Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Quantum Racing scores two bullets in the second day of the Cagliari Trophy

[Source: AUDI Medcup] A pair of well won victories on the Gulf of Cagliari by Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the crew of the Quantum Racing not only earned the American boat the overall lead on the Audi MedCup Circuit 2008 today, but sees them just one point behind Mean Machine (MON) the leaders of this Audi Region of Sardinia Trophy regatta.

While Mean Machine posted a second and third from an interesting day’s racing which, despite the slightly one sided courses, proved a good test of starting, upwind and downwind strategies, Quantum’s two near identical starts and the ability to earn the lion’s share of the favored right early in both races, was the key to their twin successes today.

Quantum showed good speed throughout the day over both races which were sailed in 11-15 knots of what is proving a consistently reliable sea-breeze, reliable to the point that some crews might be really looking forward to new challenges of tomorrow’s coastal race, and to Friday when a change in the wind direction and conditions is forecast.

Terry Hutchinson's Quantum Racing scores two bullets in the second day of the Cagliari Trophy. Cagliari, 2 July 2008. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez / AUDI Medcup

For Hutchinson, tactician Morgan Larson (USA) and crew three wins from five starts is a welcome reward for the hard work they have been putting in since Marseille last month. The team on the green and black hulled Botin & Carkeek design have been addressing their perceived weaknesses. In particular today their starting was pin sharp in terms of time on distance and speed off the line, but their positioning, such that they did not risk being compromised at the busy committee boat end, was equally surefooted.

As is their policy this season, Quantum Racing were the first boat out on the Gulf here, training since last Thursday.

The remarkably consistent string of results for Jose Cusi’s Bribon (ESP) was upset for the first time today. Their seventh in the first race, followed by Bribon’s first double figures score of the season, 11th in the second contest, meant they concede the overall Circuit lead to Quantum. Bribon were squeezed out on the finish line by the Russians on Rusal Synergy and had to bear away, gybe and approach again but lost only one boat in the porcess.

“We had not particular dramas, no issues, just a bad day at the office really.” Dean Barker (NZL), Bribon’s helm explained. “ It happens from time to time. In the second race on the first run we went right and did not get a lot of pressure and we got stuck under a number of boats and just had watch others sail past, there was not much we could do really. It is tough going out there. The sailing is great here and pretty straightforward, but when the advantage is slightly one sided then the fast boats can get there quicker. Quantum is probably the fastest boat out there on the water.”

Desafío, helmed by Paul Cayard, are finally getting their act together and are now 7th in the event. Cagliari, 2 July 2008. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AUDI Medcup

While Quantum won their second gun of the day Roberto Bermudez (ESP) and the team on CxG Caixa Galicia (ESP) proved they are getting to grips with the substitute boat they have while theirs is being repaired when they took a confidence boosting second place - equaling their best finish of the season in Marseille.

And in the first race Paul Cayard (USA) drove El Desafio (ESP) to third behind Mean Machine.

Going into tomorrow’s Coastal Race, which effectively offers double points, the top two boats have already built a decent points cushion in the quest for the Audi Region of Sardinia Trophy. After five races Bribon lies in third place, 17 points behind Quantum.

“After Marseille we worked on my starts at the windward end of the line. Ian (Moore, GBR, navigator) and Morgan (Larson, USA, tactician) have done a good job of their analysis of stuff, and when push comes to shove then there are certain times when all of us have to do our jobs on the boat and its good to be able to do it. But it’s a really good fleet. It’s the end game we are focused on. We need days like this to win races but then follow up with another good race. A lot of things have to happen well for us.” Quantum’s Terry Hutchinson explained.

“ It is nice to see the rewards of a couple of things changed, nice for the guys to sail as well as they did.”

Video highlights from the second day of the Cagliari Trophy

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