards party and dinner at the villa and long in to the night.