Light and fickle breezes for the opening day of racing at the TP52 World Championships in Sardinia
Tony Langley and his core crew of Gladiator, plus American tactician Chris Larson and Spanish navigator Nacho Postigo, bolted together two excellent races in very light, streaky winds to share the overall lead in the Audi TP52 World Championship off Porto Cervo’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the defending world champions Quantum Racing after the first day of racing.
Gladiator (GBR) revolted against the season’s form book as Larson guided owner-driver Langley in the gentle breezes, making two clean, starts in clear air.
Against the crop of 2011 launches, Gladiator, the 2009 built Vrolijk designed former Artemis, lacked nothing in light airs speed despite their modest sail programme and won the second race by nearly three minutes.
“That is the best result we have had in a day and we have never led any regatta at this level, so it feels really good,” said Langley. “You hope all the work and effort we all put in over the season will pay off one day, and never really expect it to, but here we are.
“Chris was spotting shifts early and positioning us nicely when we were coming into traffic and for me that made all the difference. So I am very happy. But we wont be letting it got to our heads, there is a long way to go yet.”
Ed Baird’s American team, Quantum Racing, won the first race convincingly but had the Spanish crew of Paramount Park Murcia (ESP), skippered by Gonzalo Araújo (ESP) with Ross MacDonald (CAN) calling tactics, slip past them right on the finish line. The resulting third place places Quantum Racing in second overall.
Quantum Racing were quickest off the start line of the Race 1 and were a steady leader by the first windward mark, ahead of Markus Wieser (GER) and the crew of Container.
The German team proved slick in the light conditions, taking second, but they were over the start line in the second race. Having to re-start left them to round the course in seventh.
“It was a very streaky breeze. As our coach Francesco de Angelis said to us, it was like a road with many potholes and you had to avoid them,” said Quantum’s tactician Adrian Stead (GBR). “We came out of today with four points from two pretty tricky races, ending day one tied for the lead of the World Championship, which is not too bad.”
A second place in the second race leaves Paramount Park Murcia, the team led by Araújo, MacDonald and Ignacio Triay, lying third overall, two points off the best aggregate of Gladiator and Quantum Racing.
Audi TP52 World Championship
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Sardinia
Standings after Day 1, 2 races.
1. Gladiator (GBR) 3+1= 4 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA) 1+3= 4 points
3. Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) 4+2= 6 points
4. Container (GER) 2+7= 9 points
5. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (IT) 5+4= 9 points
6. RÁN (SWE) 6+5= 11 points
7. Audi ALL4ONE (GER)= 13 points
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