Another two bullets for Desafio

Spanish Cup challenger continue to dominate the GP42's Trofeu Quebramar-Chrysler racing in Cascais

Friday August 29th 2008, Author: Carla Anselmi, Location: United Kingdom
If yesterday it provided ideal sailing conditions, today the Bay of Cascais, has partially betrayed the GP42 fleet participating to the Trofeu Quebramar-Chrysler. Since the early morning hours, the Portuguese village was overacst and windless and the sponsors’ and organiser’s flags hung limply from their poles.

After more than two hours waiting and having moved the race area closer to the coast, the Race Committee finally succeeded in firing the starting signal at around 15.30 local time, with a very light breeze of around 5/6 knots on a windward/leeward course, 1.4 miles long.

Despite the conditions the start was very tight, as usual for the Class, so much so that the provisional scoreboard leader, the Spanish on Desafío were over the line. This was not a big issue for them, though, because on the first upwind leg they soon could regain almost all the lost ground. At the mark they rounded in second place, just behind Madrid helmed by Olympic medallist José Maria Van der Ploeg, helped by local sailor and tactician Gustavo Lima. A few seconds later it was Airis’ turn, then Roma GP42.2 not exactly at ease today, followed by Canarias Puerto Calero, Near Miss, Bodegas Luis Alegre and Caser-Quum.

From the first mark on the race turned into a real nerve war and a stressful event for tacticians and navigators, who were obliged to keep an attentive eye on the slightest variation in wind pressure or direction. The Committee correctly opted for a course change and to shorten the leg to 1.2 miles in order to give them a chance to finish the race. Like yesterday, anyway, it was the right side of the course that proved the favoured one. Desafío went right overtaking Madrid, while Airis was trailing behind a short distance. On the finish line it was the green hull of Desafio to cross in first for the third consecutive time in two days. Second was Madrid, third Airis and then all the others.

As the wind has slightly increased to 7/8 knots, the organisers decided to go for a second race. The start was won by Madrid and Near Miss while Caser-Quum was over the line. The fleet sailed in a compact group to the top mark where Desafio stated her supremacy again, rounding first. A good upwind performance was shown by the Italians on Airis, really consistent today, who were distanced only by 23 seconds and by Near Miss at 45”.

Never endangered by their competitors or by the weather conditions, the sailors coming form the Spanish America’s Cup team, finally crossed the line in the lead, putting their signature on the Trofeu, being a healthy seven points ahead of Airis and a huge 13 points in front of Madrid and Near Miss.

Cesare Bressan, mainsail trimmer on Airis commented: "It was yet another nice day, but a difficult one because the fleet is very compact and conditions were very variable, making it even tougher. I have to admit that we are impressed by Desafío’s consistency, speed boat and overall preparation, while in the rest of the fleet there is still a lot of irregularity and as a result, the score table is fluctuating. We were able to sail two good races point-wise and get a couple of points of advantage over Near Miss. Nevertheless, Desafío managed to further increase their lead over us. Tomorrow is another day, we hope we will able to sail three races and hopefully reduce Desafío’s advantage.

"We still don’t know the boat thoroughly. We came here prepared for a stronger breeze but we actually have more Mediterranean conditions. We had to change the setup of the boat and this obviously made the difference. Without any doubt, the teams that have spent more hours sailing have an advantage over us, but what can we do, this is the way the regattas are made."

With today’s double win Desafio also consolidated their leadership in the general provisional results of the Quebramar Cup circuit. Italian Airis is now second overall, 2 points ahead of 3rd placed Near Miss:

Provisional overall:
1. Desafío 92
2. AIRIS 110
3. Near Miss 112
4. Roma GP 42.2 139
5. Canarias Puerto Calero 156
6. MADRID 159
7. Caser-Quum 219
8. Seawonder 007 262
9. Roma GP 42.1 278
10. FERMAX 286
11. Bodegas Luis Alegre 287

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