Mistral gets the upper hand
The only winner on the penultimate day of the Marseille Trophy was the Mistral. The strong northwesterly wind peaked at over 30 knots, keeping the Audi MedCup Circuit fleet of TP52s and GP 42s tied to the dock in the city’s Vieux Port all day.
María Torrijo, Principal Race Officer of the Audi MedCup Circuit commented: "There was a lot of wind out there. We registered a constant speed of 29 knots when we were heading back to port. The waves in the race area weren't that big, but right at the exit of the Vieux Port they were bigger and that could have been a problem for the boats too, because slamming makes them suffer a lot.
"During the day it dropped to around 20 knots but just for around ten minutes. We've been out with the committee boat and then it has picked up again. During the whole day there's always been at least one mark layer or even two on the water monitoring the situation.”
That leaves Quantum Racing (USA) on the brink of becoming the first TP52 team to win an Audi MedCup Circuit regatta since Emirates Team New Zealand won the Marseille trophy one year ago. In the GP42 series fleet, Laureano Wizner (ESP) and the Iberdrola (ESP) team are looking strong to possibly earn their first-ever Audi MedCup regatta victory.
With the Mistral widely forecast to be stronger on Sunday the race committee are still working to a scheduled start time of 1100hrs, but it is not looking promising.
“When you are the leader on the leaderboard you are never that disappointed not to go sailing,” admitted Ed Reynolds, Quantum Racing’s Project Manager. “But the guys are going really well and it would have been great to go out there and see how it rolled. But probably they were not overly crushed at this point not to go."
With the sailing teams hovering and relaxing on hold around the Audi MedCup public village, it was a great chance for the big crowds of visitors to meet the sailors, and an unexpected chance for weekend promenaders to see the TP52’s and GP42’s close up.
Among the visitors to the regatta site today was French designer Guillaume Verdier, who co-designed the successful IMOCA Open 60s Safran and Groupe Bel and three new generation boats.
Ashore the Emirates Team New Zealand team played touch rugby, while many of the other teams caught up with the FIFA world cup where Holland were playing Japan. The key question among the strong Kiwi and Italian crews was who will win between their two nations in tomorrow’s world cup clash.
Dean Barker (NZL) and Francesco Bruni (ITA) joked: “The question is not "who will win", but how much Italy will beat us by. For sure they are superior. But for us is already fantastic to have reached the World Cup finals.”
Bruni says he would like to see Italy and Argentina in the final, and thinks Argentina will win, and not just because he is sailing with a mainly Argentine crew and boat.
With no racing today, Iberdrola (ESP) still enjoys a slim two point lead in the GP42 Series over Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP). Skipper Laureano Wizner (ESP) said this morning that he was anxious about the conditions, since both Madrid and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) have proven to be very fast in the brisk conditions such as experienced here in today’s Mistral.
But the earlier start tomorrow may get the teams out in some sailable conditions, so the GP42 teams will have to get a good night sleep tonight in anticipation of big breeze tomorrow…
Overall – Day 4
1. Quantum Racing (USA), 8+1+1+5+6+1,5= 22,5 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3+3+4+1+10+6= 27
3. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 2+9+2+10+2+4,5= 29,5
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 10+6+5+4+3+3= 31
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+7+7+3+1+9= 31
6. Synergy (RUS), 9+2+6+7+4+7,5= 35,5
7. Bribón (ESP), 1+8+8+2+7+15= 41
8. Cristabella (GBR), 6+4+3+8+9+13,5= 43,5
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+5+10+9+5+10,5= 44,5
10. Artemis (SWE), 7+11(RAF)+9+6+8+12= 53
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+18(DNC)= 78
Overall – Day 3
1. Iberdrola (ESP), 1+1+3+2+3= 10 points
2. Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP), 4+4+2+1+1= 12
3. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 5+2+1+3+4= 15
4. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 2+5+4+4+2= 17
5. Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), 3+3+6(DNF)+6(DNC)+6(DNC)= 24