Ironic after a day blown off as severe gale force winds battered the nearby rock of Gibraltar, day two of the 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina started with barely a breath of wind. Fortunately, right on queue just before the appointed midday start time, the wind on the Bay of Gibraltar suddenly and forcefully kicked in with an offshore breeze stabilising at 13 knots from 280°.

At the start the new Spanish team Noticias of Luis Martín Cabiedes with his World Champion-laden crew (they have 23 such titles between them) won the pin while Black Star Sailing Team started at the race committee boat and tacked to claim the right, followed by John Bassadone and his local heroes on Peninsula Racing. Up the first beat the right paid and it was a confident-looking Black Star that was first around the top mark. Sadly some spinnaker issues coming into the leeward gate dropped the Swiss team to second behind Aleph Racing, which had picked up places on the run. The French team rounded the port gate mark, tacked to the right and consolidated their position over Black Star as the wind speed jumped up to 20+ knots in the gusts. “There was pressure, some right hand in the breeze and a bit of current relief too on the right once you got close in,” explained Aleph Racing’s Italian tactician Michele Ivaldi of their tactics. 

 “ We felt really comfortable. We had a good practice race day with two seconds and a third and we’ve found the best balance for trimming and steering the boat though the choppy stuff. It was a good first day – I am definitely pleased. It is a great venue here.”