The boys from Bliksem were extremely proud that they hadn’t lost a regatta for almost a year that ended with their winning the Porto Cervo Melges 32 Worlds. And they looked on from afar at the hard-fought battles happening in Lauderdale and Key West, many of their crew interspersed throughout the growing fleet, confident that the Bliksem magic was still sound. With a new boat coming – likely in time for a 25-boat fleet at Miami – they decided to blow the cobwebs out with the old boat in Monaco at the Primo Cup. And they lost. Report from Jeremy "Troll" Wilmot:
We can’t say we weren’t warned about Primo Cup. Warned about the big shifts, crap breeze, freezing cold temps, and a bad race committee. We ignored all of this and went anyway – at the end of the day, it’s Monaco and not something to miss. And when we arrived, we had no one to blame but ourselves. Wind below 6 knots, pouring rain, 33 degrees (f) 30-40 degree shifts, and the committee was worse than we thought.
The racing was actually pretty interesting from a tactical standpoint. The 32 fleet was only nine-strong, but we shared the course with seven other fleets, making it feel like a sailing minefield. And of course, we were last to start. As Piet said in his speech at the end of the event, "Watching the fleets start in front of us was the most interesting and funniest part of the day." It was complete and total chaos, at times.
We had a poor start to the regatta – 7th after day one – and feeling pretty down. We were rusty, we had a different makeup to our team, and with Federico Michetti’s new "B-LIN" team looking so good, people were starting to wonder who these guys were that bought the Bliksem boat after Worlds.
Then we got into our groove, but not in time to catch B-LIN. The team is half of "Team 93" and half of "Uka Uka Racing" and with a 25 year-old owner/driver phenom at the stick, (and what a stick it is – see attached pic) they are one to watch for the 2010 run. As they said at the end of the event, "it’s 1-0 to them". Full results are here.
We salvaged a fun regatta and in true Bliksem fashion, had a blast off the water. Casinos were great, nightclubs were even better, and Team Bliksem has ticked this one off the list for good.