Thursday, May 14, 2009

AUDI MedCup - Alicante Trophy: Day 2 - Preview

Update 5pm local time: All racing for today is abandoned. As a result, Friday's scheduled coastal race is also cancelled and the race committee will try to start 3 races, starting at 12:07pm local time.

Emirates Team NZ looking for some breeze that never came. Alicante, 13 May 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Update 3pm local time: The race committee decided raise the postponement ashore flag. The fleet has returned to the port and all we can do is wait for the breeze to appear. There was some gleam of hope earlier in the day and the race committee went on with the start procedure on time but 2 minutes before the start the breeze died completely.

If you are sailing fan this is bad news. On the other hand if you like court cases, lawsuits and James Bond movies, the latest, and hopefully last, oral hearing is about to start in New York. Lawyers from Alinghi and BMW Oracle will have to argue their case before Justice Kornreich in the NY Supreme Court.

Good morning from, once again, cloudy Alicante. The venue of this year's AUDI Medcup opening event is, unfortunately, squeezed in between two weather systems, one low in northern Spain and a high one in the south. As a result, conditions are expected to be tricky, to say the least.

One single race took place yesterday and was won by Swiss newcomers Marazzi Sailing that afterwards were penalized 3 points for being approximately 1 kg overweight, or to be more precise 71 grams per crew member, a sandwich or two more. As a result of the penalty, Matador, is now second overall, having finished second as well in the day's one and only race.

We talked this morning to Dean Barker and Cameron Dunn, respectively helmsman of Emirates Team NZ and tactician on Synergy, and got their take on yesterday's first race and their expectations for today. If conditions allow it the race committee will try to hold 3 races today.

Dean Barker, helmsman on Emirates Team NZ: "It was a good but difficult day yesterday and we are happy to come out with a 4th after lagging in the first mark. It is going to be a difficult season because there is a lot of good teams here.

It is still too early to tell the strengths and weaknesses of our boat, we have only raced once. Still, we are happy because it seems to perform well in a variety of conditions and we'll try to keep making her faster. Yesterday was as much being in the right place as it was about boat speed. We have to keep sailing well at the same time.

We hope there is going to be some more breeze today but it's still a wait-and-see situation."

Cameron Dunn, tactician on Synergy: "It was a terrible day and it it was pretty much all of my fault. I had a really bad top of the second beat. We had a really nice start, we didn't sail an excellent first beat but we were still in the middle of the fleet. Unfortunately, after the gate rounding I got the second beat completely wrong and we missed the left shift at the top half of the leg. We were at the right of the fleet, then the wind shifted 15 degrees left and we lost a lot!

Our boat speed is very good and there has been a great improvement from last year. There are a lot of positives but we have to go in the right direction.

For today we expect more wind, 10 to 15 knots, or probably more, from the south-southeast. The wind we currently have will die down and then swing around and I expect three pretty good races."

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