Ran and Bribon extend
Showing an impressive level of consistency in light seabreeze conditions, Niklas Zennström’s Rán crew and the Spanish-flagged team on Bribon today both proved able to exactly repeat Tuesday's excellent opening day results and so step further clear of the pack at the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta, the Audi MedCup Circuit's title deciding finale.
For the event leaders Rán that was a win in the first race, followed by a good second place to increase their lead over Bribon by one point today, while for Bribon a third was followed up by their second race win on owner Jose Cusi’s native waters at this iconic team’s swansong regatta.
A seventh in the second race of the day hurt circuit leaders Quantum Racing’s chances at this regatta, but the American-flagged TP52 team still remain on track for the season’s title with a 12 points margin.
However the remarkable rise of the Spanish-flagged Bribon crew means that since the start of the Region of Sardinia in Cagliari in July they have gained 24.5 points on the circuit leaders. Bribon have elevated themselves to third overall for the season and this evening stand only half a point behind Italy’s second placed Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.
And as the challenge for the 2011 TP52 title unfolds, Bribon’s late season charge means they are now only 12 points off the circuit lead with three days left of the season, and up to five scheduled races including Friday’s high scoring coastal race before the titles are due to be presented at Saturday evening’s gala prize-giving.
Rán built their first race victory from a beautifully executed start at the committee boat end of the start line, crossing on port to lead out to the right side of the course and earn the best of the advantage on the right. Rán, Quantum and Synergy then led the charge to the right, and at the windward mark, Zennström's crew had the lead.
In the second race it was Bribon which emerged from a tightly compacted pin end start earning the left side of the course. But it was this group from the left side of the start which did best.
While Bribon and Rán were well set for the race with decent margins at the head of the fleet at the first turn, as the breeze faltered and swung left on the next round Synergy Sailing Team stole themselves a good third place, while Quantum Racing dropped from the fourth place they held at the first mark, losing two boats close to the finish to finish seventh.
Morgan Larson, Tactician on Rán said: “When you are having a tough time sometimes any change might freshen some things up, but it´s not really anything that I´ve brought. I kind of walked in into a nice situation. It feels really good to be sailing in the fleet´s first positions. Niklas Zennström has been doing a great job in these flat waters, he sets the tone. We can see that the conditions are really good for our boat and Niklas feels comfortable with them. So far this week we´ve been sailing at a high level which makes us feel positive because this is a tough race course. Things look good pretty good right now, I think that the team came here wanting to improve the work that was done over the season, trying to make it show in the overall standings, and so far we´re getting it done. Barcelona can be a challenging place to sail."
Gonzalo Araújo, Skipper of Bribón added: “It´s been a good day, we are still on the right track, with good results. These are difficult winds, not a lot of wind, and everything´s well on board. We have a bigger advantage from the guys behind us and we are closer to the ones ahead of us, so it´s a really positive evaluation. The key is not to miss in many areas, a good start and good tactics. It´s a matter of not making many mistakes, a matter of doing most things well. Quantum and Azzurra have started the trophy staring a lot at each other, and that can hurt you regarding other teams in the fight, but there are still a lot of days left so we have to go a day at a time. There´s no other way. Each day there are a lot of points at stake, and you need to get as less as possible.”
In the Soto 40 class Iberdrola Sailing Team were on imperious form over their first two races of the regatta, winning twice by relatively comfortable margins. In the first race she started well at the starboard end, and also were first to profit on the favoured, right inshore side establishing an early lead which was never challenged. Javier Banderas' Iberostar, newcomers to the fleet, sailing Noticias IV, took second. But it was Jose Maria Torcida and crew on Iberdrola which re-confirmed their supremacy in the class when they sailed to comfortable back-to-back wins, showing good speed in the 7-12 knots of sea breeze to build on their substantial circuit lead.
Iberdrola maintained her pacemaker's position again in the second race while the rest of the fleet had a good race. Ngoni had better race, third behind www.cruiser-racer.com. Iberostar took fourth. All the boats headed left on each leg, but the wind certainly decreased as the race went on. The second Soto 40 race started in 10 knots and finished in 6-7 knots.
José María Torcida, Skipper of Iberdrola Sailing Team said: “Everything´s gone well, we´ve done two great starts in the right side, acquiring a distance from our opponents. Once we were ahead of the, we controlled both races, and the fact that the rest of the boats have been constantly switching places benefited us at the end. This gives us more confidence, because we thought that things were not going to go so well today. The mainsail change has been important and the way the boat has been sailing too. Our new crew member, Antonio Piris, has great experience. We knew that we was a great addition, maybe not so much in maneuvers as with Javi, but he helps us in many other aspects. He didn´t need much time to adjust to our team”.
Overall results Conde de Godó - City of Barcelona Trohpy
TP52s (after four races)
1. Rán (SWE), 2+1+1+2=6 points
2. Bribón (ESP), 1+3+3+1=8 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 3+2+2+7=18 points
4. Container (GER), 4+7+5+4=20 points
5. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5+5+4+8=22 points
6. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 8+4+8+3=23 points
7. Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One (GER/FRA), 6+8+6+5=25 points
8. Gladiator (GBR), 7+6+7+6=26 points
Soto 40s (after two races)
1.Iberdrola Team (ESP), 1+1=2 points
2.Cruiser-racer.com (ESP), 4+2=6 points
3.Iberostar (ESP), 2+4=6 points
4.Ngoni (GBR), 5+3=8 points
5.Bigamist (POR), 3+5=8 points
6.Visitmalta (ESP), 6+6=12 points
7.XXII (EUR), DNC+DNC=16 points