Who ate all the pies?

Marazzi Sailing claims first race of Audi MedCup only be relegated with overweight crew

Thursday May 14th 2009, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: United Kingdom
The Audi MedCup's first ever Swiss-flagged team won the opening race of the 2009 season to give their hopes of carrying on through the season the best possible boost at the City of Alicante Trophy regatta, only to be thwarted when in their post-race crew weigh-in they were found to be 1kg above the 1278kg maximum limit.

Marazzi Sailing, the campaign put together by Swiss Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi with Germany’s four time Olympic medallist Jochen Schuemann, seized an early advantage on the first leg of the windward-leeward track when the breeze shifted slightly to the right and went on to lead at each mark to the finish.

Schuemann commented: "We are very happy about the fact that we have been able to sail well with today's conditions, they were really shifty and unstable on both legs, and even if we didn't make a good start we sailed the shifts well, and we have done that well right to the end. This is a very good debut for "newcomers".

"We have three tacticians onboard, but we can also say one is strategist, tactician, runner trimmer, at the end its like in other boats, we just try to work together, make our thoughts knows and take good decisions, and I think it has worked today."

It proved to be a long and frustrating opening day. A first attempt to get the opening race away had to be halted when the fitful breeze faded to just three or four knots at the leeward mark when practise race winners Bribon held a clear lead.

But the patience on the part of the competitors and the race officers paid off and the season’s first contest was sailed in 8-10 knots of easterly breeze which offered enough in the way of changes in direction and pressure to develop a typically interesting and challenging early season contest.

The overcast, slightly grey and humid conditions did nothing at all to help the breeze build and only one race could be completed for the twelve competing TP52s.

Marazzi Sailing, the 2008 Reichel Pugh design Artemis, were always able to keep control of the fleet, extending slightly over Alberto Roemmers’ new Matador which took second place.

Matador's tactician Francesco Bruni commented: "What happened today, that a boat seems to be able to finish second in a leg, and then ends up tenth in another, is very normal in races like these where the boats are so evenly matched. In just one moment and one decision you can go from being first to being last, and that's why it's so important for us to do well today. It makes me so happy that we have been conistent and finished in the top five in all the 'races' we have done here till now."

Recovery of the day was that of the Portuguese team Bigamist 7, the former Platoon which was clearly over the start line early at the extreme left end of the start line. Tactician Hugo Rocha ushered helm Afonso Domingos towards the right flank of the course and they were well placed to also reap the dividend as the small wind shift arrived, going on to finish third.

Domingos commented: "We are very happy. It was a shame that they abandoned the first race since we did a good start but the wind dropped. In the second we started ahead, we then lost a bit but since we were close to the buoy we rounded very quickly and we were third, the right paid again and we kept that third. Our tactitian did a very good job, and the strategy after the start was very good. We are noticing the change from last year but we still have to improve things like the trim, we are weak in that aspect and since we are not at the top of the fleet, not having a good trim can cost us a lot. We always try to make good starts, I don't like starting at the back."

Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) had a spirited joust at times with the current Audi MedCup Champions Quantum Racing (USA), and skipper Dean Barker and tactician Ray Davies kept the upper hand across the finish line to take fourth, 27 seconds ahead of the American boat.

The GP42 class had their practice race, running on the same course, with Islas Las Canarias Puerto Calero taking first places.

A jury decision is awaited over the crew weight of Marazzi Sailing.

Update - Marazzi Sailing have been docked three points and are thus moved down to fourth place.

Race 1

1.Marazzi Sailing (SUI)
2.Matador (ARG)
3.Bigamist 7 (POR)
4.Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
5.Quantum Racing (USA)

City of Alicante Trophy, Overall standings after 1 race.

1. Matador (ARG) 2pts
2. Bigamist 7 (POR) 3pts
3. Marazzi Sailing (SUI) 4pt
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 4 pts
5. Quantum Racing (USA) 5pts

GP42 Series, Practice Race

1.Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP)
2.Airis (ITA)
3.Swing (JPN)

More photos on the following pages...

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