The final day's racing sees American boat crowned champion before finish
American boat Quantum Racing, helmed by Terry Hutchinson, has ended its season in spectacular fashion, by winning the world title after a week of tough racing in Puerto Calero, Spain.
The score table clearly reflects the tight nature of the racing. With Vasco Vascotto’s Mutua Madrileña taking silver, Platoon grabbed third place overall from Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis – 2007 champion – at the last downwind leg of the Championship’s last race resulting in a mere 0.25 lead.
Two races were sailed in the closing day of the series, both in strong (20 to 30 knots) but tricky conditions. The first race went underway with a 20-knot northeasterly breeze after a 30-minute postponement and was probably destined to be the shortest one the 14-strong fleet sailed. Its outcome was decided right on the starting line.
While Quantum and Synergy had an excellent clean start, both Artemis and Mutua Madrileña, together with Desafío and Bigamist, were over the line. As a result, most of the suspense and nail-biting excitement everybody was hoping for evaporated.
Again the left played well and Quantum, Synergy and AUDI Q8 led the race until the finish line. First place was going back and forth between the American and Russian boats with Synergy finally prevailing. Throughout the race, the left side was definitely favored to the point that boats gybed only once in the first run. Mutua Madrileña and Artemis managed to recover a couple of spots but a ninth and eleventh respectively meant they had no options towards the title.
Quantum was World Champion before the start of the second race and the Americans decided to convert themselves to spectators in the last race of the series, in order to avoid influencing the tough three-way battle for second and third overall, taking place between Mutua Madrileña, Platoon and Artemis.
Artemis led from the start until the leeward gate when Desafío overtook them after picking the right shift and staging a great recovery through the fleet. With Artemis second and Platoon sixth at the bottom mark, the Swedish boat was guaranteed third overall. It proved too early to rule Jochen Schuemann out and Platoon passed Cristabella and Bribón and in the final leg it was Matador’s turn to surrender to the German attacks. Platoon crossed the finish line in the wake of Artemis and grabbed the bronze medal by the slimmest possible margin, 0.25 points.
Terry Hutchinson commented: “The guys just threw me in the water, so I’m wet but it’s a nice feeling being world champion. It’s a really good end to this team’s season. We are over the top with excitement and incredibly thankful to Quantum Sails for the opportunity they gave us to represent them in the way we did. I really can’t thank everybody enough for the amount of work and support that went in this team. As for the future, it’s still too early; we have to get over the next 24 hours. I will definitely be involved in the TP52 class in 2009 in some capacity but for the moment, we’ll enjoy the next 48 hours and then think about next season.”
Final overall postions (after 11 races)
1. Quantum (USA), Terry Hutchinson, 2-6-1-4-6-2.50-2.50-1-3-2-15, 45.00 points
2. Mutua Madrileña (CHI), Vasco Vascotto, 3-1-6-1-1-11.25-8.75-6-5-9-9, 61.00 points
3. Platoon (GER), Jochen Schuemann, 8-9-12-3-3-6.25-3.75-2-11-4-3, 65.00points
4. Artemis (SWE), Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1-2-2-11-13-1.25-10-11-1-11-2, 65.25points
5. Matador (ARG), Alberto Roemmers, 6-4-5-7-11-8.75-7.50-7-6-5-4, 71.25 points
6. Synergy (RUS), Sergey Pichugin, 7-3-10-5-12-7.50-5-9-8-1-7, 74.50 points
7. Desafío (ESP), Paul Cayard, 5-7-11-12-2-5-1.25-13-10-12-1, 79.25 points
8. Bribón (ESP), Dean Barker, 10-12-4-2-5-3.75-18.75-12-2-7-6, 82.50 points
9. Audi Q8 (ITA), Riccardo Simoneschi, 9-11-3-9-7-10-15-4-13-3-11, 95.00 points
10. Valars (RUS), Sergey Chetvtsov, 4-8-9-8-9-12.50-18.75-8-7-6-8, 98.25 points
11. Bigamist 6 (POR), Alfonso Domingos, 12-10-7-6-8-15-12.50-3-9-10-10, 102.50 points
12. Cristabella (GBR), Roberto Bermúdez de Castro, 13-13-14-10-10-13.75-6.25-10-4-8-5, 107.00 points
13. TAU Andalucía (ESP), José María Torcida, 11-5-8-13-4-16.25-11.25-5-12-14-13, 112.50points
14. Fram XIV (NOR), Kell Arne Myrann, 14-14-13-14-14-17.50-13.75-14-14-13-12, 153.25 points