The penultimate Audi Medcup Circuit regatta exposes teams' strengths and weaknesses
In brisk winds and moderate seas off Cartagena nothing could be taken for granted in conditions which exposed strengths and weaknesses in virtually equal measure to produce an exciting pair of races on the second day of the Region of Murcia Trophy, the penultimate Audi MedCup Circuit regatta of the 2008 season.
The day’s biggest misfortunes lay with Platoon, powered by Team Germany, and Quantum Racing proved that they are entirely fallible. Honours were shared evenly between Mutua Madrilena, who scored a pair of second places to take the same points tally as overall regatta leaders Bribón – after the Spanish boat went into the protest room and won, ensuring the disqualification of Artemis from Race 3 of the regatta.
Desafio finished third in the first race and went on to win the second race to lie third overall.
With winds between 15 and 21 knots the gusty breeze shifted direction regularly up the course, whilst downwind there were extra gains to be made in the surfing conditions.
Platoon powered by Team Germany won the tussle on the start line in the first race and were able to work right early, going on to win. They were only minutes into executing the same game plan in the second race when a forestay fitting failed and they had to retire immediately. While they were unlucky to miss out on the second contest of the day, Platoon were also counting their blessings that there was not a third race.
Bribón had only just battled back from a modest opening round when they were involved in an incident at the second leeward turn with Artemis (SWE). While Bribón sailed clear and did a penalty turn subsequently, the two crews went in to the protest room. As a result, Artemis suffered disqualification from race 4.
On the Audi MedCup Circuit the protest result means second placed Artemis lead third placed Bribón by just 2.2 points.
Race two saw a second good start for El Desafio, which gave them the chance to work the right as John Cutler (NZL) and Paul Cayard (USA) conspired to give the Spanish America’s Cup team their first Audi MedCup winning gun of the season.
Desafio were able to get ahead at the first windward mark and the combination of polished crew work and the ability to sail their own race from the front saw Desafio convert their early lead to a win by 57 seconds over Mutua Madrilena.
Quantum Racing struggled off the second start line. At twenty seconds they were tacking up on port to get height up to the line, but when the gun went the Circuit leaders were slow. Last off the start line they worked hard to get back to third at the top of the second beat, but they lost five places down a thrilling final run to score an eighth.
Region of Murcia Trophy Regatta – Standings after four races:
(Updated after protest)
1 Bribón ESP (1,3,8,3, 15)
2 Mutua Madrileña ESP (6,5, 2, 2, 15)
3 El Desafio ESP (9,4,3,1, 17)
4 Quantum Racing USA (5,1,4,8, 18)
5 Matador ARG (2,6,5,5, 18)
6 Caixa Galicia ESP (4,10,6,6, 26)
7 Platoon powered by Team Germany GER (11,2,1,15,DNF, 29)
8 Audi Q8 ITA (8,7,7,7, 29)
9 Artemis SWE (3,9,15 DSQ, 4, 31)
10 Synergy RUS (12,8,9,9, 38)
Audi MedCup Circuit 2008 Results after 39 races:
1 Quantum Racing USA 179
2 Artemis SWE 222
3 Bribón ESP 224,2
4 Matador ARG 256
5 Platoon by Team Germany GER 271
6 Mutua Madrileña ESP 283,4
7 Mean Machine MON 308
8 El Desafío ESP 318
9 CxG Corporación Caixa Galicia ESP 354,6
10 Audi Q8 ITA 386
For more information, visit www.medcup.org .