Emirates Team New Zealand show that they are masters in strong winds

The Rade Sud delivered the conditions that the TP52 Series came to Marseille with hopes of, as westerly winds of up to 20 knots produced fast and challenging racing.

Emirates Team New Zealand (Team NZ) proved the most consistent, top scorers of the day across the three windward-leeward races when they posted a 2,1,2:

“There was no particular rhyme or reason to the day, boats did well on both sides. I think the secret of success today as much as anything was sailing good runs. Also if you were in touch at the top mark then you could pick a few boats off,” explained the team’s skipper-helm Dean Barker (NZL).

In the brisk conditions Team NZ’s polished boat handling, smart starting and excellent, assured tactics combined to prove they are this regatta’s class act so far. Seven points clear of Matador (ARG) yesterday morning, the Kiwi team eased out to ten points ahead of the Alicante Trophy winners who won the first race today and then added a third and a fifth.

While there was often a dividend to the left of the track upwind, it was not as regular as the opening day’s three contests. After Bigamist (POR) and Valars (RUS) lead at the windward mark first time up, Matador and Emirates Team New Zealand made gains on each successive leg to take first and second place respectively.

Audi MedCup Circuit 2008 champions Quantum Racing (USA) made their best start so far this regatta on the third race of the day and went on to lead Emirates Team New Zealand home. With a tally from the day of 6,3,1 Quantum Racing are now third overall.

Today’s coastal race to the east along towards Cassis, against the spectacular backdrop of the sharp limestone karst Calanques. It will be the first coastal race for the TP52 this season. Unlike previous seasons the points multiplier for the coastal race is now 1.5 and the mid-race scores only stand if the race finish is not achieved.

Dean Barker (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand:
“The breeze was shifting quite a bit, nothing big but enough to be a nuisance if you were on the wrong side of it. It will be a bit of a change for us tomorrow, we have not done a coastal race for a while. It’ll be interesting and a time to learn with the team. I think the format is good, not holding quite the same penalty if you don’t do well. I am really happy with the boat and we can still do a better job sailing, so if we are on the pace now we can keep better and better.”

Terry Hutchinson (USA), skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA):
“The entire day was good for us. We did it to ourselves in the first race a little bit. We have little spinnaker keepers and one got sucked into the block and we could not trim the spinnaker in the gybe and so we lost Valars, Artemis and potentially a shot at third in the first race, That was frustrating.”

“We went 3-1 after that and after our starting yesterday it was better. Yesterday it was execution, which was down to me. I did a bad job. Poor execution. Mark, Morgan and Robert in all three races had us in good positions with a good plans and I did not execute. But sometimes you are balancing being aggressive and being smart. That last race was a good indication of how the boat is going. We were over once last year and it was here.”

Audi MedCup Circuit 2009, Marseille Trophy
Overall – Day 2

1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1 3 1 2 1 2= 10 points
2. Matador (ARG), 2 6 4 1 2 5= 20 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 8 5 2 6 3 1= 25 points
4. Artemis (SWE), 7 28 5 5 3= 30 points
5. Bigamist (POR), 5 4 6 3 10 4= 32 points

For more information, visit 2009.medcup.org .