A great start

The whole Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team enjoyed the first battle in the race. It was a convincing win but we are taking nothing for granted.

At the start there was a definite bias for the pin end and Puma took a real flyer for the line but we hit the line with more pace and managed to come out in a good position along with them to windward and Camper to leeward.

There was very little difference in boat speed up the first beat but it was crucial that we got their first. We knew we could control Puma overlapped to windward but it was important that Camper did not gain an overlap on us to leward. We made the top mark first and an excellent hoist kept the momentum going.

Camper was right on our tail for the second leg but we really consolidated our lead at the leward mark. The team have been practicing a gybe peel all week and we wanted to change from the A2 to the masthead shute and pulled off a good one. The shute allowed us to sail much deeper and in clear air we got away well.

As I said, we are delighted and it was nice to see that the crew were calm in the heat of the battle but we are not resting on any laurels, we know that we have a great boat and crew but this is going to be a tough race, we don´t fear anybody but we respect all of the teams.

A pro-am race for me today and a day off tomorrow.

All the best,