Chris Law has arrived in Cowes Week fresh from his win in the prestigious Swedish Match Cup in Maistrand, Sweden and, as ever, is forthright about the current sailing scene
Veteran British match racer Chris Law has arrived in Cowes Week fresh from his win in the prestigious Swedish Match Cup in Maistrand, Sweden and, as ever, is forthright about the current sailing scene.
Sailing on board his old friend Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain he has been brought in to act as tactician in the charity Match Racing Challenge between Kit’s boat and arch rival Peter Harrison’s Chernikeef 2.
That duel stands at 3-1 to Chernikeef 2. Describing the situation Chris, says it’s “The same situation as John Bertrand in the America’s Cup!”
Although enjoying the experience he is aware that a lot of the crew have never match raced. He also clearly has a bigger picture in mind and, with Terminator “I’ll be back” echoes, was quick to point out that “I would like, in the future, to be part of an America’s Cup challenge. I would love to support the British as a coach, boat driver or sparring partner but unless some kind of commitment is made pretty soon I already have negotiations with two other challenges.”
Chris seems resigned to the fact that he wasn’t asked onto Peter Harrison’s team for the last America’s Cup and puts it down, in part, to his age. He’s now 51. A note of bitterness creeps in as he relates that, although the new boys on the block went out to get to the semi finals, “The reality was, even though there’s been a very good PR machine to give a different impression, that, if you ignore Mascalzone who shouldn’t have been there, they were equal last with the French.”
He believes the biggest weakness in the Harrison campaign was the technology, particularly the second boat and the rigs. On the second boat he comments, “Taking the second boat down to New Zealand was a big mistake. It wasted a lot of money, but more importantly it wasted resources. The most important resource is time and they also burnt a lot of key people who had to do so much work on that boat.” On rigging he says simply, “The masts were wrong.”
The previous winner of the Finn Gold Cup for Britain clearly has strong feelings on the subject and sums up “It reminded me of the White Crusader programme it’s a typical British effort where it’s too little too late, although people try very hard.”
Returning to his current match racing success Chris attributes it to “Being good at sailing, bad at life and pretty ugly! I push hard, I’m quite an aggressive competitor and have a real hunger to win.” His parting shot as he left to get ready for the final match race at Skandia Cowes Week “I’m still here.”