Second victory for de Ridder

As the Athens Trophy for the TP 52s goes to Dutch skipper and his Mutua Madrilena team

Saturday August 26th 2006, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: Mediterranean
A text book display in the final race by Dean Barker and the crew of Warpath, winning by 47 seconds, could do nothing to dent a clear overall win by the cool, calm and collected Mutua Madrilena team skippered by owner Peter de Ridder.

De Ridder and the Mutua Madrilena crew win the Athens Trophy, their second regatta victory after winning the season’s opener in Punta Ala, Italy back in May. While their win was immensely satisfying for the Mean Machine team, their 3,3,1,2,1,9,2,3 scoreline proved a model of consistency for a notoriously tricky venue but more importantly left them with a 14 point cushion going in to the final event of the Breitling MedCup TP52 circuit, a showcase finale in Ibiza next month.

“There will be a bit a duke out in Ibiza. I am sure neither of us will be taking any prisoners. It will be all out war and it is going to be a fun event, certainly,” Mutua’s tactician Ray Davies grinned dockside, soaked with champagne.

The fourth Corinthian Trophy from five regattas for the De Ridder mantelpiece is a bonus, but the winning Mutua Madrilena crew know that they will be given no quarter in Ibiza from their Emirates Team New Zealand friends and rivals off Warpath, which finished this regatta with two wins to secure second overall on tie break with the Roberto Bermudez skippered Caixa Galicia.

In a light southeasterly sea breeze Warpath made the best start in the middle of the start line and were able to take advantage as the breeze stayed in the left phase with more wind pressure on the left side of the course.

Mutua Madrilena did not look clever in the first minutes of the first beat, but managed to track across to reap the benefit on the left, taking four boats on the approach to the windward mark to round fifth.

While Warpath was never challenged after the first turn, Mark Reynolds kept Riccardo Simoneschi on track on the helm of Anonimo to cross in second, with Mutua Madrileña nailing a useful third.

“Our whole team are sailing are sailing really well as a group," reported Mutua Madrilena’s Davies "We are getting good boatspeed out of her, good sail combinations. We are confident in the sail crossovers and sail shapes. It has been a very tricky place to sail, there have been a lot of opportunities to come back and so you have to keep looking over your shoulder. We had an awesome first beat after being stuck a bit in the pack. We struggled at times but in the light patches we were very quick and downwind we were very fast, managing to pass Bambakou down the last run to get third.

“It has been the trickiest place to sail so far. The sea breeze and the Meltemi fighting each other through the week has been a challenge, and then this final day with just a soft sea breeze developing close to the shore and getting lighter at the top of the course. We got all the races in and this is very good venue, and to experience what everyone went through at the Olympics.”

“I am a happy man,” Peter de Ridder confirmed. “As we get closer to Ibiza it was important to have a good one here, at least top three but we had a net gain on Warpath, and it was very important to be on the podium.”

“Ray Davies is the tactician. He is the head of the office. Ray, Tom Dodson and I will sit down and discuss things before the regatta and then we have team meetings all the way through and have dinner, breakfast together and go out together and so the team spirit is good. And it also means we don’t have to have a lot of talk to get the team going.

Warpath’s Dean Barker described the outcome today: “I think there was such a small chance of moving up to second, that we needed two races today, and we managed to claw back another couple of points so we are clearly not out of the overall yet, there is still a chance in Ibiza and that is all we can hope for after the start we made here. I think we figured it out here towards the end but we had a couple of mixed results at the beginning and that’s frustrating.”

After a disappointing Copa del Rey, where they finished 11th overall, Caixa Galicia bounced back to finish third overall here in Athens, losing out only on countback to Warpath’s two firsts.

“The top guys sail so well it is hard for us to take the overall but to be third and near second is very good for us,” said Roberto Bermudez. “It is a tricky place to sail as I knew from the Olympics. John Kostecki did a good job for us and it is a pleasure to sail with him. We have a good time and he makes us improve.

It was another disappointing day for the British boat Cristabella, which promised so much at the start of the week, but faded badly over the last two races, bagging a pair of 13ths, to finish fourth overall, 11 points shy of Caixa.

“It’s disappointing,” stated Cristabella’s Charlie McKee, “We chose the wrong side today and it just did not work for us. But we sailed a good regatta, just not good enough to win. The boat is good and the crew is good, but in the end I think we deserved to finish where we did.”

Results:

Pos Sail no Boat Nat Owner Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Tot
1 MON 52 MUTUA MADRILENA (C) MON PETER DE RIDDER PETER DE RIDDER 3.0 3.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 9.0 2.0 3.0 24.0
2 USA 52698 WARPATH USA FRED & STEVE HOWE DEAN BARKER 10.0 7.0 2.0 1.0 8.0 8.0 1.0 1.0 38.0
3 ESP 7452 CAIXA GALICIA ESP VICENTE TIRADO ROBERTO BERMUDEZ-DE CASTRO 11.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 3.0 5.0 3.0 7.0 38.0
4 GBR 5206 CRISTABELLA GBR JOHN COOK CHARLIE McKEE 2.0 1.0 5.0 3.0 7.0 3.0 13.0 13.0 47.0
5 IRL 5200 SIEMENS IRL EAMON CONNEELY IAN WALKER 1.0 11.0 14.0 13.0 2.0 4.0 7.0 8.0 60.0
6 GRE 7652 LEXUS/ATALANTI GRE GEORGE ANDREADIS - JAIME YLLERA RUSSELL COUTTS 13.0 5.0 8.0 10.0 12.0 1.0 8.0 6.0 63.0
7 ESP 7552 BRIBON (C) ESP JOSE CUSI PICHU TORCIDA 8.0 4.0 4.0 8.0 6.0 12.0 9.0 14.0 65.0
8 POR 2241 BIGAMIST 6 POR PEDRO MENDONCA AFONSO DOMINGOS 4.0 9.0 9.0 12.0 5.0 11.0 5.0 11.0 66.0
9 GBR 5252 SANTA ANA (C) ESP STUART ROBINSON & J.A.INIESTA STUART ROBINSON 14.0 13.0 6.0 7.0 4.0 6.0 6.0 12.0 68.0
10 ITA 572 ANONIMO ITA RICCARDO SIMONESCHI RICCARDO SIMONESCHI 9.0 12.0 11.0 9.0 9.0 2.0 15.0 2.0 69.0
11 ITA 52 ORLANDA ITA ALESSANDRO PIRERA FRANCESCO BRUNI 12.0 8.0 12.0 6.0 11.0 7.0 4.0 10.0 70.0
12 USA 52864 RUSH (C) USA THOMAS L. STARK THOMAS L. STARK 7.0 6.0 7.0 11.0 16.0 16.0 11.0 5.0 79.0
13 GRE 52700 BAMBAKOU (C) GRE JOHN G. COUMANTAROS JOHN G. COUMANTAROS 15.0 16.0 10.0 5.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 4.0 80.0
14 NOR 12000 FRAM XVI (C) NOR H.M. KING HARALD V OF NORWAY H.M. KING HARALD V OF NORWAY 6.0 15.0 15.0 15.0 14.0 14.0 12.0 9.0 100.0
15 ESP 7352 AIFOS (C) ESP ARMADA ESPANOLA RICARDO ALVAREZ MALDONADO 5.0 14.0 13.0 14.0 13.0 15.0 14.0 16.0 104.0
16 RUS 13 RUSAL SYNERGY RUS GATEWAY OVERSEAS LTD ANDREY NIKOLAEV 16.0 10.0 16.0 16.0 15.0 13.0 16.0 15.0 117.0

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