Big win for Matador
Victory came when they needed it today for the defending TP52 World Champions, Matador. A big win in the 1.5 points multiplier 28 miles ‘coastal’ race brings Alberto Roemmers’ team to within one point of regatta leaders Quantum Racing (USA), the 2008 champions. With owner Roemmers on the helm, Matador was the first to break to the right off the start line, along with Bigamist and Cristabella and they formed the leading trio at the first windward gate.
From there on through a circuit of windward-leeward, triangle, windward-leeward loops in 11 to 16 knots of northeasterly breeze on choppy waters, on to to a spectacular finish in front of the iconic Veles et Vents building, in the heart of the America’s Cup Marina Real Juan Carolos 1, Matador extended their lead, finishing 1 minute and 24 seconds ahead of Cristabella.
If it was a day to savour for the current world champions, their second big coastal race success in 14 days after winning the coastal at the final event of the Audi MedCup Circuit in Sardinia, bringing them sharply back into contention for this year’s title.
Matador's tactician Francesco Bruni commented: “Today it wa special because we've made an almost perfect race, and the coastal races this year are now being good for us, we've broken a record never achieved in the TP52 class. So I'm very happy because the coastal races were a bit our weak point. We're sailing them much better. The 1,5 mutiplier for the coastal makes it more important than the rest of races, and so here we are taking advantage of that”.
For the regatta leaders Quantum Racing it proved a much more frustrating day, spending their coastal contest chipping away through the fleet to a gain fifth place after they had rounded the windward gate in eighth. Other than rescuing three valuable points, Terry Hutchinson and crew would also have a small measure of satisfaction that it was Artemis (SWE), who were their main challenge going out this morning, who finished on their tail pipe.
Both Quantum Racing and Artemis were on the wrong side of the right shift on the first beat and were the only two who stood on to the right hand buoy at the windward gate and so were forced to play catch up from there on in.
"It would have been good if the windward gate was square to the wind," said Quantum Racing helm Terry Hutchinson. "It's over with. To get a fifth out of that was actually really good work. We came off the line with a nice start, the breeze went 13 degrees right. From there it was about the parade. We managed it as best as we could, making a little bit of something out of nothing. It was good."
In many respects the die was set on that first two miles upwind leg. Bigamist lost out on the first downwind first to Cristabella and then Audi A1 powered by All4ONE. Audi A1 had made the best start and came round the first gate as the best of the group which went left.
The British Cristabella crew – with Roberto Bermudez steering and John Cutler calling tactics - had a spirited joust all the way through the ensuing legs, containing the Franco-Germans, surging in to the spectacular finish line with the red and white Audi logo’d boat hard on their heels.
Nacho Braquehais, strategist on Cristabella said: “Just before the start it was pretty clear to all of us that the left was going to pay, and everyone was trying to start on that side. We tacked right after the start and got a clear lane in the middle of the pack. We got ourselves in a nice position, got more pressure on the right and that has helped us reach the mark in a comfortable third position, and right after rounding we were able to gybe and pass Bigamist which was second, and from then on the run was very good, we've stretched out.
“And then on the second beat Audi A1 was coming back strong from behind and for the rest of the triangle, as well as the second beat and the run, we were fighting with them just four boat lengths ahead, and that's kept us busy. The fourth boat was further back and in the fourth beat we decided to cover our position. After the first half of the race we broke the starboard hand guard lines when we were about to finish the reach, and from then on we couldn't hike.”
Tomorrow’s schedule is for two more windward-leeward races from 1300hrs CET.
TP52 World Championship 2010 - Day 3 - Coastal Race
1. Quantum Racing (USA) - Terry Hutchinson (USA), 1+3+3+1+4+7,5= 19,5 points
2. Matador (ARG) - Alberto Roemmers (ARG), 4+2+5+3+5+1,5= 20,5
3. Synergy (RUS) - Eugeni Neugodnikov (RUS), 5+1+1+2+7+6= 22
4. Artemis (SWE) - Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE), 3+5+2+4+1+9= 24
5. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) - Jochen Schuemann (GER), 2+10(DSQ)+8+6+2+4,5= 32,5
6. Cristabella (GBR) - John Cutler (NZL), 6+4+4+7+9+3= 33
7. Bigamist 7 (POR) - Afonso Domingos (POR), 7+6+6+5+3+10,5= 37,5
8. Pace (GBR) - Johnny Vincent (GBR), 9+8+7+10(DSQ)+6+12= 52
9. Weapon of Choice (GBR) - Tom Wilson (GBR), 8+7+9+8+8+13,5= 53,5
From Nico Martinez/www.nicomartinez.com
From Artemis photographer Sander van der Borch of www.sandervanderborch.com