Two wins for Mean Machine on opening day of TP52 Audi Med Cup fourth round 22/7/08

Peter De Ridder’s Mean Machine team have made their intentions clear at the start of the Breitling Regatta – the fourth round of the TP52 Audi Med Cup series – by winning two out of three races in the bay of Palma today.

In shifty, puffy winds reaching no more than 10-11kts, the strong, seasoned team in their brand-new Judel/Vrolijk design reveled in the conditions and took races 1 and 3. Not surprisingly as they stepped ashore this evening, they were talking positively about the day’s racing. Pit assistant, Joe Allen commented: “It was our sort of conditions out there today. We absolutely love it when it’s shifty. We have a lot of work to do however, to get back into the winning spot, but today was a good day.”

It’s clear that this international, professional series is one of the, if not the, most competitive events of its kind, and the standard is incredibly high, attracting some of the best sailors in the world. Three short, sharp, two-mile, windward/leeward races keeps the fleet together and racing is so close that there’s often not more than a few seconds between the boats on mark roundings, and usually only a matter of minutes between the first and last boats crossing the finish line.

Chatting about the key to winning, Allen continued: “It’s dealing with the mistakes. Every boat is making mistakes, it’s part of yachting to make mistakes, but dealing with how you handle the mistake is the key. We, like everyone else, made mistakes today but we recovered really well. Also, because the standard is so high, you can’t afford to give anybody anything, if you have to punish someone, you must.”

Two wins they may have but Mean Machine know they have a lot of work to do to secure their place at the top. There is one thing for sure; the result of this event is not going to be clear-cut. Matador, with Alberto Roemmers on the helm and multiple Star world champion Vince Brun on tactics, took a race win today, while the Chilean registered Mutua Madrilena and Quantum each took a second. Bribon, helmed by Dean Barker, with HM Juan Carlos, the King of Spain on board, had a disappointing day with a score of 5,10,4 but keep an eye out for them tomorrow.