Matador trump Quantum Racing on countback to win the title after a breathtaking final day
It could not have been much closer when the Argentine crew on Matador lifted the TP52 World Championship. They lift the title on countback ahead of the 2008 world champions Quantum Racing (USA) who also finished on 23 points after seven races.
Matador won the final race to match Quantum Racing’s pair of race victories this week, but their three third places trump the American crew’s final hand, which included two thirds and a fifth.
The Roemmers’ team maintain their record in major regattas on these waters. Their triumph at Palma Vela in April with their new boat was the springboard for their season. With owner Alberto Roemmers Jr steering – as he did this week – they won the TP52 class at Copa del Rey in August.
The Matador crew had to dig deep to sustain a fight back from a protest from a windward mark incident on the first round of Race 2 which saw them disqualified. But on Saturday they were re-instated and today they let their sailing speak for itself as they posted a third and a first to win overall.
“We are happy,” skipper Guillermo Parada (ARG) confirmed. “It is a good lesson learned, not in sailing but in life. No matter what happens you need to keep pushing as hard as you can, right to the very last time. That is what we have done with the protest, pushing. The team have stuck together, and we have the reward.”
“At the very beginning we were sure we should not have been disqualified and that at the time we had no options. We have tried to push as hard as we can on the land. And we have had to push hard on the water, which is not easy to do.”
Quantum Racing (USA) may rue missed opportunities, and in effect the 2008 title holders came within a few metres of defending. In Race 5 it was down to just one second on the finish line, when the eye-blink judgment for third went in favour of Matador, and in today’s final race the black and green hulled 2008 Audi MedCup champions were just 12 seconds shy of passing Valars 3 as they ran out of runway at the line with extra pace.
Quantum Racing’s skipper Terry Hutchinson (USA) noted: “That is sailboat racing. ‘A day late and a dollar short.’ In the end we were a length and a half from winning the regatta.This one is disappointing because we let it get away from us.”
If the Quantum Racing crew leaves Palma with some regrets, it was a tough final day for the local favourites on Bribón (ESP). Jose Cusi’s crew started the day with a four points lead on their home waters, but they started modestly twice – both times in the shadow of other boats.
In the second race the Spanish crew were forced on to the wrong side of the first beat and made ninth, while their anguish was heightened after racing when they were subsequently disqualified on a protest from today’s first race after gybing too close to Artemis (SWE) on the finish line. Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist’s crew with Paul Cayard (USA) calling tactics finished third overall after a pair of fourth places today, ending up on equal points with the Russian crew on Synergy who take fourth.
The next event for the TP52 fleet will be the first Audi MedCup 2010 regatta on the 10th of May.
TP52 World Championship 2009 Final:
1. Matador (ARG, Alberto Roemmers), 3 4 8 1 3 3 1= 23 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA, Terry Hutchinson), 5 1 3 6 4 1 3= 23 points
3. Artemis (SWE, Torbjorn Tornqvist), 8 3 1 2 8 4 4 = 30 points
4. Synergy (RUS, Sergey Pichugin), 2 5 7 7 2 2 5= 30 points
5. Bribón (ESP, Gonzalo Araujo), 7 2 2 3 1 11(DSQ) 9= 35 points
For more, visit www.tp52worldchampionship.org .