Final day of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit season at the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy, and the 52 Series title can be wrapped up by a pair of modest finishes by Quantum Racing (USA).
They may be champions elect, within reach of their second circuit title, but the American flagged team are determined, after winning in Cascais, to bookend their season with a regatta win.
They have to make up a four points deficit on regatta leaders RÁN and Bribon. RÁN are equally determined to win their first regatta of the season. And Bribon, having all but ceded the title race, also want a regatta win as the perfect signature to end Jose Cusi’s 38 years of Bribon campaigns. Win, lose or draw emotions will well up on Bribon come the final finish line for them.
Two races are scheduled for both the 40 Series and the 52 Series. Garbi sea breeze conditions of 8-11kts are forecast.
While these are the principal title battles there are very many side battles to be won and lost.
In the 52 Series Circuit standings there are still only 6.5 points separating second and fourth places. Over two races Bribon in second on 167.5 points, Audi Azzurra on 173 and Container on 175 all still have options on second place. It is far from a foregone conclusion that Bribon will take second for the Circuit.
And in Circuit terms there is also only 7.5 points separating fifth and seventh place, RAN on 194, Synergy on 198.5 and Audi ALL4ONE on 200.5.
So to a great extent the battles for the season standings will be a key driver in some of today’s afterguard strategies. Even that fight for the basement placings is important. No team wants to finish on the bottom rung of the ladder.
Yesterday may have been the day for dastardly deeds, Quantum Racing summarily halting Bribon’s title run, but today might be about Machiavellian sub-plots. Or will the 52 Series fleet just go and try to sail their own individual races?
The Soto 40 City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta is close with 10 points difference between first and fifth.
Iberdrola Team lead the regatta by two points from Javier Banderas’ Iberostar, while Ngoni, Tony Buckingham’s crew, are still in touch with the lead – only five points behind the Spanish team.
Adrian Stead (GBR), Tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
“Today looks like the breeze is going to blow a bit lighter than yesterday, it should be a couple of knots softer. We are in a pretty strong position to win the Audi MedCup, but we are also thinking about this trophy here in Barcelona and about finishing the season on a high note. We are really close to Bribón and RÁN, we sailed really well yesterday and we´ll try to a little more of that today. There is going to be a lot of fun and games around us today, there are three boats with the potential of being second in the circuit and they´ll be battling for that. We are in a fortunate position because we can go out and sail our own races, which is what you always want. The pressure is on the other boats”.
Steve Hayles (GBR) navigator RÁN (SWE):
“I think it is pretty tight. I think Quantum Racing will still want to win the event, they are only four points out of it, but there is plenty going on. The forecast is up in the air, there is a big variance in what might happen, but hopefully we can get out there and have two good races. We sat and looked at it last night. We have got ourselves out of bottom spot for the season which was sort of one of our goals of the last event, but we have now kind of come to the opinion that is not relevant, we would take a regatta win ahead of anything.
We have no allegiances, our intention is to go out there and sail a perfectly normal day and go out and try and win two races and if that includes camping on people, it doesn’t matter who they are, then so be it. I suspect it will be the same for just about everyone. It is the same game for everyone. There are a couple of battles in there of course, but we are not paying any attention to any of it. It is enjoyable being up where we are. It is good for the team, it is really nice to see Niklas enjoying himself, getting something back for all the huge amount of time and effort he puts in.
It will be a tricky day. There is a big range of possibilities – from almost possibly no sailing which I think is unlikely, but I am plumping for a little delay and it will come in with S-SW’ly sea breeze coming in at 10-12kts, similar conditions to yesterday. That is what we are hoping for, and we are quick.
Iñaki Castañer (ESP), Skipper, Iberostar (ESP):
“We are going out there today to win the trophy. We are almost virtually second in the general standings and for us winning in Barcelona is very important. We are really focused in winning here, not thinking so much about it overall. I think that we have the necessary speed to do this and also the talent. The forecast is similar to yesterday´s, about 11 knots tops. After many regattas, we finally have managed to reach Iberdrola in terms of speed, especially going upwind, so that gives us real chances to win. All the teams have improved in the last weeks, we have to keep an eye on all of them, not just on Iberdrola”.
From a second day of light winds racing off Cartagena, SE Spain, the Spanish TP52 Bribon emerged with a slender overall lead at the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy regatta after they held their nerve to win the second race of the day.
In the Soto 40 Class Kevin Sproul (GBR) and the crew of Tony Buckingham’s Ngoni (GBR) lead after two races after scoring a second then a first place.
Patience has been a key virtue so far: not just for dealing with the long postponements waiting for the fickle minded sea-breeze to fill out enough to allow racing, but in the judgement calls required to decipher what the shifting, unsettled breeze is doing.
After a fifth then a race win, adding to their second place on the opening day, 2008’s winners here Bribon top the regatta standings by one single point ahead of Synergy’s Russian Sailing Team.
But the Spanish crew might have been further ahead on the results table were it not for a costly penalty during the second beat of the first race. Infringing Quantum Racing (USA) dropped them from second place to finish fifth.
The gentle sea breeze was slightly stronger than for the 52 Series first racing day, but it still never made more than 10kts.
There was little in the way of a solid wind pattern from one leg to another. In the first race Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team won from the left, pin end of the start line to work the offshore side of the course, finishing ahead of Circuit leaders Quantum Racing. In the second race Bribon’s double Olympic medal winning tactician Ross MacDonald (CAN) did an astute job of keeping them in the best pressure and they were just able to hold off Niklas and Catherine Zennström’s RÁN (SWE) to win. Consistency over both races proved especially elusive, the Italian crew on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team scoring best for the day with their 1,4.
The Soto 40 fleet’s first experience of racing on this testing arena was no easier, but the closely matched fleet did have what must rank as their closest and most tactical day of racing yet in the lighter breezes. In place of the physical demands of controlling these light powerful one designs the key gains were made off the start line and making best use of the wind shifts.
After the young Australian Team on Patagonia by the Australian Soto 40 Team had lead since the first run Inaki Castaner (ESP) and the crew of NH Resorts (ESP) (aka Noticias IV) were able to take the lead in the dying minutes of the last run. As Patagonia tried to hold up Circuit leaders Iberdrola (ESP), they opened the door for Ngoni to steal second at the other end of the finish line.
NH Resorts and Patagonia by the Australian Soto 40 Team both jumped the start gun in the second race which was won comfortably by Sproul and the Ngoni team who lead the regatta by one point from NH Resorts.
Region of Murcia Trophy – Cartagena
Results after three races:
1. Bribón (ESP), 2+5+1=8 points
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 1+3+5= 9 point
3. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5+1+4=10 points
4. Quantum Racing (USA), 3+2+6=11 points
5. RÁN (SUE), 6+6+2=14 points
6. Container (GER), 7+4+3=14 points
7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR), 4+7+7=18 points
8. Gladiator (GBR), 9(DNC)+9(DNC)+9(DNC)=27 points
Results after two races:
1. Ngoni (GBR) 2+1=3 points
2. NH Resorts (ESP) 1+3= 4 points
3. Iberdrola Team (ESP) 4+2= 6 points
4. Patagonia by the Australian Team (AUS) 3+4= 7 points
5. cruiser-racer.com (ESP) 5+5= 10 points
Ignasi Triay (ESP), trimmer, Bribón (ESP):
“ The boat performs very well in these conditions. In the first race we fought against Azzurra and Quantum but in a port-starboard situation they were on port and made us hesitate and we ended up being penalized. No objection, it was a mistake from our side, but we left that behind and we managed to save the day. In the second race we were among the top boats from the beginning. On the last run we had RÁN ahead but we caught them and that makes us leaders in Cartagena”.
Francesco Bruni (ITA), tactician Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
“ A fourth and a first place is a nice score. In the first one we did things well, we started well and went to the left. We were in control from the beginning, Quantum was behind sailing very fast and were kind of threatening but we coped with it and won the race”.
Kevin Sproul (GBR) skipper-helm Ngoni (GBR):
“We had a couple of good starts and that always helps. We were first at the windward mark in both races, but it was a bit ironic in the first race because if we had only been one boatlength ahead we could probably have won it, but because we were ten boatlengths ahead we didn’t. The breeze shut down for us at the mark and the others rounded with pressure, in a puff and caught us right up. If we had been closer to them we could have been in the same puff, but that is the way it is sometimes. But generally it all came together quite nicely, we seemed to be quick enough and in the lighter breezes can maybe get a bit of the consistency we have lacked in the stronger breeze.”
Iñaki Castañer (ESP), helmsman, NH Resorts (ESP):
” We did a good start in the race we won. Our tactician Gustavo Martínez Doreste did a good job, and also the rest of the crew, which sailed at their best inspite of all the shifts and preassure differences. The keys today were consistency and good tactics, you had to choose one side or the other. In this conditions you can’t lose concentration”.
Last year Cagliari, capital of the beautiful island of Sardinia, played host to the glittering finale of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit. The gulf of Cagliari was where the final battles were settled and the titles won.
When the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit reaches Cagliari in one week’s time the shimmering waters and engaging mix of breezes will set the scene for the theoretical mid-point of the season, half way through the itinerary of five trophy regattas.
For many of the competitor’s in both the 52 Series and the 40 Series, the goal will be to simply keep on doing what they have been doing, making small improvements. Others still have considerable room for improvement.
Last season Quantum Racing (USA) arrived in Cagliari harbouring hopes of a late catch up on the champions elect Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL). This time the crew which is lead by America’s Cup winner Ed Baird are looking to preserve their 11 points lead at the top of the leaderboard.
“For sure our goal is to leave Cagliari having managed to increase our lead, but we would be pleased to finish with the same lead. Cagliari has consistently proven a tough place to race, we are hoping it will be a little easier than Marseille.” Explains Quantum Racing’s project manager Ed Reynolds (USA).
After finishing second to Germany’s Container, winners of the Marseille Trophy, Reynolds is clear that he was in no way disappointed in their team’s performance in France. “It is quite the opposite in fact. It is always hard at a venue like that to go in a leader, being leader is definitely more difficult. In fact we were happy for example with the three race day when we came in having put just 10 points on the board. We were really happy with that. As leader you just cannot afford to take the risks that others did on a race area like that. We were pleased to be quick but for me it is akin to watching the Tour de France at the moment and seeing how difficult it is to protect the yellow jersey, you cannot take the risks that others do to get up to you. In the end in Marseille we gave up one and a half points to one boat there and extended on the others. And you consider that if Audi All4ONE’s risky call on the final race had not paid off as it did we would have tied on points and won the regatta. It was that close.”
“Let us just say that are cautiously optimistic about Cagliari. We do a lot of work between regattas. One of the things about a box rule is that ‘pick your poison’. You will always be giving up some speed somewhere and you have to choose that area. Consistently we can see where we are strong but have been working hard on the little areas we have seen as exposures.”
A summer mix, changing targets.
High summer in Cagliari sees a really good mix of wind conditions and predominantly flat water. The sea breezes tend to wrap round the points into the big, deep U shaped bay and it is not unusual for the breezes to split and conflict on either side of the course. And the strong Mistral blows offshore from the head of the gulf, accelerating hard down the long miles of flat land to the north.
With a second and first in consecutive regattas Udo Schütz’s Rolf Vroijk designed Container has proven the class act which has so far pushed the American flagged world champions the hardest. But it will be the first time Markus Wieser (GER) has skippered his team at the tricky Sardinian venue but so successful have been their first outings in the class, perhaps the German flagged crew are setting their sights even higher: “We are more than happy so far with the outcomes of the first 52 Series regattas. We had set goals quite high at the start of the season, hoping to finish in the Top 3, but it worked out well for us twice already, so why should be we not change the target?” says Wieser.
“Our strength is the good team, working hard together and having a lot of fun. We have no internal pressure at all. It is so important to enjoy racing together if you want to be successful. You even need to have a laugh on board at times. We planned to do the whole Audi MedCup Circuit with the same crew, so no changes. Never change a winning team!”
Despite a difficult start to their campaign pre-season goals have not been modified much on board Audi Sailing Team powered by All4ONE, skippered by Germany’s multiple Olympic medallist Jochen Schümann. They hope to be much more competitive in Cagliari, a venue he now knows well: “Although you could not see it in the final ranking we really made a big step in Marseille compared to Cascais where we had speed problems with the new boat. To win a race and be so close to another bullet gives us so much more self confidence. We hope to build on that and climb the leaderboard from here.”
“Keeping up with our goal of top three for the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit will be hard because we already lost many points in these first two events and it is not so likely the leaders will struggle in the future, but we still look to shoot for podium finishes in each regatta.”
In the 40 Series, two wins from two regattas highlights the consistency of the Iberdrola Sailing Team, but they have been pushed hard at each event by different teams: “Our boat is already in Cagliari and ready to go and the team have been racing in J80’s and Laser. Meantime we have been working how to optimise the sails, building a few new ones, something we are allowed to do after ten races. Part of our crew have raced in Cagliari and know they have sailed in tough 20-25 knots conditions.”
“It is evident that the other teams are all improving and it is getting closer. I think that if there was a point at which we had an advantage because of our preparation it is now gone.”
“Our goal for Cagliari is to win the Trophy and stay on top of the standings.” Recounts Iberdrola Sailing Team’s project manager Augustin Zulueta (ESP).”
Racing starts with the 52 Series Practice Race Tuesday, points racing from Wednesday, while the 40 Series Practice Race is on Wednesday and their points racing starts Thursday.
Follow all the racing live on Audi MedCup TV on www.medcup.org.
Quantum Racing lead the TP52 Series after the first day of racing, while Madrid – Caser Seguros’ s perfect hat trick of wins sees them top the GP42 leaderboard.
Quantum Racing (USA) emerged as overall leaders of the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona after opening with two fifth places and a second on what proved an especially testing first day of racing as the Audi MedCup Circuit competes for the first time ever off the Catalan capital.
As an introduction to a new venue nothing was gained easily in the moderate 9-13 knots NE’ly breezes. With the start line set directly in front of where the Olympic village was for the 1992 Olympic Games, relatively close to the shore, there was an awkward choppy sea kicked back off the beach to contend with. The variable cloud cover moved the wind around from time to time, the breeze varied in strength across the course and the racing for the most part was extremely close with small errors punished heavily in the intense competition.
The Quantum Racing team came back to the dock at the city’s Moll de la Fusta, greeted by huge crowds. After a long day on the water the 2008 Audi MedCup champions looked mildly frazzled but content to have stuck within their budgeted 12 points for the day which leaves them leading by only one point from a trio comprising Emirates Team New Zealand in second, Artemis (SWE) in third and Bribón (ESP) in fourth, whilst Cristabella (GBR) lies fifth.
Hat trick in GP42 Series
In the GP42 Series Madrid Caser Seguros (ESP) kept up a perfect score through all three races in spite of the loss of skipper Jose Maria van der Ploeg. The 1992 Finn Olympic gold medallist had to miss out the opening race of the series off his home city after sustaining an ankle injury before the start.
As if to highlight how hard it was to stay regular in these conditions, in the TP52 fleet, Britain’s Cristabella took second in the first race, won the second race and then rode the rollercoaster down to an 11th in the third. Three different boats won races.
After weak openings in Cascais and Marseille, Emirates Team New Zealand seemed to despatch any talk of a first day hoodoo when they won the first race, profiting when early leaders Bribón let them squeeze inside them at the leeward gate.
In the third race the all-Italian Luna Rossa team read the top of the first beat to perfection and lead Quantum Racing across the finish line to post their first win of their Audi MedCup Circuit TP52 campaign.
In the light of losing out the first planned day of racing there will now be no Coastal Race at this regatta.
GP42′s: three wins for Madrid – Caser Seguros
Despite losing tactician Jose Maria van der Ploeg (ESP) to an ankle injury just prior to Race 1 today, Madrid Caser-Seguros (ESP) led by helmsman Paolo Cian (ITA) took the early regatta lead. With a perfect 1-1-1, the team built a solid five point cushion over Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP).
Van der Ploeg had to be taken by RIB off the boat pre-start and the team substituted sailing coach Carlos Llamas.
The unusual big wave, light breeze conditions put a premium on teamwork as well as raw speed, and today Madrid Caser-Seguros showed supremacy in both.
“We worked hard to optimize our weight, rig, and sail settings,” said Cian, “and today it paid off. We had the speed when we needed it, and there were a few situations when it was critical.”
Today’s three wins vaults them up into being tied in points but taking the lead in the tie-break with Islas Canarias Puerto Calero for the overall series standings.
Quotes of the day:
Terry Hutchinson (USA), skipper helm Quantum Racing (USA):
“Consistency is the key here for sure. The middle race was a little frustrating for us because we lost two boats within a hundred metres of the finish line, and so that was hard race because we had sailed really, really well. But then in the last race, Ado, Kevin, Tom and all the guys did really nice work and we battled. One of the things we talked about as a team is that if you go 1,1,2 and then 9,10, then the 1,1.2’s don’t really do a lot for you. So our goal for the day was to come out with 12 points or less and we did that.”
“Oh man, it was really hard. The last race was 12-13, the middle race was about 11-13 and it was really, really lumpy. The NE’ly breeze was bouncing off the beach and the sea wall and we had a lot of chop and standing waves, and that on top of everything else when you are competing against really, really good sailors, you have to contend with that. But it is hard for everyone. But that is only one day and we enjoy that for a couple of minutes and move on to thinking about the next ones.”
Ray Davies (NZL), tactician Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
“ We had a good day today, we are happy with the day, one point off the lead at the end of the day. We’ll take that any time. At the start of the day we obviously started really strong but in the last race we slipped back on the first run, losing a couple of boats there and that was sort of a turning point in that race for us.”
“In these particular conditions everyone is going to have difficult tricky races, the big thing downwind is you can get a surge on a wave and the situation can change quite dramatically. We got on the wrong side of a couple down the first run of the last race and lost a couple of boats there.”
“It’s good to have a good first day, we haven’t had a good first day all year yet.”
Simon Fisher (GBR), navigator Cristabella (GBR):
“ It was a pretty difficult day today, complicated with all the wind not a very typical Barcelona day really so there was a lot to think about, to try and manage in terms of the weather. We had gradient breeze and sea breeze a lot of clouds coming over the course. It was a tough day for the tacticians. Nevertheless we had a very good day. We had a second and a first, and unfortunately we couldn’t sort of carry it through to the last one and didn’t do as well in the final race but it was a good day performance.”
“But we are out there in the hunt so that’s our objective.”
Jose Maria van der Ploeg (ESP), taken off Madrid Caser-Seguros (ESP):
“It’s nothing really serious, but I think that leaving the boat [before racing] was the right call. We have to see how it evolves, but I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to sail tomorrow.” Regarding the team’s winning today without him: “It’s been great. I think that’s the best gift they could give me. I’m really happy!”
Paolo Cian (ITA) helmsman Madrid Caser-Seguros (ESP):
“We worked hard to optimize our weight, rig, and sail settings, and today it paid off. We had the speed when we needed it, and there were a few situations when it was critical.”
Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona
1. Quantum Racing (USA), 5+5+2= 12 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1+4+8= 13
3. Artemis (SWE), 7+2+4= 13
4. Bribón (ESP), 3+3+7= 13
5. Cristabella (GBR), 2+1+11= 14
6. TeamOrigin (GBR), 10+6+3= 19
7. Luna Rossa (ITA), 9+11+1= 21
8. Matador (ARG), 4+9+9= 22
9. Synergy (RUS), 6+10+6= 22
10. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 12(DNC)+8+5= 25
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 8+7+10= 25
1. Madrid – Caser Seguros (ESP), 1+1+1= 3 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 2+4+2= 8
3. Iberdrola (ESP), 3+2+3= 8
4. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 4+3+5= 12
5. Península Petroleum (GBR), 5+5+4= 14
Only the GP42 Series’ official practice heat was completed today, the first scheduled racing day of the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona.
The 11 strong TP52 Series fleet representing 10 different nations, were left waiting, poised and ready for their first ever points racing off Barcelona, but the light breezes proved insufficient to get competition under way.
Around five hours in the hot summer Mediterranean sunshine, tracking the fickle breeze proved to be in vain for the TP52 teams who watched closely to see what they could learn from their smaller GP42 cousins as they took part in a slow, shifty practice race.
But the breeze all but evaporated before the second windward leg was completed and their race was shortened before the final downwind.
For the GP42’s the light airs practice was considered a good chance to get attuned to the kind of conditions which are expected to prevail for some of this regatta. Their practice race today started in a promising 8 knots, but soon degraded to less than 6 knots with many light air zones and shifts in direction down.
Even though AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA) had an enormous lead around the first top mark, they fell prey to the fickle conditions and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) was able to take and hold the lead into the finish.
This must be promising for the Canarias team, as light air has not been their strong suit in previous stages.
Madrid Caser-Seguros (ESP), runner-up in the practice race today and a sistership to Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, has been aggressively changing their boat set-up to optimize for light air. They did this by removing some heavy items on board and adding corrector weights to get to the absolute bare minimum all-up weight (4200 kg) which was verified by class measurer Jorge Flethes (ESP) on a crane scale yesterday. This and “a few rig and sail changes,” says helmsman Paolo Cian (ITA), “will make us a little faster in the light air. But overall we feel really good for this regatta.”
While they retired today, another team to watch in the light air will be Iberdrola (ESP), who won handily in the first day’s light air at the last stage in Marseille. They have an older generation Botin Carkeek design that has proven to be a good overall performer, and in the light they seem to have an edge on the newer Botin Carkeek designs.
And if only through sheer will, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) will be strong in their quest to dig out from the points deficit.
Last night the Audi MedCup Regatta village for the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona on the Moll de la Fusta came alive for a huge opening party which drew more than 700 invited guests, including many local Barcelona celebrities and VIP’s.
Three races are scheduled for the both the TP52 Series fleet and the GP42 Series fleet tomorrow (Thursday) with this evening’s forecast seeming to offer the prospect of a racing breeze.
The Audi MedCup Circuit, the world’s leading regatta circuit offers an unparalleled visitor experience on land. From 17 to 25 July, Barcelona’s Moll de la Fusta is the location of the Public Village of the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona, an enjoyable self contained fun and entertainement area for all ages with free daily access from 11:00 to 20:30 h.
From 20 to 25 July, Barcelona will host the third regatta of the Audi MedCup Circuit 2010, the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona. Together with a tough, evenly matched race series on the water, complemented on land by the the spectacular Public Village, a real theme park for all ages with free access which is available at each regatta location around Europe. In Barcelona, the leisure facilities will be set up at the Moll de la Fusta, where it will remain open to the public daily from 11:00 to 20:30 h (CET) from Saturday, July 17 to Sunday, July 25.
The entertainment includes introductory courses in sailing, a circuit of water skates for children, driving and sailing simulators, radio controlled boats, a five meters high climbing wall, an inflatable climbing wall boat for the children, test of strength competitions using sailing hardware, different competitions with valuable prizes, exhibitions, touch screens to interactively explore the world of sailing … Activities will finish up each day with live music from different DJs and bands from Barcelona, like Faces in Disguise (Saturday, 17), 84 (Sunday, 18), Debilorithmicos (Fridays, 23), The Walks (Saturday, 24), La Musicalité (Saturday, 24) or La Familia Rustika (Sunday, 25). Furthermore, while enjoying the Public Village, visitors can watch live how crews set up and prepare for racing which will begin on Tuesday, 20th.
From that day, the visitor activity is supported by a dock-out shows daily between 11:00 and 12:00 as the racing boats head out on to the race course. From the Public Village, the races can be followed live on giant screens between 13:00 and 17:00 h.
Once finished racing up for the day, between 16:00 and 18:00 h, crews will return to the dock and again the public can discover how they race on their boats. Each day, two teams will also race each other on the Audi Playstation driving simulators, and two other teams will face off in a grinder competition to highlight to the public who are the most skilled teams on the Audi MedCup Circuit.
On Saturday, free access to the pontoon
On Saturday 17th, the day of othe Public Village official opening on the Moll de la Fusta, visitors will have free access to the docks to see at very close hand the 11 TP52’s and five GP42’s participating in the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona.
That same day, the boats will stay ashore for the public to facilitate this unique opportunity. From 20:00 h, the pop-rock band Faces in Disguise open stage at the Village with the first concert of the week.
When racing starts at the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona in one week’s time off the historic city of Barcelona, the Audi MedCup champions the competition in the TP52 Series and the GP42 Series fleets will be hotter than ever.
Summer heat in the Catalan capital will only add to the intensity, but when Marseille last month proved that the Kiwi Audi MedCup champions Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) have a definite fight on their hands when 2008 title winners Quantum Racing (USA) won the Marseille Trophy.
The New Zealand team go to Barcelona with a lead of 18.5 points knowing not only that Quantum Racing have regained their winning ways, triumphing overall for the first time since 2008, but also that four times Olympic medallist Jochen Schuemann (GER) and Sébastien Col (FRA) have been very consistent across the first two regattas with their crew. Their Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) are the only TP52 team to have finished on the podium in both Cascais and in Marseille. Schuemann is confident that they can maintain that regular momentum.
With Pedro Mendonça’s (POR) Bigamist (POR) rejoining the Circuit in Barcelona, the TP52 Series fleet is back up to an 11 boats complement. Eight teams have won at least one race this season so far and five different teams have finished on the podium. One team which finished on the podium in Cascais finished 10th in Marseille. It is that close.
On Quantum Racing, Adrian Stead (GBR) returns as tactician, Paul Cayard (USA) is billed as helm for Artemis (SWE), gold medallist Andrew Simpson (GBR) is back as strategist on TeamOrigin (GBR), and Luna Rossa (ITA) will be sailed by an entirely Italian crew with Gabriele Benussi (ITA) registered as tactician for Barcelona.
The official practice race takes place on Tuesday for the TP52’s, series racing begins on the Wednesday with the coastal race on Friday. For the GP42 Series, the practice race is scheduled for Wednesday, and the first race for Thursday. Both Series race until Sunday.
The Series tightens in the GP42’s
Since the Stage 2 victory of Iberdrola (ESP) in Marseille and the fewer races held there due to the strong winds, the points totals have tightened up considerably in the GP42 Series. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) maintains a 4-point lead over the pack, but Iberdrola and Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) lurk only a few points back, ready to take the lead if the 2009 GP42 Series champions led by skipper Jose María Ponce (ESP) slips up in Barcelona.
The two owner-driven boats, AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA) and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), are fairly distant in points behind the Spanish teams, but there are many races left in this Series. AIRISESSENTIAL will have their regular tactician Gabriele Bruni (ITA) back on their team.
All of the action supported by interviews, opinion and commentary is broadcast every day from 1250hrs on www.medcup.org starting on Wednesday, July 21.
Jochen Schuemann (GER), skipper Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER):
“I am sure that Barcelona will be challenging. With this high pressure and heat over Europe then it might be that winds are light, but what we have seen at the events so far is that the standard is higher than ever, that all ten or 11 boats are competitive, and it is easy to have a third in one race and a 10th in the next.”
Ray Davies (NZL), tactician Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
“I think that though not many of us have experience of Barcelona in many respects the conditions can be not dissimilar to what we get off Valencia at this time of year, but for sure it will be lighter than we have seen this season. We know that after Marseille we have to be sailing the boat better and have been working hard to get more performance from the boat, especially how we sail in lighter winds and looking at the sail programme, and we feel we have been successful in that.”
Gonzalo Araujo (ESP), helmsman Bribón (ESP):
“At this time of year the race area in Barcelona tends to be light in terms of wind, although it will depend on the intensity of the Garbi. Our boat is good in the light breeze, but whatever the situation we will face this event as we do all regattas: doing the best possible start and giving it our best throughout the race.”
Iñaki Castañer (ESP), tactician Península Petroleum (GBR):
“After breaking the boat when we were racing at a great level in Marseille, we are looking forward to having a good fight in Barcelona
Emirates Team New Zealand took firm control of the Portugal Trophy Cascais regatta today when they convincingly won the 40 miles coastal race. While the team won four of the five 2009 regattas this is the first time they have won a coastal race. Puerto Calero lead the GP42 Series.
After they took the lead around the most westerly turning mark, off Cabo Raso, they were never challenged, heading the fleet all the way down to the eastern extremity which was at the historic Belem Tower in Lisbon’s River Tajo.
Winning by one and a half minutes, the current champions extended their overall lead to a solid 14 points at the head of the regatta leaderboard as TeamOrigin, slipped from second place overall to fourth after they could only make a frustrating ninth place today.
The Kiwi team’s only minor hiccup was blowing out a gennaker at the Cabo Raso turn, but they very quickly regrouped and were able to dominate on the long and very spectacular full speed run downwind in the strong northerly wind which gusted over 25 knots.
It was a demanding coastal race in every respect, finishing only 100 metres off the Marina of Cascais breakwater, where the wind carried the imprint of the buildings behind and so there was some place changing and interest until the end.
Matador (ARG) steered by Guilermo Parada (ARG) with Francesco Bruni (ITA) calling tactics made their biggest gains on this long run from the Cape and held on to second place all way round to the finish line, helping their climb back up the table to lie sixth overall.
But the frustration for TeamOrigin (GBR) will be to investigate why they slipped progressively down the fleet. They sailed a good race from a tactical point of view and lead early in the race, chasing Emirates Team New Zealand around the westernmost turn. But by the time they passed Cascais again they has already slipped three places, passed on both sides.
A ninth place finish does not do justice to their sailing as a crew today. TeamOrigin’s team director Mike Sanderson (NZL) admitted later ‘we just fell off the planet’ but that they felt they were slow before that turn, on the top of the upwind leg as well as on the long downwind, but they are looking at all options.
Third place across the finish line today elevates the Franco-German Audi A1 powered by All4ONE, skippered by Germany’s Jochen Schuemann, up to second overall but they are only half a point ahead of Sweden’s Aretmis, with TeamOrigin another half point behind them. Emirates Team New Zealand just need a solid day, a contrast to their opening here last Wednesday, to secure their fifth Audi MedCup Circuit Regatta in a row.
GP42 Series Puerto Calero pulls further out front
The breeze-on 20-25 knot conditions today were favorable to the Canarias-based Puerto Calero (ESP) team, who have pulled out to a 6-point lead over the nearest rival, Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) after seven races sailed. Their choice of a smaller heavy-weather jib looked wrong for the first race’s 15-20 knot conditions, but certainly came into its own in the second race’s gusty 25 knot blasts coming off the Cascais shoreline.
The first race saw the Iberdrola (ESP) team showing off their America’s Cup heritage, with flawless tactics and boathandling vaulting them into the lead ahead of AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA).
In the second race, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) shook off the dust of a poor first race to win the start at the pin end and take an early lead, but the huge puffs rolling down the course put Puerto Calero into their own with that small jib, allowing them to take a lead they never relinquished. AIRISESSENTIAL also got back into the fray with much-improved crew work downwind and good pace upwind, but a broach suffered just after the last gybe into the finish pushed them back to fourth, behind Madrid-Caser Seguros and Peninsula Petroleum.
Portugal Trophy, Cascais
Overall – Day 4
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 6+11+1+1+4+2+1+1,5= 27,5 points
2. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 9+7+4+6+1+5+5+4,5= 41,5
3. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+7+8+3+7+2+6= 42
4. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+9+2+4+2+1+7+13,5= 42,5
5. Synergy (RUS), 8+1+6+3+5+8+3+15= 49
6. Matador (ARG), 7+2+5+9+8+12(DSQ)+6+3= 52
7. Quantum Racing (USA), 1+5+8+2+10+9+8+10,5= 53,5
8. Cristabella (GBR), 2+8+3+5+9+6+10+12= 55 points
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+3+9+10+6+3+9+16,5= 61,5
10. Bribón (ESP), 10+10+10+12(DNC)+7+4+4+7,5= 64,5
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+4+11+7+11+10+12(DNF)+9= 75
Overall – Day 3
1. Puerto Calero (ESP), 1+1+2+1+2+3+1= 11 points
2. Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP), 3+2+3+2+1+4+1= 17
3. Iberdrola (ESP), 2+5+1+3+3+1+5= 20
4. Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), 4+3+4+5+4+5+3= 28
5. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 5+4+5+4+6(DNF)+2+4= 30
Grant Dalton (NZ), foredeck or mast Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
“ We sailed all right. We got outside Origin at the top, then we blew a chute out, which wasn’t that flash. It had a little nick in it. But I think we are going reasonably quick. Matador was reaching pretty well, but probably it has surprised us. And I’d say the bigger surprise was for Origin how slow they were reaching. It’s the first off-shore race, if we can call it offshore, that we won, in the five regattas last year we had never been better than second so that’s good, we sailed quite well.”
Mike Sanderson (NZL) team director TeamOrigin (GBR):
“ The first lap we were going really quick and go great and in the first two thirds of the way out to Cape Raso. It was going great and then we just sort of fell off the planet, to be honest, before we got to the mark, and ETNZ went from where they were right behind us to getting way up inside us and we just assumed that we had some current on, or had just been particularly unlucky with the shift or whatever, but athen from that point on it was a very tough race we just seemed to be off the pace.
“We were just off the pace. We were slow jib reaching and we just shouldn’t be. We don’t know if we caught something because the problem is that after you finish you go back as you drop the main, so even if we did have something there you would not know it. If we did not have something there then we are certainly not be going to be looking forwards to the coastal races in the future. We just have to work through it. That’s why we are here, to build on our team work, on our relationship with our shore crew and designers and we have to work through the issues. Long term you probably need the bad days more than the good . After a good days it is easy. After the bad days we need to be sure that we are being totally honest with ourselves, and getting the best out of each other. The guys did an awesome job once again Ben started well and Percy and Bart (Andrew Simpson) and Juan Vila the guys are sailing really well. I mean, losing places when jib reaching is unheard of, and so we have to get to the bottom of it.”
Jean Marie Dauris (FRA), bowman Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER):
“ We’ve sailed well, just in the first downwind we’ve made some little mistakes and didn’t round the mark very well and that has cost us some places where we could have been second. But we’ve sailed a very good second downwind where we passed a good number of boats, and rounded second. We got beaten by Matador on the reach but we are very happy. We confirmed to ourselves that we can sail this boat.”
Francesco Bruni (ITA), tactician Matador (ARG):
“ We’ve managed to move up very quickly on the downwind, it was very quick. The fleet was very tight and we gybed last on the downwind and then we were third down, and and from then on we’ve made a good race, a good beat, nice manouvers, up at Cabo Raso, a good gybe, and we’ve passed TeamOrigin, it seems they had some speed problems downwind, so we held our second position but it went very well.”
Jose Mª Ponce (ESP), skipper Puerto Calero (ESP):
“We are happy with how we performed today though in the second race our start wasn’t that good, we set our small jib today because the conditions were good for it but the start was just bad and with such shifty conditions it’s difficult to move up.”
Laureano Wizner (ESP), skipper Iberdrola (ESP):
“ The first race was great and the second a disaster. In the last downwid we’ve broached twice when blowing the kite. We got apart from the group, the first broach happened when we where blowing the spi and then in the second one we were jybing and the spi sheet got caught. We are all very level, so any mistake is costly, and this wind amplifies them.”