The race for a podium place goes all the way to the wire at the TP52 finals in Ibiza. Matthew Sheahan reports
Overall victory in the TP52 Brietling Medcup came 24 hours early for Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine/Mutua Madrilena team who secured overall victory on the penultimate day of racing in Ibiza. Yet despite sore heads following their overnight celebrations, the team drove their point home with two wins in the final races to secure their position as winners of the final event.
Behind them Steve & Fred Howe’s Warpath, helmed by Dean Barker, held onto their second position overall for the season despite finishing the event with a 5th and a 14th on the final day.
The real scrap of the day was between Vicente Tirado’s Caixa Galicia and Eamon Conneely’s Siemens (Patches), skippered by Ian Walker, for third position overall, a battle that went all the way to the wire.
In the first of two races Siemens demonstrated what has become a familiar solid performance to finish second, a result that hauled them to within one point of the Spanish entry in the overall rankings. In order for Caixa Galicia to hold onto their third position they had to finish no worse than one place behind Siemens in the final race – achievable but difficult in this highly competitive fleet.
With the bone firmly between their teeth, the Irish team repeated their earlier performance with another second, while Caixa Galicia crossed the line 8th a result that handed the third podium place to Siemens.
The last event of the season has provided further evidence as to just how competitive this class has become with some of the closest racing to be found anywhere in grand prix racing. The fact that this event is a true Pro/Am series is all the more impressive, especially when you consider that De Ridder is officially entered as a Corinthian sailor and yet has won the class overall, beating serious big hitters such as the Coutts/Cayard duo aboard Lexus Atalanti who rounded off the season in 12th overall.
For an amateur to even share a round of golf with Tiger Woods, or a race track with Michael Schumacher, would be beyond most people’s imagination and ability, to beat them would be astounding. Yet that’s precisely what De Ridder and several others have achieved. Little wonder that the class has proved so popular.