Matador posts a first and second to challenge Kiwi dominance in TP52 Series
Winners of the season’s opening regatta in Alicante in May, Matador (ARG) proved the most consistent TP52 performers of the second day of racing in the south of Sardinia. With a first and a second place in gentle sea-breeze conditions, which struggled to reach double figures, the Argentine team read the difficult first windward-legs well.
If there were concerns that Emirates Team New Zealand might be on the brink of running away with the season when they posted a perfect three bullets opening day, the Kiwis came back to earth with a bump when they rescued a fifth and a fourth, their regatta lead trimmed to a single point by a buoyant Matador crew.
Race 4: Matador won the fourth race as Synergy (RUS) stole a close second place from Artemis (SWE) on the finish line – when the wind shifted back on the final run. With the sea breeze much gentler than forecast, at times as light as five to six knots, Matador and Artemis laid the foundations for their success off the start line as they both earned the early advantage from the wind bend on the left side on the first half of the beat.
Race 5: Portugal’s Bigamist 7 maintained their record of winning at least one race at each Audi MedCup Circuit regatta this season so far when they triumphed in Race 5. Afonso Domingos (POR) squeezed Bigamist 7 around the first windward mark inside Artemis, just behind race leader Matador to establish their credentials as a challenger to win the race. At the leeward turn they chose the left hand gate rounding just ahead of Matador and were able to extend slightly to take the Portuguese team’s third winning gun of the season, a fitting birthday present to veteran owner Pedro Mendonca (POR).
In both TP52 races Emirates Team New Zealand had to fight back from deep positions, failing to read either of the first beats as well. But they displayed the true hallmarks of potential championship winners when they pulled back three hard won places in both races.
While the Kiwi team has the City of Alicante Trophy winners as serious contenders, just one point adrift, current Audi MedCup champions Quantum Racing (USA) now lie seventh in the regatta after a fourth and a sixth place today. Skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) acknowledged today the speed edge that three new boats appear to have across the different conditions experienced over these first two days, citing the speed of the Botin Carkeek designed Emirates Team New Zealand as a contributing factor to their success yesterday, and the Vrolijk boats Matador and Artemis going well in the lighter breeze.
Audi MedCup Circuit 2009 Region of Sardinia Trophy standings:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1 1 1 5 4= 12 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3 3 4 1 2= 13 points
3. Artemis (SWE), 2 2 7 3 3= 17 points
4. Synergy (RUS), 4 8 2 2 5= 21 points
5. Bigamist (POR), 6 5 9 6 1= 27 points