Saturday, July 12, 2008

QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup: Near Miss takes the lead in Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup with two bullets on second day

Near Miss, the Swiss GP42 yacht flying the colors of the Société Nautique de Genève, swept on the second day of the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex, scoring two firsts and a fourth. The top three spots of the event are now held by a Swiss and two Italian teams.

Valencia, 12 July 2008:
If there was any doubt left that the QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup didn’t offer us close and exciting races, it was dissipated like morning mist this afternoon in Valencia. We had three breathtaking races, where the score table was turned upside down several times and great photo finishes. All competing sailors agree to the fact Near Miss and AIRIS are the fastest of the fleet.

The first race started right on time, albeit with slightly lighter conditions than yesterday. Being noon, the breeze hadn’t built up and was blowing at 7-8 knots. With the exception of Caser-Quum, the whole fleet went to the left. The form book was clearly followed, with Desafío, AIRIS and Near Miss leading from the start. The Spanish Desafío kept a comfortable margin throughout the race, while Roma GP42.2 managed to overtake Near Miss and force the Swiss to their worst finish so far in the event.

Second day of the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup. Valencia, 12 July 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup

The second race was probably the most thrilling, exciting and close we have seen so far this year. With the breeze dropping to 7-8 knots and some shifts, at least in theory, the results were open. After a clear start, Near Miss, Desafio, Roma GP42.2 and Airis went to the left. That decision paid off and that group rounded the top mark ahead of the rest in that order. Near Miss at no moment felt threatened and managed to increase their lead over the fleet. The real battle was happening for second to fourth place, especially between Desafío and Roma GP42.2 who staged a fierce gybing fight throughout the last leg. AIRIS, took advantage of it and climbed to second place, with a comfortable margin over the other yachts. Still, the real thriller took place a few tens of meters from the finish line when MADRID, after a great recovery, slipped in between Roma GP42.2 and Desafío, relegating the Spanish to fifth.

In the third and final race of the day the book form was really thrown on Valencia’s blue waters. As the weather low was approaching Valencia, the dark clouds that were hovering over the sky raised the breeze up to 12 knots. Near Miss and Roma GP42.2 continued their excellent performance crossing the finish line first and second, while the great surprise came from newcomers Caser-Quum. After a bad start and a 6th place at the first weather mark, the Spanish yacht kept passing the fleet, only to be blocked by Paolo Cian’s Roma GP42.2. Both Desafío and AIRIS paid the price of their tactical errors.

Racing will end tomorrow Sunday and, once again, the race committee will try to give 3 starts, weather allowing of course.

Second day of the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup. Valencia, 12 July 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup


Paolo Cian, Helmsman of Roma GP42.2: It was a brilliant day; I have to admit we should have done better, since we always rounded the first weather marks, ahead of the fleet. To tell the truth, we also committed errors yesterday, some times childish errors downwind. Today, the crew moved a lot on the boat and the modifications we carried out before coming to Valencia bore their fruit, beyond our expectations. Without any doubt, Near Miss is still a little bit faster than us downwind, while upwind I think we are in a position to fight them, if we sail well. I think we still have margin because both the boat and crew are new. More importantly, we are having more fun now.

It is important to obtain good results for our morale, especially the ones achieved with hard work. At the start of the season we committed some errors, but now, step by step, we are putting everything together and things come more naturally.

Knowing the wind range we would have here was more important than the knowledge of the race area. During the America’s Cup, the race area was different, further to the east, but I have to admit this is more interesting because there are more wind shifts and the score table is upset more often. Onboard Roma GP42.2, we are doing well as far as tactics and boat speed are concerned. Our tactician, Branco Brcic, and our two trimmers are doing a good job and while at the beginning we defending our position, we can now attack..

Halfway through the circuit, we have a have an important point disadvantage, tomorrow we could defend third position, but it won’t be easy. When the breeze dies down, Desafío is very fast. We want to continue improving boat speed because this would put us in a position to gain in both the overall standings and cut the distance.

I think the GP42 is a great boat where crew work is extremely important, more than any other yacht I have sailed on. I think it is fun to watch it from outside and inside. I haven’t been able to find strong winds but when this happens I’m sure it will be fun at pure state.

Second day of the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup. Valencia, 12 July 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup

José Maria Van der Ploeg, owner and helmsman of MADRID: Today we did better than yesterday that was our worst day since we joined the GP42 class. We sailed better, yesterday was not a speed problem but rather wrong tactics since we didn’t really change anything in our trimming. Today we took better decisions, without committing any errors like yesterday. Unfortunately, we stilled the spark that would have fired us up. We made good starts but we weren’t always on the correct side, so we stll have to learn a lot.

This race area was quite difficult, with lots of puffs, shifts and little logic. With the choppy sea and light wind, it was quite complicated. Nevertheless, racing was very beautiful with the whole fleet close together. This is the way the GP42 class goes. Errors cost dearly while the right decisions pay off handsomely.

There are two boats, clearly ahead of the rest; Near Miss and AIRIS. Then you have a very compact group of 4-5 boats. Tomorrow, depending on the breeze we have, second and third positions of the event could be at stake and open to all of us.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home