Emirates Team New Zealand win all three races on first day of TP52 Series
Three wins from three starts allowed Dean Barker (NZL) and the crew of Emirates TeamNew Zealand to not only take a comfortable overall lead after the first day’s racing at the Region of Sardinia Trophy – the third event of the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit – but also to more than double their overall lead on the season long Circuit.
Consistently strong starting by the Kiwi team was the passport to their hat-trick of winning guns. It was only in the third windward-leeward contest that they had to overcome another boat, the Russian Synergy, to keep their perfect score-line intact.
Competition in the TP52 fleet was always close due to the very steady sea-breeze conditions with only tiny speed differentials between the first and tenth TP52’s. After the first start skipper-helm Dean Barker and the New Zealand crew were able to ease away from current Audi MedCup champions Quantum Racing upwind in the 13 knots of breeze, and lead around the first windward mark to win, ahead of Artemis (SWE) and Matador (ARG).
The second race saw a repeat performance from the New Zealand afterguard and again they won gun-to-gun as Artemis and Matador took second and third respectively, but on the third they only managed to roll the Russians on the closing stages of the final run, while José Cusi’s Spanish boat Bríbon finished.
Race 1: Racing in 12-14 knots of perfect sea breeze and flat water helm Dean Barker executed a text book start to keep their nearest rivals, the defending Audi MedCup Champions Quantum Racing (USA) in check from early in the first beat. Whilst the current Audi MedCup Circuit leaders were able to clear the first windward mark with a comfortable early lead over the team which had gone furthest to the right upwind, Russia’s Synergy. Quantum Racing rounded tenth. From there Emirates Team New Zealand were unchallenged to the finish, while Paul Cayard (USA) guided Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) to a valuable second place on Artemis (SWE), with Matador (ARG) taking third.
Race 2: Emirates Team New Zealand won the second race in much the same manner that they earned victory in Race 1. With a start which was close to perfection in terms of timing and speed build, the Kiwi team were quickly in control of the fleet on the first beat, again leading at every mark of the windward leeward course. Cayard and Hamish Pepper (NZL) conspired to sail a strong, confident race on Artemis, profiting a little when Matador and Bribon tussled towards the top end of the second beat. Bribon were third all the way around the course but suffered when they went too far to the right on the final downwind, dropping to a sixth place finish.
Race 3: (See video above) The third race was probably the most exciting. Synergy started well and were able to profit from an early position to the right. While they were then able to hold their lead around the windward mark. Bribon were forced to tuck behind starboard tack Emirates Team New Zealand to round a close third. The leading duo were comfortably clear down the final run when Emirates Team New Zealand took the race to leaders Synergy who were not quite as slick gybing under pressure. But the Russian team fought back and were less than half a boat length behind at the finish line.
Region of Sardinia Trophy TP52 Series Standings after Day One:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1 1 1= 3 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3 3 4= 10 points
3. Artemis (SWE), 2 2 7= 11 points
4. Synergy (RUS), 4 8 2= 14 points
5. Bribón (ESP), 5 6 3= 14 points