Good Audi MedCup day for Britain
Britain’s TeamOrigin 1851, skippered by Ben Ainslie, sailed to their strongest day yet on the Audi MedCup Circuit, scoring a third, a second and a first place to lead the Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy by eight points after five races have now been sailed off Cartagena.
TeamOrigin stayed consistent across a testing day of racing over which the starts were always high pressure affairs, when the bulk of the TP52 fleet tussled for the favoured right hand side of the race track upwind. Often that put a high premium on being best positioned towards the committee boat, right end of the start line.
Again TeamOrigin generally started strongly, balancing risk and reward through the stressful final countdown, but also showing good speed in the sub 10 knots southwesterly breezes. While they really minimised mistakes, their main regatta rival, Alberto Roemmers' Matador was not quite so fortunate.
After winning the first race, seizing the opportunity presented to them within the final 200 metres of the finish line when TeamOrigin gybed away into lighter wind, Matador could only follow up with a fifth and eighth to finish the day third overall behind Emirates Team New Zealand.
In the second race it was Ian Walker and the crew of Spain’s Bribon which triumphed, followed across the finish line by TeamOrigin.
While TeamOrigin were able to extend progressively over second placed Luna Rossa in the third race, winning comfortably, circuit leaders Emirates Team New Zealand looked to have made a costly error when they stuck to the right side of the first downwind leg, breaking from the line taken by all of their main rivals.
That cost them three places, but a smart final beat – when they recognised the breeze swinging back right – allowed them to quickly absolve themselves and they finished a solid third.
It completed a solid day for the Kiwi team, Audi MedCup Champions of the TP52 Series, as they posted a 5,4,3 to extend still further their overall Circuit lead, while TeamOrigin have finished in the top three in every one of the five races so far.
Ben Ainslie commented: "It was a good day for us as a team, I think we certainly found the sweet spot for this boat, we are going much better in the flatter water. It's nice to have some speed and the boat is going really well. We are sailing better as a team. This is the first time we've been with the same group of people from one event to the next and that certainly is helping. Everyone sailed well we had a great day, so we are happy with that but there's a long way to go in this event. I think all of these boats have different conditions where they find their edge on the rest of the fleet.”
Three different boats won each of today’s three races: Matador, Bribón and TeamOrigin in the TP52s and Peninsula Petroleum, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and Madrid - Caser Seguros in the GP42s.
First win of the seasson for Bassadone
Madrid - Caser Seguros lead the GP42 Series with their 2,3,1 scoreline today, two points ahead of John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum who won the first race and finished second in the third, but partners these scores with a fifth in the second race to lie two points behind the leaders.
In the GP42s today, Madrid-Caser Seguros’s gained another four points in their slim lead over Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) in the overall standings.
But another interesting story is in the impressive performance put in by the current runner-up, Peninsula Petroleum, which, except for a last-placed finish in the second race could have taken the early lead themselves.
New to the GP42 Series this season, this team was hampered in the first two stages by bad luck and a broken masthead crane but has been improving at each stage, and are now enjoying their first time on the leaderboard up among the frontrunners.
The schedule for the TP52s has been changed to offer one windward-leeward tomorrow followed by a 20 miles coastal race.
Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy results
1. TeamOrigin (GBR), 3+1+3+2+1= 10 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 4+2+5+4+3= 18
3. Matador (ARG), 1+4+1+5+8= 19
4. Luna Rossa (ITA), 2+7+9+6+2= 26
5. Artemis (SWE), 5+6+2+10+4= 27
6. Quantum Racing (USA), 9+5+6+3+7= 30
7. Bribón (ESP), 7+11+4+1+10= 33
8. Synergy (RUS), 8+3+7+11+6= 35
9. Cristabella (GBR), 10+10+10+7+5= 42
10. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 6+8+11+8+9= 42
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+9+8+9+11= 48
Day 2, subject to protest
1. Madrid – Caser Seguros (ESP), 2+3+1= 6 points
2. Península Petroleum (GBR), 1+5+2= 8
3. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 3+1+5= 9
4. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 5+2+4= 11
5. Iberdrola (ESP), 4+4+3= 11