Artemis bounce back
After an uncharacteristically disappointing regatta in Marseille last month, finishing eighth, Paul Cayard and the crew of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Swedish-flagged Artemis have bounced right back taking the lead going into the final day of the Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona with a slender lead of just one point over Emirates Team New Zealand, the current Audi MedCup Circuit champions.
In the GP42 Series a second place and a fourth was enough to keep Madrid –Caser Seguros (ESP) four points clear of Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP)which won the second race today, after Iberdrola (ESP) won the first.
Two wins in today’s modest southeasterly wind, added to a fifth in the middle race of three ensured that Artemis was the best scoring crew among the 11 TP52s by some margin, underlining how consistency, boat speed and sharp sailing have replaced their Marseille malaise. Since a seventh in the first race of this regatta, Cayard and crew have never finished outside of the top five, a consistency which is only just about equalled by the Kiwi circuit leaders.
The stage is set for a fascinating Sunday showdown for the Camper regatta title here in Barcelona. Cayard came ashore relaxed and smiling – in contrast to the drained looking skipper he was in France - and was keen to emphasise that the greater satisfaction would come from knowing they can sustain this type of form, to maintain the highest competitive level, than running out regatta winners.
That would be the icing on the cake. Sharper starting and boatspeed at the two key differences he highlighted, but the Barcelona race tracks today proved difficult to read with split breezes either side of the course.
"We just found a rhythm, the boats going fast and we are sailing consistently," said Cayard. "We are doing good starts, not killing it at the start I think we’ve never got our noses down into trouble, I know yesterday at the third start there was a big pile up at the pin end because the left hand was favoured and we kind of avoid things like that. We know we have a fast boat and we try to sail at a high percentage tactically, Cameron Appleton is doing a great job just let the boat work for us.
“ We had clean starts, in both races that we won we got good boat speed and got to the first mark first and that just makes for a completely different race than battling away in the middle of the pack.”
Having stayed relatively clear of trouble so far this regatta Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) might look to two small factors which contribute to their second place overall, rather than leading or sharing the lead. In the second race they gybe-set at the final windward mark rather than stay with their main rivals Quantum Racing (USA), which cost them one place. Then in the third race of the day they became involved pre-start with Matador (ARG) which meant they ended up with too little room and opportunity to break clear off the start line.
Ray Davies commented: "Everything was going on today. There were big distance changes, lead changes and I think the last race was particularly difficult. There were two breezes going on in the first beat and we were in the right hand breeze and it all depended what breeze the top mark was in.
"We were slow off the line in that third race. Matador made life pretty hard for us up there. And our plan had been to go straight and we had to make a few tacks to get clear air.
"Second race top mark was a mistake. Normally the top mark second run you can kind of get away with it a little bit because boats behind are spread out, but they were tighter here and as soon as I did it I thought: ‘ this doesn’t look good’. From fourth to 11th were really stacked up and that dirty air from the wall of boats hurt us, normally it would be thinner than that. We were in dirty air for a couple of minutes and that was enough for Quantum Racing to make a gain.
"Every point is critical, absolutely critical. And that was frustrating, sometimes those mistakes can be more frustrating that having an actual seventh or an eighth, because it is just a boat positioning thing, one of those things where as soon as you’ve done it you kind of think ‘why?’. But overall for use a pretty reasonable day.”
The Kiwis 5,3,5 for the day leaves them six points clear of Quantum Racing which started with a ninth after they were one of three boats recalled in the first race, and then they stayed strong with a pair of second places.
Three races are planned for the final day of racing on this first visit of the Audi MedCup Circuit to the Catalan capital city, but with a time limit of 1530hrs, after which no start sequence can begin, it is a lofty target, while the GP42’s are scheduled for two races to complete their regatta.
GP42 Series: closing the gap
Race 1 saw Iberdrola (ESP) take advantage of the early right shift by starting at the committee boat, tacking, taking an early lead and never looking back. The 9-12 knot conditions were ideally suited to this team of alumnists from the Desafio Espanol AC team, led by skipper Laureano Wizner (ESP). Series leader Madrid-Caser Seguros helmed by Paolo Cian got buried into the remainder of the pack to score her worst score, a fourth, while Peninsula Petroleum slid into the runner-up slot for their best finish to date.
In Race 2, Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) had to settle for yet another second, as her series arch-rival, Jose Maria Ponce's Islas Canarias Puerto Calero took advantage of a building 12-14 knot breeze to vault into an unchallenged lead. But Cian and team had to fight hard for this spot, and the fight got ugly: on a close cross on the second windward leg, Iberdrola couldn’t quite cross AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), prompting Wizner and team to cede the battle and roll into a penalty turn, costing them two places as the Italian team happily took the third place slot in their best finish yet in this stage.
Ponce described today's events: “Today it's been the first day where we've been the best team. The truth is that we've raced well and we've managed to finish ahead of Madrid-Caser in both races and cut down two points in the regatta, which places us ahead of them again in the circuit overall scores. Even though it's going to be tough, because Madrid-Caser is four points ahead, but obviously we'll fight till the end to win here in Barcelona and remain first in the Audi MedCup”.
Racing on board Artemis and Audi A1 powered by ALL4One were Audi sponsored world cup slalom skiers Felix Neureuther (GER) and Julien Lizeroux (FRA)
1. Artemis (SWE), 7+2+4+5+2+4+1+5+1= 31 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1+4+8+1+3+2+5+3+5= 32
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 5+5+2+11+1+1+9+2+5= 38
4. Cristabella (GBR), 2+1+11+9+6+9+4+6+6= 54
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 10+6+3+3+9+7+8+1+7= 54
6. Bribón (ESP), 3+3+7+7+5+11+10+7+4= 57
7. Synergy (RUS), 6+10+6+2+7+8+3+8+11= 61
8. Matador (ARG), 4+9+9+10+10+3+6+9+3= 63
9. Bigamist 7 (POR), 8+7+10+8+4+5+7+4+10= 63
10. Luna Rossa (ITA), 9+11+1+6+11+10+2+10+8= 68
11. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 12(DNC)+8+5+4+8+6+11+11+9= 74
1. Madrid – Caser Seguros (ESP), 1+1+1+1+2+1+4+2= 13 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 2+4+2+2+1+2+3+1= 17
3. Iberdrola (ESP), 3+2+3+3+3+4+1+4= 23
4. Península Petroleum (GBR), 5+5+4+5+4+3+2+5= 33
5. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 4+3+5+4+5+5+5+3= 34
From Sander van der Borch/Artemis www.sandervanderborch.com