Calero takes the lead

Quebramar-Chrysler Cup GP42 owner-drivers have their offshore race off Cascais

Saturday August 29th 2009, Author: Dobbs Davies, Location: United Kingdom
While the ORC fleet went off on their distance race today in their second day of racing in the Quebramar-Chrysler Cup, the GP42s enjoyed their third day of great breeze and close inshore racing in Races 6-8 of the 2009 Owner/Driver Championship. With a throw-out in the scores now possible, the series points have actually closed between leaders and followers in this series hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais.

The reason for this is that the dominant lead enjoyed thusfar by Daniel Calero’s Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) has been shrunk down to only three points over runner-up Jose Maria van der Ploeg’s Turismo Madrid (ESP), as the Finn Olympic Gold Medalist from the ’92 Games finally put a win on the scoreboard in Race 6, as did Keisuke Suzuki’s Swing (JPN) in Race 8.

Another reason is that half the fleet here are racing on boats borrowed or sailed for the first time in the season, so with each and every race they are rapidly climbing the learning curve to close the gap with the frontrunners. Unlike the tactical chess game that characterizes the GP42 racing in the Audi MedCup, where there are no throw-out races and the teams are usually quite close all around the track, the teams here have been relatively spread apart and therefore focused on speed and shifts, which keeps them converging together only at the marks, and increasingly in different rounding orders.

Its these convergences at marks that got Puerto Calero in trouble in the first race of the day when they hit Swing at the second windward mark rounding, and in doing a penalty turn for their crime they were knocked back to third. The Canarias team then fought back to win the second race of the day, but could do no better than last in the final breezy contest.

Conditions were 10-12 knots from the northwest in the first race, followed by a shift to the north and a build to 15 knots, and ending in a more brisk 18-22 knots.

So, with one day and two scheduled races left, it is far from over in this only Owner/Driver Championship event for a class otherwise unrestricted in the profiles and abilities of its helmsmen and crew. Preliminary forecasts indicate lighter air for these final two races of the series.

Standings, GP42 Owner/Driver Championship:

1. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero - 1 1 1 1 4 3 1 (4) 12 pts
2. Turismo Madrid (ESP) - Jose Maria van der Ploeg - 2 2 3 2 2 1 3 (3) 15
3. Quebramar Caixanova (ESP) - Felipe Regojo - 3 4 2 3 1 (4) 2 2 17
4. Swing (JPN) - Keisuke Suzuki - 4 3 4 4 3 2 (4) 1 21
5. Roma (ITA) - Jose Matoso/Filippo Faruffini 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 (6) 39

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