Mean Machine maintains the pressure

Peter de Ridder's TP52 now seven points clear of Matador at the Audi MedCup Breitling Regatta in Porto Portals

Thursday July 24th 2008, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: United Kingdom
Mean Machine emerged from a classic sea breeze day of three good races on the Bay of Palma to lead the 14th Regatta Breitling by seven clear points from Matador.

Peter de Ridder’s team were on top of their game when they chased Bribón across the finish line of the first race before going on to win the second race by a comfortable margin, but once again it was their ability to rescue a solid single digit result from the depths of the fleet early in Race 6 of the regatta which also highlights their class in this fleet.

With the Embat sea breeze peaking at 13 knots Mean Machine (MON) won their 11th victory from 31 starts when Peter de Ridder (NED) got the best of a busy tussle at the committee boat end of the line, pulling away from Quantum Racing (USA) to tack early and gain the right hand side of the course.

First at the windward mark they were able to extend and win by over one minute from Quantum Racing in second.

It was off the pin, left hand end of the line that Dean Barker (NZL) helm and Ross MacDonald (CAN), tactician, were able to engineer a win in the first race of the day, much to the pleasure of SM Juan Carlos, who enjoyed steering Bribón across the finish line. But Bribón could not match that early success and dropped to an 11th and then a 12th, falling to seventh overall for the regatta and relinquishing the second overall on the Audi MedCup Circuit they held at the start of this regatta.

And Guilermo Parada (ARG) and the crew of Matador (ARG) topped off another strong, consistent day when they got the better of Circuit leaders Quantum Racing on the final, exciting run to win the third race of the day to cement their second place three points ahead of the American boat which is steered and skippered by Terry Hutchinson (USA).

In such typically Palma sea breeze conditions it was the right side of this race course which was almost always favoured, often making the starts the most critical and the most exciting part of each race.

Indeed while the breeze was dropping a little during the third race, the right hand end of the start line, at the committee boat was busy, with three boats shut out.

A final shift on the last run allowed some significant place changing. Mean Machine proved her strengths downwind when they recovered three places on the first run to eighth and then again on the second run when they rose from 11th to seventh.

While Mean Machine enhanced their position atop the 14th Breitling Regatta leaderboard, the 2006 MedCup Champions team will take a certain satisfaction in now sharing the same points tally as second placed Artemis (SWE) on the Audi MedCup Circuit standings, proving their steady recovery after being disqualified from the Coastal Race in Marseille.

“ It was a good day for us again today.” said Ray Davies (NZL), Mean Machine’s tactician, “ We had a bit of strife in the last race when we got tied up with Cristabella and Desafio and they fouled us pretty bad but we had a good last run and we were able to get a decent result. We gybed at the buoy and were able to take the pressure down low and then we gybed early and were headed and so we got the fast mode all the way to the finish and took some more boats. It headed about 15 degrees. And so we are back up to second overall on the standings and that is a relief after Marseille, to be back to up to second. From disastrous regatta in Marseille to be back here is good. Quantum are just playing Mr Consistent which is the way to win events. Today it was important to get good starts and choose the correct side, the right was favoured especially.

Guillermo Parada, skipper-helm of Matador reported: “We made a couple of mistakes over the day, but it was good. In the first race we went hard left on the first leg but we were able to come back on the last run so we saved the race. We did average in the second race, nothing specially wrong and nothing specially right, and that made it very hard. And in the last race again we modified the tune a little bit more and were going very quick, we had a good start and were able to hold Quantum until the very last run and we were quicker downwind and were able to force them out to one corner.

“We stayed low and pushed them to the left corner and managed to get down inside them and so when they gybed we were on their wind, we gybed back again and forced them to the corner, and on the last time we were on their wind and able to roll them. It is about averages, about keeping single digit finishes.

,“Tomorrow will be an important race, and the final results will start to emerge and so we hope we can keep this up. Every time we have a good start and have boat speed we are able to do well.”

The double points coastal race around the full span of the Bay of Palma is scheduled tomorrow.

Breitling Regatta, Puerto Portals, Mallorca.
Overall standings after 6 races.
(Place, boat name, nationality, P1, P2, P3,P4, P5, P6, total points)
1 Mean Machine MON (1,5,1, 2,1,7, 17)
2 Matador ARG (3,1,3, 9, 7, 1, 24)
3 Quantum Racing USA (11,2,2,8,2,2, 27)
4 Mutua Madrileña ESP (2,12,8, 4,5,5, 36)
5 Platoon powered by Team Germany GER (7,4,6,7,6,6, 36)
6 Artemis SWE (4,11,5,5,10,3, 38)
7 Bribón ESP (5,10,4,1,11,12, 43)
8 Cristabella GBR (8,6,9,11,4,10, 48)
9 Audi Q8 ITA (15,7,15,3,8,4, 52)
10 Tau Cerámica Andalucía ESP (6,8,12,12,15,8, 61)

Audi MedCup Circuit
Standings after 32 races in - Alicante, Marseille, Cagliari and PORTALS
1 Quantum Racing USA 156
2 Artemis SWE 175
3 Mean Machine MON 175
4 Bribón ESP 178,2
5 Matador ARG 216
6 Platoon by Team Germany GER 226
7 Mutua Madrileña ESP 236,4
8 El Desafío ESP 271
9 CxG Caixa Galicia ESP 293,6
10 Cristabella GBR 312

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