Artemis XIV (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Anders Pedersen) won both races on the second day of the Scandinavian Gold Cup, in Newport, Australia, to equal his own record of three consecutive Cup victories. In a first to three race wins format, he dispatched the opposition in just three races.
It was a smoky day on the Palm Beach Circle but there was no dust on Artemis XIV as they led the first race from start to finish and then made some great decisions in the second to take the lead twice before sealing the win.
The wind had turned to the south, and built to just over 20 knots, producing some long surfing waves and also bringing with it a lot of smoke from the south-east of the country. The coastline was curtained in a thin haze that reminded everyone of bigger problems further afield.
Nergaard picks up the story, “Once again it was a windy day. We seemed to like that. It was a good swell, with good opportunities downwind to use the surfs, so we liked that.”
“In the first race it was going to the left and we seemed to be OK with that, and succeeded with that in the first race, but the Australians tried the right on the last upwind in the first race and actually gained so it was definitely a change from the left in the first race to going to the right in the second ace. There was some better wind and some lifts near the shore.”
In the first race Artemis XIV had things much their own way, but winning the pin in both races, were initially held out to the left in the second race. New Moon II (BAH 24, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) had tacked off to the right after the start and but when they came back they crossed the fleet. But it was all very close. At the top, Beta Crucis (AUS 63, Martin Cross, Bob Stoddard, Martin Bunch) held a small lead but Artemis XIV came through on the run and rounded the right gate while New Moon II rounded the left and headed inshore.
New Moon II fared best and rounded the second top back in the lead. However, again it didn’t last. Artemis XIV went deep on the run, pulled through and rounded the left hand gate and it was all but over. With New Moon II favouring the left for the first time, when they came back together near the top Artemis XIV had enough of a lead to make a comfortable last downwind to take their third race win in a row and also their third Scandinavian Gold Cup in a row.