Artemis still on form
Artemis, winners of last month’s Camper Regatta – Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona, suggested today that they might have lost nothing of their momentum when they comfortably won today’s official Practice Race for the TP52 Series at the Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy off Cartagena.
With Cameron Appleton (NZL) calling tactics and Paul Cayard (USA) on the helm, the Artemis crew read the tricky approach to the first turning nearly perfectly to be able to round in first place, ahead of the Portuguese team on Pedro Mendonca’s Bigamist 7.
At the leeward gate Artemis sailed wide and late allowing Bigamist through, but they quickly made good what they had lost, leading around the top mark for the second time to take the winning gun by 41 seconds from Bigamist with Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) finishing third. The best recovery of the day was that staged by Terry Hutchinson (USA) and Quantum Racing (USA) who worked from 11th at the first turn to finish fourth.
After a delay of over one and a half hours waiting for the sea breeze to fill in sufficiently to allow racing the southwesterly breeze topped no more than eight knots but it was the top corner, calling the layline in to the windward mark in the streaky breeze and strong current which taxed the afterguards most today.
Racing is scheduled to start in earnest for the TP52s tomorrow at around 1330hrs after the GP42 Series have completed their initial practice starts.
Among the visiting VIP’s was Ruth Beitia, Spain’s 2010 indoor world championships silver medal winning high jumper who sailed today aboard Bribón.
After watching today’s TP52 Practice Race many of the 30 participants who have been competing at the regional Optimist championships were able jump on board the top two boats, Artemis and Bigamist, for the ride back to Cartagena then helping the crews fold sails and carry them to the container village.
Last night's gymnastics display was well received by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Tonight there is a Carthaginians and Romans show at the Public Village.
Audi MedCup TV will start broadcasting live at 1300hrs (CET) tomorrow on www.medcup.org. Three races are scheduled for the TP52 Series while the five GP42’s have their official Practice Race.
With a scheduled start of 1300 there was no hurry to leave the dock as the forecast onshore southerly breeze was still battling with the mornings north westerly wind causing a prolonged period of light, variable sea breeze transition. After almost 2 hours postponement the race committee were able to kick off racing at around 3pm.
Two practice starts were followed by the real thing and TeamOrigin got a fantastic start. In the front row and with speed they came through the pack, which had all decided the boat end of the start line was where they wanted to be ,and were able to head out to the right, by far the favoured side of the race course. Matador, the only ones over early had to go back and restart their race, setting them back just a few minutes.
The bay here in Cartagena is a fairly typical Mediterranean sailing area though the currents are not to be underestimated, probably the biggest learning from the TeamOrigin boat today. ‘We’d looked at the currents of course but it’s only when you get out here and sail and see how it plays out on the boats on the race course that you can really see what’s happening across the bay with the currents and eddies’ commented Ed Smyth, TeamOrigin navigator.
TeamOrigin had a great first beat, covering Emirates Team New Zealand and with the hammer down sailing fast were able to roll over them. Third around the top mark behind Artemis and Bigamist the team were sailing well. Further into the first run and Emirates gybed off earlier, managing to nudge just ahead of TeamOrigin so that at the leeward gate they took the favoured left hand mark and TeamOrigin opted for clear air on the right.
Artemis learnt their lesson from the first leg (disastrously choosing left up the course) and, with the rest of the fleet headed all the way right to stay out of the current, going all the way to the corner and hitting layline. This move gave them the jump on TeamOrigin putting us now in 5th place on the race course.
In the run to the finish the wind was pretty light. Matador gybed out to the right for clear air and TeamOrigin got ahead of Synergy but in the final line to the end it was Matador who had managed to get back into the race and take fifth place.
"We learnt that the current can be pretty funky out here in the bay, and not always do what we’d expected it to," said Iain Percy, tactician. "Great to have got out here and got a race in so we’ve got more knowledge now for the rest of the week," echoed Ed Smyth.
With three races scheduled for tomorrow and potentially more wind we’re looking forward to a great first days racing here at the Audi MedCup, Cartagena.