Warpath back in the frame
Sunday July 23rd 2006, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: none selectedAfter a costly error, which resulted in damage to their boat, forcing their retirement from Race 6, Dean Barker and the Warpath crew atoned today with an emphatic victory in the 35 mile coastal race on the penultimate day of the Breitling Regata in the Bay of Palma.
The margin of Warpath’s win, over four minutes, matters little other than to help salve the pain from yesterday, but their triumph takes them back to second overall, one point ahead of Russell Coutts and the Lexus-Atalanti team. Even with a their second win of the regatta Steve and Fred Howe’s boat has a seemingly impossible task to overturn the 20 points lead of Peter de Ridder’s Mutua Madrilena.
Once Mutua Madrilena’s Emirates Team New Zealand crew showed their durability and tenacity, as well as good all-round boatspeed, to compose a third place from a start which was very average. On the start line Mutua Madrilena were trapped with nowhere to go behind their main opponents, Lexus and Warpath, in the tussle for pole position on the left hand end of the line.
As the two Botin & Carkeek designed twins took off on the gun, Mutua Madrilena were left momentarily in their exhaust. Bearing off to find extra speed de Ridder and crew were forced into the wash of the overeager, un-marshalled spectator fleet.
In contrast Warpath’s clean start and that also of Fram, King Harald of Norway’s Farr design, were more than amply rewarded at the top end of the first windward leg as a favourable wind shift allowed Fram to round first with Warpath on their tail. On the long reaching leg from the island of Sech, the second turn of the seven marks of the course, Warpath steadily overhauled Fram.
In much more gentle breezes than the first two days of racing, averaging only 5-9 knots, there were few tactical opportunities after the first couple of legs and success went to those with well refined sail inventories on the long reaching legs, and those best able to change gears as the breeze rose and fell.
Warpath's Terry Hutchinson gave his recollections: “It would be good to say that we planned it all the way, but the truth is we were well placed off the start line and then we tacked away from Lexus into a nice break and were lucky. Suddenly we were laying the windward mark from about four minutes out. After that we were just able to stretch away. I think that we have plenty of speed reaching, which is down to sails and technique a lot and the design. We give up some speed upwind “We were very aware of what happened to us last year when the breeze died on the way to the finish, and were a little nervous.
“I think that the good thing from today is that it shows another measure of this team. We responded to what happened yesterday in that manner is a good indication that yesterday was what it was and everybody took it for what it was and kept it in perspective, taking it at face value, and learned from it. We are in this situation with Fred and Steve allowing us to come and bring a lot of the Team New Zealand guys into this programme and develop our sailing team as best we can for America’s Cup next year.
“As individuals Dean and I learned a lot about where our failure of communication happened and we learned from that. We fouled Anonimo and did our turns and had to dip Platoon and cross Balearia and the call was it has to be a good dip because we needed every bit we could. And in the dip we just clipped them on the stern. And we learn from that. If it is such a fine line then the default is we don’t do it. It’s just one of those things that you learn from and move on.”
“The Mean Machine guys are obviously sailing very well and go out to protect a 20 point lead, which is going to take an Act of Congress to bring down, but stranger things have happened and we just have to go out and sail our best and hope.”
Second for Fram showed their potential again in the lighter breezes, this time making their early promise stick. Consistency has eluded the Norwegian boat which lies 15th overall, but tactician Einar Koefoed pointed out: “We have a 70 year old King driving and he does a good job. And I am a full time lawyer, so we don’t get to do as much sailing as these guys. No wonder they are so good, they don’t do any lawyering or governing.”
|1||M.MADRILEÑA-MEAN MACHINE||PETER DE RIDDER||PETER DE RIDDER||2||2||1||3||13||1||3||25|
|2||WARPATH||D.BARKER||FRED & STEVE HOWE||9||1||5||4||3||22||1||45|
|3||LEXUS - ATALANTI||RUSSELL COUTTS||G.ANDREADIS - J.YLLERA||5||11||11||1||8||4||6||46|
|5||CAIXA GALICIA||ROBERTO BERMUDEZ||VICENTE TIRADO||17||5||4||2||6||10||9||53|
|6||PINTA||JOHN KOSTECKI||MICHAEL ILLBRUCK||11||4||2||20||1||5||10||53|
|7||SANTA ANA - STAY CALM||S.ROBINSON||S.ROBINSON - J.A.INIESTA||1||6||12||7||11||16||5||58|
|8||BAMBAKOU||JOHN COUMANTAROS||JOHN COUMANTAROS||7||10||10||10||2||17||4||60|
|9||BRIBON||S.M.JUAN CARLOS DE BORBON||JOSE CUSI||8||12||6||9||7||7||18||67|
|10||ANONIMO||RICARDO SIMONESCHI||RICARDO SIMONESCHI||4||7||13||12||4||14||16||70|
|11||ONO||IÑAQUI CASTAÑER||ONO CABEL EUROPA-E.GALDON||15||22||7||5||10||6||12||77|
|12||PLATTON||HARM MULLER SPREER||HARM MULLER SPREER||3||22||9||6||14||11||17||82|
|14||ORLANDA||LORENZO BRESSANI||ALESSANDRO PIRERA||16||13||22||11||9||2||14||87|
|15||FRAM XVI||H.M.KING HARALD V||H.M.KING HARALD V||12||19||18||14||20||9||2||94|
|16||RUSH VALLE ROMANO||THOMAS L.STARK||THOMAS L.STARK||13||15||19||19||5||13||15||99|
|17||CRISTABELLA||JOHN COOK||JOHN COOK||10||8||8||18||22||22||13||101|
|18||TAU CERAMICA ANDALUCIA||MANUEL DORESTE||JAVIER BANDERAS||18||16||16||8||18||12||22||110|
|20||AIFOS||SAR DON FELIPE DE BORBON||ARMADA ESPAÑOLA||19||18||15||16||17||19||20||124|
|21||C-QUADRAT||RAINER WILHEIM||RAINER WILHEIM||21||14||22||13||19||18||19||126|