Two in a row for Quantum
Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the crew became the first team since 2006 to win back-to-back MedCup regattas when the AP over A flags were finally hoisted this afternoon.
A breeze which was just too light and too unsettled across the race area to allow any competition before the 1600hrs time limit meant Quantum Racing (USA) returned to the dock victorious, winning by 14 points over Alberto Roemmers’ second-placed Matador (ARG).
Just as it was the 2007 build Matador’s first podium result of the season so third place here for Jochen Schuemann (GER) and the crew of Platoon Powered by Team Germany, was, like Matador's also their best regatta yet this season.
Quantum Racing arrived in Mallorca with a lead of 6.2 points on the overall Audi MedCup Circuit 2008 standings, and leave the chic, compact marina town having built a cushion of 30 points.
Moving up to second place in the overall standings are the reigning 2007 MedCup Champions Artemis (SWE). Torbjorn Tornqvist’s team which has John Kostecki (USA) calling tactics finished fourth here in Portals.
Consistent Quantum Racing underpinned their winning performance at the 14th Breitling Regatta when they won both sections of the 34 mile coastal race across the Bay of Palma on Thursday, winning one race yesterday and counting five second places from the nine races.
Early in the regatta, the 2006 champions Mean Machine looked like they had bounced back from a maximum points coastal race disqualification in Marseille and were making ready to give Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum Racing Team a run to the finish of the season, but a disastrous Coastal Race when they collected 29 points from a maximum of 30, and then compounded their dismay by adding another 14th on Friday’s first race, leaves Peter de Ridder (NED) and his team with a mountain to climb.
But their travails serve as a salutary reminder of just how competitive this Audi MedCup Circuit fleet is, and the standard simply gets higher with each event.
“The fact that we have won the two events is really good,” said Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing’s helm and skipper, “But we also have the utmost respect for our competition, and a thirty-point lead for the season isn’t enough, and won’t be enough until the season is over. So we are going to still concentrate on looking forward and not behind us, always taking care of everything we can on our boat to have good results. If someone at the end of this beats us, then we know we have done everything we can, and they will have done a good job as well.”
Ed Reynolds (USA), Quantum Racing’s Project Manager added. "The major contribution to these two events has been Mark Mendelblatt on the crew. It has been incredibly different for us. It has been a different group of personalities between Morgan Larson and Terry, he is technically a great sailor but more than anything I don’t think you could get him flustered or upset about anything. These guys are trying and are under a lot of pressure for them. This is not an owner entertainment programme, there are deliverables here and they are taking it seriously. And he brings a great equaliser to the tension on the boat. That has been a huge contributing thing. And our (Quantum) ability with our technical people to work with the Botin Carkeek people and the information that Ian Moore (IRL, navigator) has given to the technical guys off the boat. Every day we look at it and it is like ‘wow, here is a measurable improvement we can make to the boat.
“This is really nice. These last two events have been amazing and if you watch Terry on the starting line he has been unbelievable. Terry’s problem was that he became one of the world’s best tacticians and everybody forgot that he is also probably won of the world’s best helms.”
Johnj Kostecki (USA), Tactician on Artemis (SWE) gave his take: “We are second in the circuit, we still have a lot to improve upon, we didn’t really have the right conditions for the strengths of our boat in this regatta. Maybe we need more breeze like in Marseille and Sardini - we went well in the windier stuff. Torbjorn is quite happy, enjoying the racing and wants to keep doing it in the future; it’s a good place to be in after four regattas! There are a lot of little things to improve on – getting better starts for example. But its tough out there; a lot of the pro drivers are getting poor starts as well. Maybe doing some more training and getting more comfortable as we go into a regatta.”
Ross MacDonald, Tactician of Bribon (ESP) said: "It wasn’t a great one for us as you can imagine but I think we have learnt a few things. Like any event you have to get off the line well, and get the right side on the race course, et the sails up and down well and I think we are feeling we are capable of that so we are not hitting any panic buttons. We are a little bit disappointed we didn’t race today we were looking forward today because we felt mentally on an upswing but we will fight on from here. It’s a long season still! We want to go up we are not looking at the circuit results yet, but we want to go out and keep ourselves in the game, we are not too far away from Artemis - you never count yourself out."
14th Breitling Regatta, Puerto Portals, Mallorca
Final results after nine races.
Place, Boat name, Nationality, (R1, R2, R3, R4, R5,R6, R7A, R7B, R8, R9 Total Points)
1. Quantum Racing USA (11,2,2,8,2,2,1,1,2,1, 32)
2. Matador ARG (3,1,3, 9, 7, 1,9,9,1,3, 46)
3. Platoon powered by Team Germany GER (7,4,6,7,6,6,2,2,7,5, 52)
4. Artemis SWE (4,11,5,5,10,3,3,3,8,2, 54)
5. Mean Machine MON (1,5,1, 2,1,7,15,14,14,6, 66)
6. Mutua Madrileña ESP (2,12,8, 4,5,5,7,5,10,10, 68)
7. Bribón ESP (5,10,4,1,11,12,12,6,9,4, 74)
8. Audi Q8 ITA (15,7,15,3,8,4,13,10,3,13, 91)
9. Rusal Synergy RUS (12,3,13,13,14,9,5,4,12,7, 92)
10. El Desafio ESP (14,13,14,6,3,14,6,11,4,9, 94)
Audi MedCup Circuit 2008
Standings after 34 races in Alicante, Marseille, Cagliari and Mallorca
Place, Boat name, Nationality, Points
1. Quantum Racing USA 161
2. Artemis SWE 191
3. Bribón ESP 209,2
4. Mean Machine MON 224
5. Matador ARG 238
6. Platoon by Team Germany GER 242
7. Mutua Madrileña ESP 268,4
8. El Desafío ESP 301
9. CxG Corporación Caixa Galicia ESP 328,6
10. Audi Q8 ITA 357