Matador claim coastal race
World champions Matador exorcised last season’s ghost of Sardinia and lifted their four times coastal race jinx today under the Devil’s Saddle when they won the 1.5 points multiplier 30 miles passage to picturesque Poetteo and back. In the process they have extended their overall lead in the Region of Sardinia Trophy Regatta’s 52 Series to 11 points over second placed Synergy (RUS). And, chasing down the second place overall on the Audi MedCup Circuit which eluded them last year, Matador’s momentum moves them to within six points of Quantum Racing.
Today, with Vasco Vascotto and Francesco Bruni combining on tactical choices along with navigator Bruno Zirilli, the Italian trio ensured that Matador did not put a foot wrong and were able to win by a comprehensive 1 minute and 46 seconds.
In a light to moderate sea breeze, which built to 12 knots midway through the race, the start was critical, setting the order for the windward mark, where Matador lead.
On the long reach across the Bay of Cagliari towards ‘that’ point, the Capo St Elia to the east of Cagliari, Matador were the only team among the leading group to set and hold on to an A3 reaching kite when their pursuers used jibs. That gave Matador a small boost and allowed them to extend on the run down into the Bay of Angels, to the leeward turning mark off the beach at Poetto.
On the second run back to the same leeward mark Quantum Racing overhauled second placed Jochen Schuemann’s Audi A1 powered by All4One - which had French Hollywood film star Jean Reno, star of the Da Vinci Code, Leon, the Big Blue and Mission Impossible - riding at the back as guest.
The 2008 champions Quantum then held off a spirited attack from Artemis, which has owner Torbjorn Tornqvist back on the helm this week, on the final sprint under reaching gennakers in to the harbour mouth, taking second just ahead of the team which won the coastal race here last year.
Francesco Bruni tactician on Matador commented: "At the start we were kind of concerned we didn't know which side to take, so we were sort of lucky at the beginning, starting at the pin end, but during the rest of the race we've sailed really well. We've used a different sail than the others when we could use it, and that's helped us stretch the gap to sail more comfortably. It was an A3, a bit different from the ones the others have, just TeamOrigin and us have it, and we were in a good position to use it, cause we were at the front. And then the long reach came and there's where we made the bigger gains, that was the best part."
With a solid fifth place Synergy hold on to second place on the Region of Sardinia Trophy Regatta standings only 2.5 points ahead of Terry Hutchinson’s crew on Quantum crew, still with two days and four races still scheduled of this event.
Hutchinson commented: "They took a calculated risk on the start of they race, they started down at the pin and to the left of every body;we were happy with how our start went but our side just didn't work. In fairness to it Edo wanted to go for about two minutes off the line on startboard and we had synergy coming and tangle with us a little so we had to just clear out. But it was probably one of the best coastal races we every had we had a really good one in Marseille, and that was really a good one as well , just brilliant time all the time and everybody is challenging the whole time."
Paul Cayard tactician on Artemis said: "Matador were very fast, but we are happy, third is a good race we had a hard but good week but today it was not our problem, it's a very acceptable day. We have a good coastal record, last year we won here."
The rich get richer
In 42 Series racing, Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) has today put their slight upwind speed advantage in the moderate flat-water conditions to great use, achieving a rare triple bullets sweep of today's races. Their hat trick of wins sends them even further ahead in the standings of the Region of Sardinia Trophy, leading the regatta by eight points and the circuit by 15 points.
But their wins today were achieved by more than just pure boat speed. In Race 4 they were trailing series runner-up Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) on the final run by just a few metres.
Helmsman Paolo Cian then put his match race expertise to use and drove the Canarias team past the layline, gybed, then rolled past them to their first victory of the day.
The next two races were a little less dramatic: despite some strong challenges at times from Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) and AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA).
Madrid-Caser consistently pieced together each of the pieces together for success: good starts, good speed and near-flawless crew work, each time putting them into the lead early and kept them there around the track.
Region of Sardinia Trophy results
1. Matador (ARG), 2+8+2+1+5+1+1,5= 20,5 points
2. Synergy (RUS), 6+5+3+4+1+5+7,5= 31,5
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 9+3+7+2+6+4+3= 34
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 8+2+1+10+2+3+9= 35
5. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 5+1+5+6+3+11(DNF)+6= 37
6. TeamOrigin (GBR), 7+4+4+8+4+2+10,5= 39,5
7. Bribón (ESP), 1+9+8+3+8+3(RDG)+8(RDG)= 40
8. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+10+5+9+8+4,5= 45,5
9. Cristabella (GBR), 4+10+6+9+7+6+12= 54
10. Luna Rossa (ITA), 10+7+9+7+10+7+13,5= 63,5
1. Madrid – Caser Seguros (ESP), 1+2+1+1+1+1= 4 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 4+1+3+2+2+3= 15
3. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 2+4+2+3+4+4= 19
4. Península Petroleum (GBR), 3+3+4+4+3+2= 19