Quantum Racing into pole
Terry Hutchinson and the crew of Quantum Racing kept their challenge for a second TP52 World Championship firmly on target today. Staying within their target points budget for the day’s two races, the 2008 champions’ fourth and first was joint best score of the day, and leaves them three points clear of 2007 title holder Artemis, whose day was the mirror image of Quantum Racing’s.
The start of the second race of the day proved the most telling, as Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis jumped off the line to an early lead which they extended to nearly one minute, whilst overnight leader Synergy made their poorest start of the regatta so far and had to work hard to recover to a seventh.
The America’s Cup waters off Valencia have so far spoiled the TP52 championship crews for choice. Monday’s building sea-breeze was replaced by an altogether more benign, but equally testing 7-8 knots of thermal southeasterly today, and Thursday’s scheduled 25 miles coastal race is presently expecting at least 20 knots, maybe more. That the sun has not stopped shining, boosting the daytime temperatures into the mid 20’s Celsius only is the double bonus payout.
Quantum Racing’s tactician Adrian Stead returned to the Real Marina Juan Carlos dock pleased not only with their Race 4 victory, but of equal importance was that they recovered two places in the next race when the breeze offered more advantage to the right with a small right hand shift. They had started smartly off the pin, never felt the same benefit and were forced on to the back foot from there.
But they stuck with it, gaining two places on the second beat and one at the death of the final run, to lead Artemis overall by three points after five races, the theoretical half way point of the regatta. Stead and Hutchinson both started the regatta in the belief a race average of three points could be good enough to clinch the title, and they kept to their target average again today.
Race 4 started in the gentle southeasterly and the early tussle was between Quantum Racing and Synergy, but Quantum closed them out in the top third of the beat and they rounded first and second, with Terry Hutchinson’s crew going on to win by 37 seconds.
Artemis broke the Quantum and Synergy race winning run when they made the best start to Race 5 and were able to gain from a small increase in wind pressure and shift as it moved across from the right of the course.
With owner Tornqvist steering they were able to lead comfortably around the first turn, while Audi A1 powered by All4ONE and Bigamist which both went right early were able to round second and third, their final finishing positions.
Quantum Racing were starved of this initial advantage, rescuing a good fourth, but Synergy were not so good off the line and rounded the first mark in eighth and gained to seventh.
Quantum's Terry Hutchinson commented : “We had another good day, two solid starts and a 1,4. We got a little bit unlucky in the second race, we had a nice start at the pin and we were really happy with everything, but then everybody started to fall in on us and Artemis picked up a little right shear that just didn't get to us. So that set us up for a hard race, but getting a fourth out of that race feels better than the first race because we were eighth or ninth around the top mark and that's a good indication of how the boat's going and how the guys are sailing. The shifts were happening very quickly”.
Torbjorn Tornqvist, skipper and skipper of Artemis added: “Overall everything went very well today. We were a bit unlucky in the first race, we had a decent start but were forced to tack in a position we didn't want, and then we struggled a little bit, we were down but we came back and we finished fourth. It could have been third, given where we were at the beginning of the race, we had a good race. We nailed the start in the second race, it was perfect timewise and we crossed the line in full speed and it was very clear I think that we were on to something good, we were on the right side and we controlled the race from the beginning to the end, so it was a good feeling, one of those races where everything seems to work our way”.
Tomorrow’s 25 miles coastal race will be a variation on a traditional Olympic triangle type course, with an opening two miles beat followed by a four mile downwind leg.
TP52 World Championship 2010 - Day 2
1 Quantum Racing (USA) - Terry Hutchinson (USA), 1+3+3+1+4= 12 points
2. Artemis (SWE) - Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE), 3+5+2+4+1= 15
3. Synergy (RUS) - Eugeni Neugodnikov (RUS), 5+1+1+2+7= 16
4. Matador (ARG) - Alberto Roemmers (ARG), 4+2+5+3+5= 19
5. Bigamist 7 (POR) - Afonso Domingos (POR), 7+6+6+5+3= 27
6. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) - Jochen Schuemann (GER), 2+10(DSQ)+8+6+2= 28
7. Cristabella (GBR) - John Cutler (NZL), 6+4+4+8+9= 31
8. Pace (GBR) - Johnny Vincent (GBR), 9+8+7+7+6= 37
9. Weapon of Choice (GBR) - Tom Wilson (GBR), 8+7+9+9+8= 41