18 point lead for de Ridder
Saturday July 22nd 2006, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: none selectedAfter another three race day the pace at the Breitling Regatta in the Bay of Palma remains relentless, but Peter de Ridder and the crew of Mutua Madrilena have dealt best with the pressures and have built a commanding 18 points overall lead.
Unfortunate damage to their nearest rival Warpath required them to pull out of the third race of the day when they damaged their bow in an incident with the German boat Platoon. After five races Warpath were just one point behind Mutua Madilena but on the first leg of Race 6 when they were ducking Platoon, Warpath struck them a glancing blow. Retiral means a costly 22 points and Warpath now lie fourth overall.
"“It is heartbreaking because we had a great day going,” confirmed Warpath’s coach Ed Reynolds, “ We had no choice but to come in. There was water coming into the boat and it was not going to get any better. We are pretty confident we will be back on the water tomorrow.”
A third place and a victory in final race of the day sandwiched a 13th proving that Mutua Madrilena did not have an easy ride today. At the second start of the day they were pressed over the start line early by Balearia and had to gybe back round to restart.
Having chosen the right hand end of the line, gambling that they would have the pace to cross to the favoured left of the course. Mutua Madrilena rounded the first mark 16th. But they made amends with a perfect peach of a start in the final race, hitting the pin end of the start line with speed and space. They lead from the first turn for a comfortable win.
“It is pleasing to be where we are now. Let us just say that from now on we will not be venturing into the ‘forbidden zones’ on the start lines and trying to sail a little bit conservatively. It was a fun day though. We had good speed upwind and were smoking downwind,” said De Ridder.
Michael Illbruck’s Pinta atoned for a deeply disappointing 20th in the day’s first race, when they were one of five boats over the start line which had to restart. With the breeze building to 17 knots in the second race Pinta pipped John Coumantaros Bambakou on the finish line to win by three seconds. Pinta took fifth in the third race and lie third overall behind Lexus.
“Overall we could have been better today but our speed is very good and our crew work is good. Our biggest issues are getting off the start line with speed. We tend to be setting up too early and ending up too slow. If you don’t accelerate off the line in this fleet you get nowhere,” explained Pinta’s tactician John Kostecki.
Lexus Atalanti may have settled into a run of better form. With Russell Coutts now taking over the steering himself and Gavin Brady and local ace Jordi Calafat combining on tactics Lexus won the first race of the day. Rather than cover Mutua Madrilena mid-way up the second beat they broke right, hooking into a favourable wind shift which got them right on to the transom of race leading Caixa Galicia.With the superior downwind speed of the Botin Carkeek design they were able to overhaul Caixa which finished second.
“The boat is certainly going better," commented Lexus’ co-owner Jaime Yllera. "We did some work on the sails, moved the mast and changed the rake a little, recut the leech of the mainsail, and have two new spinnakers. We did some work with the rig manufacturer Hall Spars and with the designer Shaun Carkeek and I think that all has improved a lot. And Russell is now driving with Gavin and Jordi on tactics. They are good communicators and are good at feeding Russell information all the time. But there is still room for improvement.”
Lexus lie second now, 18 points adrift of Mutua Madrilena, while Pinta stand third overall three points behind.
Breitling MedCup - Regata Breitling
Results - Day Two
1. Lexus (Russell Coutts/George Andreadis/Jaime Yllera)
2. Caixa Galicia (Roberto Bermudez/Vicente Tirado)
3. Mutua Madrilena (Peter de Ridder/Peter de Ridder)
4. Warpath (Dean Barker/Fred & Steve Howe)
5. ONO (Inaki Castaner/ONO)
1. Pinta (John Kostecki/Michael Illbruck)
2. Bambakou (John Coumantaros/John Coumantaros)
3. Warpath (Dean Barker/Fred & Steve Howe)
4. Anonimo (Riccardo Simoneschi/Riccardo Simoneschi)
5. Rush Valle Romano (Thomas Stark/Thomas Stark)
1. Mean Machine (Peter de Ridder/Peter de Ridder)
2. Orlanda (Lorenzo Brassani/Alessandro Pirera)
3. Siemens (Ian Walker/Eamon Conneely)
4. Lexus (Dean Barker/George Andreadis/Jaime Yllera)
5. Pinta (John Kostecki/Michael Illbruck)
General Standings after 6 Races
1. Mutua Madrilena 22 points
2. Lexus 40 points
3. Pinta 43 points
4. Warpath 44 points
5. Caixa Galicia 44 points