TeamOrigin takes the lead
After five races of the Portugal Trophy Cascais, the first regatta of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit, the Ben Ainslie-led crew of TeamOrigin 1851 lead overall by two points ahead of defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand, while in the GP42 Series, defending champion Puerto Calero starts their season with two win to become the first leader of the season.
In a thrilling finish to the second race of the day, when the TP52 Series’ pair of four times Olympic medallists, Jochen Schuemann steering Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE and Ben Ainslie steering TeamOrigin 1851 duelled down the closing minutes of a fast, full throttle final run, it was the Franco-German boat which pipped the British crew by just one second.
Added to their fourth place in the first race, Circuit newcomers TeamOrigin’s consistency was the result of smart tactical sailing in the puffy, and shifty northwesterly winds. In the first race the breeze averaged around 10-14 knots, but the second TP52 contest enjoyed the strongest winds of the regatta so far with gusts to 22-23 knots producing fast and exciting downwind sailing.
As befits a crew with seven Olympic medals and two America’s Cup wins between their afterguard, TeamOrigin’s starting was sharp today and they were then able to profit from the windshifts to gain places on both of today’s contests.
“ It was a good day, a solid day with no big mistakes which in a 50 race series is what it is all about so we are happy," said tactician Iain Percy. "It was a really exciting final race. The wind was switching between the wind off the shore and wind off the sea and we kind of knew it was going to goback hard right , so we got ourselves on the inside and when it hit we almost managed to roll over All4One, but they passed us on the line, so it was really a fun race.
“ There's so many good people, if you make any mistake you are going to be punished hard so we have to try and avoid mistakes. We've already made them like everyone on the first year but we have to try to eliminate them as much as we can.”
Jochen Schumann added: "We have a good reason to celebrate. We won our first race as a team, as Audi A1 powered by All4one. It was a tight one. It was probably the windiest race we had so far, also for our team, around 23-25 knots, surfing conditions, we actually struggled a little bit. I think Artemis was a little faster so they rolled us on starboard, but they went outside us and at the end they ended up too deep and couldn't make a finish with the spinnaker, but from behind there was even more pressure. Origin came and rolled us on the other side, but then diving into the finish we just made it by meters which I think is good enough. This is a very level and open competition, fantastic conditions here in Cascais.”
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) took their second successive race victory when they managed to pass Quantum Racing (USA) near the top of the penultimate leg today's first race. With a fourth in the second race of the day, hard won after they were on the wrong side of a big wind shift inshore during the first upwind leg, the Kiwi team marched up the overall leaderboard from eighth after Wednesday’s first three race, to lie second at the end of play today.
With a maximum of 15 knots of breeze during the race Quantum Racing led around the windward mark, gaining from their position on the left side of the course, starting close to the pin, left hand end of the start line. However prior to the start there had been drama on board when skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson had to be taken off when he was stuck on the head by the boom prior to the start and had to be taken off. Tactician Adrian Stead stepped in to deputise. Hutchinson was taken to hospital but was reported to be well enough to watch the racing unfold live on the live TV feed.
Adrian Stead explained: “Unfortunately just when we were hoisting the mainsail Terry got hit by the boom on the top on his head and was very dizzy and disorientated, very sick so he had a scan, but it looks it's going to be alright. We had a little giggle, we took out one of our shore crew members and I ended up driving and someone else doing the tactics and pit but we just had to try to make the best of the day with what we had, but hopefully Terry will be back tomorrow. Last time I helmed a whole race was in 2005.”
After chasing Quantum Racing around the first windward mark and on the downwind leg, Emirates Team New Zealand were able to split a little further inshore, gaining from slightly more pressure and a favourable wind shift to be able to cross ahead of the 2008 Circuit winners. Dean Barker and his New Zealand crew were able to extend slightly to win by 40 seconds, with the Russians on Synergy, steered this season by Karol Jablonski (POL) with Rod Dawson (NZL) calling tactics, finished third.
The Spanish boat Bribón did not start after they suffered three broken battens in their mainsail.
Jochen Schuemann and the Franco-German team on Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE scored their first victory on the circuit after profiting early from the wind shift to the right, inshore on the first upwind leg. While they lead around the first windward mark of ahead of Artemis, TeamOrigin were able to make a big gain on the second beat on that side of the course which brought them on to Artemis' stern as they rounded the final buoy.
While Artemis hung on longest, more offshore on the final run, it was a battle to the finish line between Audi A1 powered by ALL4One and TeamOrigin, but the Franco-German crew crossed the finish line ahead by a nose ahead by one single second, an incredibly close finish between two of the sport’s most accomplished modern day Olympic sailors.
|1||TEAMORIGIN 1851||Ben Ainslie||4||9||2||4||2||21|
|2||EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND||Dean Barker||6||11||1||1||4||23|
|4||QUANTUM RACING||Terry Hutchinson||1||5||8||2||10||26|
|5||AUDI A1 POWERED BY ALL4ONE||Jochen Schuemann||9||7||4||6||1||27|
|9||LUNA ROSSA||Robert Scheidt||5||3||9||10||6||33|
|10||BIGAMIST 7||Afonso Domingos||11||4||11||7||11||44|
The lack of participation in yesterday’s practice race did not seem to hurt the young Canarias team on Puerto Calero, as they sailed cleanly into the lead in the season’s first two races for the GP42 Series. The 2009 GP42 Series champions displayed their characteristic strategy, staying out of trouble but sailing fast to help them take and then maintain their leads in both races.
“Except for the last start, I think we sailed flawlessly today,” said skipper Jose Maria Ponce. “I’m very happy with the team, I didn’t expect to do so well so early in the event. Our tactician Gustavo Martinez was right on top of the difficult conditions we had today.”
On his first day of Audi MedCup sailing, John Bassadone, owner/skipper of Peninsula Petroleum said: “I have no words, it was so great. A mixture of excitement and anxiety, today was fantastic. The boats, the class, the competition, the race courses – all great. I can’t wait until tomorrow!”
|1||PUERTO CALERO||Jose Ponse||1||1||2|
|2||MADRID - CASER SEGUROS||Paolo Cian||3||2||5|
|3||IBERDROLA||Laureano Wizner Perales||2||5||7|
|4||PENINSULA PETROLEUM||John Bassadone||4||3||7|