Thunderstorms in Cartagena see the five boat fleet return to dock

The weather, or more specifically the threat of lightning, took its toll off Cartagena where the first races for the TP52 Series at the Caja Mediterraneo Region of Murcia Trophy had to be postponed.

After a postponement the TP52 Series fleet were sent out to the race area at a little after two o’clock yesterday afternoon. Whilst there was a period during which it looked promising with 13-17 knots of breeze blowing from the East, the only initial excitement was watching the IMOCA Open 60 fleet on the Istanbul Europa Race passing along the horizon, some five miles further offshore.

The wait looked like it would be rewarded when the race committee brought the ten-boat TP52 fleet under starter’s orders, but within seconds of the start gun the AP flag went back up. They set off upwind anyway, taking the chance to learn the beat in the easterly breeze and nasty, choppy swell, but it was clear that the breeze was shifting all over the place further up the course.

Terry Hutchinson (USA), skipper of current Audi MedCup champions Quantum Racing (USA) recalled: ” We were at 10-15 seconds before the start when they postponed the race. We sailed the first mile, mile and a half of the beat and clearly it was getting shiftier as we went further upwind. So we got our mains down and waited. Then another thunder storm rolled through. Here we sit at the dock. So she took a very good decision.”

Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
Overall (4 events):

1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 38 27.5 28 25=118.5
2. Matador (ARG), 36 47.5 42.5 44.5= 170.5 points

3. Quantum Racing (USA), 40 41.5 65 29= 175.5 points

4. Artemis (SWE), 37 62.5 49.5 26.5= 175.5 points

5. Bigamist (POR), 46 55.5 57 30.5= 189 points