Warpath victorious

Team New Zealand boats still dominate at TP 52 Breitling Med Cup event in Punta ALa

Sunday May 28th 2006, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: Italy
Dean Barker and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew on the brand new Warpath got the better of Peter de Ridder’s Mutua Madrileña today to win the season’s first Breitling MedCup TP52 regatta, the Punta Ala Yacht Club Trophy.

With Mutua Madrileña finishing second, also crewed by sailors from Emirates Team New Zealand, Barker was delighted not just to win overall but knowing he returns to the day job next week in Valencia with ‘bragging rights’ over his friends and team-mates.
Warpath, owned by the San Diego father and son pairing Fred and Steve Howe who have made the step up from the Farr 40 class, got to within easy striking distance of their overall win when they won the first race of the day.

De Ridder’s Mutua Madrileña had their run of four consecutive wins halted when they came unstuck on the first race, posting an 11th place finish after they became snared on the wrong side of a windshift and less breeze on the left of the first beat.

“It was really tricky, difficult day. It was pretty scary with the light winds forecast, knowing that we had to deal with Mutua Madrileña. We had to decide what was the right thing to do, whether to get involved with them at the first start or to sail our own race. We decided in the end to try and just get off the line clean, which we didn’t really, but we did manage to get into the race pretty nicely,” explained Warpath’s Team New Zealand navigator Kevin Hall.

“We are just thrilled.” Barker said on the dockside, flanked by navigator Hall and tactician Terry Hutchinson. “I don’t think we could have sailed the first race better. It was very trying. We are pleased because every day we have been learning a little more about the boat and it still has a lot to go. I think that all the way through we have got quicker on every leg.”

De Ridder’s second overall leaves him top Corinthian in the 19 boat fleet.
“I am not really disappointed. The Corinthian is nice if it comes along, but the overall is what matters for me really. I am very happy with second at this first event in a class of this standard.”

Michael Illbruck’s Pinta finished in third place overall with John Kostecki calling tactics.

1. Warpath (USA52698) Fred & Steve Howe/Dean Barker 1/7/4/2/3/1/9 = 27 points
2. Mutua Madrileña (MON 52) Peter de Ridder/Peter de Ridder 15/1/1/1/1/11/3 = 33 points
3. Pinta (GER4014) Michael Illbruck/Michael Illbruck 5/2/9/4/6/5/10 = 41 points
4. Cristabella (GBR 5206) 4/12/7/11/2/2/4 = 42 points
5. Caixa Galicia (ESP7452) 2/5/12/10/8/3/2 = 42 points

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