Team Origin take a third and first place to lead the Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy off Cartagena

Buoyed by their team’s recent success, winning on their own home waters against the America’s Cup defenders, Britain’s TeamOrigin emerged with a third and a first place from the opening two races to lead the Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy regatta TP52 Series fleet by a single point ahead of the Argentinian flagged team on Matador.

Skipper Ben Ainslie pointed to their team’s heightened levels of confidence, cohesion and the fact that for the first time of this Audi MedCup Circuit season they are sailing with exactly the same crew as they had at the previous TP52 regatta as key components of today’s strong opening. They made good starts and then capitalised with smart tactics reinforced by good boatspeed and handling.

With the mainly easterly breeze topping 16 knots in the first race, and the second enjoying slightly gentler breezes, both times there were opportunities for the early leader to bank their gains and extend on the chasing pack, especially when the strong current was used to maximum advantage. 

Matador (ARG) with tactician Francesco Bruni (ITA) working with strategist Vasco Vascotto (ITA) won the first race when they read the current and the breeze at the top end of the first beat best, escaping with a small lead around the first windward mark which they were able to increase, to build a comfortable margin ahead of second placed Luna Rossa (ITA).

The all-Italian team sailed an excellent first run, seizing an advantage on the right of the downwind where they hooked into a big band of additional wind pressure and gained relief from the relatively strong flowing current. TeamOrigin took second place just ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand. 

The strong desire of most of the fleet to go right from the start of the second race ensured that the committee boat, right hand end of the start line was extremely busy from 90 seconds before the gun. Three times Olympic gold medallist Ainslie on the helm of the British boat was first to emerge with speed out of the melée, which saw several boats shut out at the boat end of the line. With Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, Star Olympic champions, calling tactics, TeamOrigin were able to quickly draw clear of second placed Synergy and sail their own race. 

The Russian team skippered by Karol Jablonski (POL) lost out on second to the Kiwi team due to one poorly executed gybe on the downwind leg, giving the New Zealanders their second place. Their 4,2 scoreline for the day added a further eight points to reigning champions’ series lead over Quantum Racing USA) who opened with a ninth in the first race.

TP52 Series, Day 1

1. TeamOrigin (GBR), 3+1= 4 points

2. Matador (ARG), 1+4= 5

3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 4+2= 6

4. Luna Rossa (ITA), 2+7= 9  

5. Synergy (RUS), 8+3= 11   

6. Artemis (SWE), 5+6= 11

7. Quantum Racing (USA), 9+5= 14

8. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 6+8= 14

9. Bribón (ESP), 7+11= 18

10. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+9= 20

11. Cristabella (GBR), 10+10= 20

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