Audi MedCup falls victim to a lack of breeze and searing heat

Tuesday 23rd August

The scheduled practice race for the Region of Murcia, Cartagena Trophy regatta fell victim to a lack of breeze, and when the AP flag hung limply over the A flag and it became apparent that there was n prospect of enough wind to race, the 52 Series fleet scuttled back to Cartagena’s marina, seeking relief from the searing afternoon heat.

With 26 races completed of the season’s maximum complement of 45, the 52 Series fleet is hardly short on practice.
But the disappointment that today’s official Practice Race was thwarted by insufficient breeze was felt because the vast majority of the season’s races have been contested in winds above 13kts.
With many of the fleet having made configuration alterations and/or carding brand new sails aimed at enhancing their light winds potential, a chance to line up against the fleet in full race mode in light winds would have been welcomed today.
But it was not to be.
The race fleet were back at the dock by 1600hrs ready to contemplate Wednesday’s first windward-leeward races.
Light to moderate winds are in prospect at least for the early part of the regatta.
Three different boats have already won regattas this season.
Tim Powell and the crew of Niklas and Catherine Zennström’s RÁN come directly to Cartagena after winning the classic 608 miles Fastnet Race for the second consecutive time, but Powell believes this will be a tough test for their team in the lighter conditions:
” The last few regattas have been windy and so now we have to get to grips with the lighter airs.” said Powell, “It is a little more of a challenge for us because all of the sailing that we have done over the last few weeks has been in good breeze, and so we need to get our heads around it a bit. Of course now it is finesse which required rather than brute force. So it will be a learning curve on that for us.”

“For sure winning the Fastnet is a great, great achievement and coming here it does give us a boost, but of course this is very, very different racing.” Powell continues, ” We have always had a good group of people and we have always got on well together and we have always believed in ourselves that we are capable of performing well. The difference here is the format, windward-leeward racing and so we have to be realistic that just because we won the Fastnet it does not mean we will come here and suddenly win the Audi MedCup.”

“We have a tight schedule, we finished the Fastnet on the Tuesday and came here on Saturday, then we go to the Maxi Worlds and then straight to Barcelona, so it is a hectic few weeks.”

” I think probably at the moment we lack a little bit of the consistency which is required to win a regatta, but it is slowly coming together. There is no one thing, in all areas we need to be just a little better and that higher level of consistency would get us up the fleet quite quickly.”

The 52 Series should race two scheduled windward-leeward races Wednesday when the 40 Series fleet have their practice race planned.
Quantum Racing (USA) will go afloat with a seven points series lead over second placed Container (GER) who in turn are seven points ahead of third placed Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA).
The conventional thinking around the Cartagena dockside is that this regatta will shape the podium which will be finally settled at next month’s Barcelona finale.

2011 Audi MedCup Circuit
52 Series

Standings after 3 events
1. Quantum Racing (USA), 19 + 30 + 42= 91 points
2. Container (GER), 31,5 + 28,5+38= 98 points
3. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 32,5 + 37+35,5= 105 points
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 37 + 39,5+44,5= 121 points
5. Bribón (ESP), 47,5 + 38+37= 122,5 points
5. Ràn (SWE), 40,5+41,5+43,5= 125,5 points
7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR) 58 + 43,5+26,5 =128 points
8. Gladiator (GBR), 85,5 + 47+85,5= 218 points

Photo: Region of Murcia Cartagena Trophy, 23 08 2011 © Guido Trombetta_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup