Artemis leads the championship after a shifty and tricky first day
The current TP52 World Champion – Artemis – started this year’s edition of the championship on a strong footing with a first and two seconds in tricky conditions.
The opening day of the event was marked by a breeze that swung left and right, sometimes by more than 60 degrees. The breeze ranged from 6 to 12 knots, but direction was a real gamble and the tough race track off Puerto Calero saw three different winners yesterday.
The first race of the day turned into a match-race between Artemis and Quantum, with the current champion crossing the finish line ahead of the Americans. Both boats, together with Mutua Madrileña, lead the race from the start by correctly opting for the left side of the course.
The turning point came in the second beat when Russell Coutts on Artemis and Morgan Larson on Quantum called tactics right on the spot and built a considerable lead over the rest of the fleet, reaching 200 meters at times. In the race’s final leg Artemis kept on the left while Quantum tried to get better breeze in the center but to no avail. Torbjorn Tornqvist helmed the Swedish boat to victory.
The story in the second race changed radically as the breeze shifted. Desafío, TAU Andalucia and Bigamist were over the line early, while Mutua Madrileña, Synergy, Artemis and Quantum had a clean start. Flavio Favini at the helm of Mutua Madrileña got the control of the race despite the attacks from both Artemis and Synergy, even rounding the leeward gate 45 seconds ahead. The three leading positions didn’t change for the rest of the race, resulting in a second for Artemis and an excellent third for Russian Synergy, with kiwi sailor Cameron Dunn calling tactics.
With the breeze dropping to 6 knots and another shift, the race committee fired the starting gun for the third time. As in the first race, the left paid handsomely and Cristabella with Quantum got off ahead of the fleet. The Anglo-American pair could have held on to the top two spots till the end of the race but disaster stroke Cristabella when their spinnaker touched the pin end buoy in the very last stretch of the race. The British boat had to avoid a large spectator fleet in order to carry out their 360-degree turn and as a result dropped back to the bottom.
Quantum was first, with Artemis second after a great recovery in the last leg while Dean Barker helmed Bribón in third place, their best finish of what was a tough day for the Spanish King’s boat.
Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner and helmsman of Artemis: “It was an excellent start for Artemis, it couldn’t have been better. We had good boat speed, we got the wind correctly and in general Russell made excellent tactical calls but, of course, Quantum is a very dangerous opponent and we have to take the event race by race; it’s too early to make any prediction. We have a good boat and fine crew work and as a result there is no reason we shouldn’t be optimistic. Still, it’s going to be a very tough fight.”
MUTUA MADRILEÑA 10.00
AUDI SAILING TEAM POWERED BY Q8 23.00
EL DESAFÍO 23.00
TAU CERAMICA – ANDALUCIA 24.00
BIGAMIST 6 29.00
PLATOON POWERED BY TEAM GERMANY 29.00