ONO into the frame

A report from the first day of TP 52 racing in Castellon

Wednesday July 5th 2006, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: none selected
Any preconceptions that the second Breitling MedCup TP52 regatta of the season would simply be a two cornered battle between Steve and Fred Howe’s Warpath and Peter de Ridder’s Mutua Madrilena were despatched immediately today as Inaki Castaner’s ONO returned the best scoreline of the day.

With a pair of third places and an eighth in the first race Ono leads by a single point from Warpath and Mutua Madrilena.

But the belief that a vault in standard and intensity since the first event of the season, Punta Ala in May, was to be expected certainly held true. The first turning buoy of the second race saw some brave approaches prove costly, requiring many sterns to be taken.

While ONO held true to what is carved in stone as key to success in this class, staying out of trouble, both Warpath and Mutua Madrilena both found themselves in the lower half of the fleet at times.

“We had three goods starts and it was a kind of one way race track and we managed to stay at the top end of the fleet all the time,” explained ONO’s tactician Tony Rey.

The northeasterly sea breeze provided fantastic racing, blowing to 10-14 knots for most of the first two races. Only during the third race of the day did it fall away and become increasingly shifty.

“Today everything worked well,” reported ONO’s helmsman Inaki Castaner, “ We have been sailing all winter and are now seeing the benefits of this. Despite that fact that we are racing against some of the top sailors in the world, we are sailing calmly and Toni has definitely made our job easier.”

In the first race it was Germany’s Harm Muller Speer’s Judel Vrolijk designed Platoon which took the winning gun. They earned a clear lane from the pin end of the start line and rounded the first mark just behind Mutua Madrilena, which started second up.

On the downwind they held on longest before gybing for the first leeward mark and slid ahead of Mutua Madrilena, which had gybed earliest of the leading pack, dropping behind Warpath. In Punta Ala the German crew showed their promise with a second and third but, with Warpath catching them they held their nerve to win:

“This boat is full of dinghy sailors, and a lot of Olympians so we are not phased by the competition. We have a lot to learn but we have a very good boat and we are trying to keep the boat going fast in all wind conditions” Harm Muller-Spreer, Platoon’s owner explained.

With double Olympic medallist Ian Walker steering and Dee Smith making the tactical calls, Siemens started three up from the left end of the line also and went on to take third place, showing better speed in the breeze. Following up with an 11th and a second Siemens lies fifth overall.

After a disappointing first race when they banged hard to the right corner of the course Bribon made amends in the second race when they broke quickly from the middle of the start line and with clear wind all the way up the beat, the 2005 Farr designed boat was 20 seconds clear at the first turn, going on to win by 57 seconds from Warpath.

“Our helmsman only arrived last night so the first race today was our practice race.," quipped Bribon’s strategist Bouwe Bekking, “But the second race we started where we wanted to start and were in the lead and once you are in the lead it is quite easy. But, yes at the end of today we are pleased to be in the ball game.”

The third winning gun of the day went to Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez and the crew of Caixa Galicia. Matched to a sixth and a tenth Caixa lies fourth overall.

After three races the top seven boats are only separated by six points. Warpath lies second thanks to their two second places and an 11th in the third race.

“In the last race we struggled to find a lane off the start line and from there it is really hard to get back into it. We didn’t have a really bad race. The boat is getting better but it was a hard day, very close,” recalled Warpath’s Dean Barker.

Mutua Madrilena lies third just a point behind Warpath. They showed their resilience in the second race when they had an incident with Platoon on the start line. Prudently they chose to take a precautionary penalty and still went on to fourth.

“We are happy where we are after the first day. The racing was certainly ‘full-on’ all the time, very competitive and very challenging,” confirmed de Ridder.

Trofeo Ciudad de Castellón Results

1. ONO (ESP) Iñaki Castañer - 1 point
2. Warpath (USA) Fred & Steve Howe - 2 points
3. Mutua Madrileña (ESP) Peter de Ridder - 3 points
4. Caixa Galicia (ESP) Roberto Bermúdez - 4 points
5. Siemens (ESP) Eamon Conneelly - 5 points

Race One Day One
1. Platoon (GER) Harm Muller-Spreer
2. Warpath (USA) Fred & Steve Howe
3. Mutua Madrileña (ESP) Peter de Ridder
4. Rush (USA) Thomas Stark
5. Siemens (ESP) Eamon Conneelly

Race Two Day One
1. Bribón (ESP) Jose Cusi
2. Warpath (USA) Fred & Steve Howe
3. ONO (ESP) Iñaki Castañer
4. Mutua Madrilena (ESP) Peter de Ridder
5. Anonimo (ITA) Riccardo Simoneschi

Race Three Day One
1. Caixa Galicia (ESP) Roberto Bermúdez
2. Siemens (ESP) Eamon Conneelly
3. ONO (ESP) Iñaki Castañer
4. Orlanda (ITA) Alessandro Pirera
5. Balearia (ESP) Gonzalo Araujo

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in


Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top