After a quiet start on day1, cancelled racing on day 2, day 3 kicks off
While much of the early focus in the opening regatta of this season’s Audi Medcup was on the three new TP52s, (the new Matador pictured here), consistency was the key once again as last year’s champions in last year’s boat, Quantum Racing emerged to lead the TP52 series after three great races.
At times the sea breeze off Alicante built to 17 knots at times, but it was never easy or straightforward as the Audi MedCup champions Quantum Racing (USA) eased into the overall lead of the City of Alicante Trophy Regatta after three close races today. In the GP42 Series which revelled in the sparkling conditions today, it is the Italian Roma Mk2 which leads.
Quantum Racing struck gold early, winning the first race of the day, threatening the kind of dominant performance which they displayed in certain conditions last season but it was their consistency across Races 3 and 4 of the TP52 Series which ensured they hold a three points lead over second placed Matador (ARG).
Andi Robertson commentates to the Virtual Eye race summary for each of the three races of day 3 below:
Matador, new this season, lead the overall standings after Race 3 but were slow off their final start and could only manage an eighth to share the same points tally as third places Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL).
Skipper Terry Hutchinson (USA) admitted the Quantum Racing crew were satisfied with their day but confirmed that although the action looked brisk and exciting, there were always differences in pressure and wind strength to make gains and losses on every leg.
Quantum Racing (USA) squeezed inside Valars III (RUS) at the windward mark in the first race of the day to lead at each turn and win from 2007 champions Artemis (SWE).
A wind shift to the right just as the second race started, with the breeze peaking at 16-17 knots, made life interesting at the right hand end of the start line, where the bunching at the committee boat was pronounced. In this melée Bribon fouled Quantum Racing, but the American boat was still able to extricate themselves going on to finish third behind Matador and Synergy.
The Russian team on the Reichel-Pugh designed former USA-17 capped a strong day for them when they won the third race. With Cameron Dunn (NZL) calling tactics and Chris Main (NZL) trimming the mainsail for helmsman Sergei Pichugin (UKR) they could have been even better but for catching a plastic bag round their keel.
First blood for GP42
Emerging as the day’s winner on an impressive 1-1-2 record in the GP42 Series, the Roma 2 team, led by skipper Paolo Cian (ITA), showed their experience from two previous years of GP42 campaigning in having strong starts and fast pace all around the course, but particularly so downwind where they often stretched their lead when ahead and closed the gaps when behind. Designed by Farr, the boat has just emerged from tummy-tuck surgery to the stern sections to better optimize performance downwind and in light air.
“The team did a great job,” said Cian, helmsman of the Shosholoza America’s Cup team and currently ranked 7th in the World Match Racing Tour, “as we were very aggressive at working every wave and puff, and seemed to gain the most here. It was a great day for us a fantastic start to the season.”
The Roma team is pushing hard in this GP42 Series, even on the GP42 class 800 kg weight limit: a post-race weight check revealed the team to by a mere 6 kg under the limit, where even the slightest infraction in this class yields a disastrous DSQ on the scorecard of any offending team.
Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
City of Alicante Trophy
Provisional standings after 4 races:
1. Quantum Racing (USA) 5,1,3,4=13 points
2. Matador (ARG) 2,5,1,8=16 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 4,4,6,2=16 points
4. Marazzi Sailing (SUI) 4,6,4,10=24 points
5. Synergy (RUS) 11,11,2,1=25 points
Provisional standings after 3 races:
1. Roma (ITA) 1,1,2=4 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) 3,2,1=6 points
3. Airis (ITA) 2,3,3=8 points
4. Caser-Endesa (ESP) 4,4,4=12 points
5. Turismo Marid (ESP) 6,5,5=16 points