Monday, September 14, 2009

AUDI Medcup - Cartagena Trophy: Bribón wins TP52 practice race

The Cartagena Trophy kicked off earlier today and the 10-strong TP52 fleet carried out its official practice program, consisting of the usual two prestarts and one full race. After yesterday's rain, due to a cold front sitting over most of eastern Spain, the weather that prevailed during the day was sunny and warm but the teams had to do with quite light wind conditions. The breeze picked up during the day but it never went over 12 knots by the time the practice race was over.

Bribón, the Spanish King's boat, with Frenchman Thierry Péponnet at the helm, won the race with ease. The key to the race was the greater pressure on the left side of the course and this is exactly what Bribón did. After crossing the start line at the pin end, Peponnet helmed the Spanish TP52 furthest to the left and benefited from the extra push. Emirates Team New Zealand opted as well for the left but were unable to overtake the Spanish that also were able to extend their lead in the final run. If today's race reflects the results during the rest of the week, it seems it will be nearly impossible to beat the kiwi war machine and steal them the Medcup title.

Synergy finished 3rd but the real battle was between Artemis, Quantum and Matador, the three teams that vie for the two remaining spots in the podium. Artemis was 4th, Quantum crossed the finish line closely behind them while the Argentineans were further behind.

Quotes of the day

Terry Hutchinson, helmsman on Quantum Racing: The practice race was pretty good. We had a good start, we got a little bit unlucky in the first beat,we had a good first run and a good second beat but again we got a little bit unlucky during the last run to the finish. We are a little disappointed but this is a practice race. We also worked on sails today and as a result a lot of things will improve.

This was a practice race and the real battle will start tomorrow. I'm not really concerned about anything. We come to this regatta with the goal to win it and get a spot on the podium. I will not be happy if we end up fourth overall but there is reasonable chance we could. There are four boats that chase two spots and this will make it really, really hard. As I said in the team briefing this morning our aim is to sail a good regatta and we do then we'll finish the season with a good result.

Vasco Vascotto, helmsman on Artemis: Practice day was fine but as far as I'm concerned I need to take a big leap in quality because this is a tremendous team and it's the third hour I've been helming this boat after more than two years without helming a TP52 yacht. We had a good start, something very important in this fleet, and sailed well. Downwind we have good boat speed but upwind I'm not as good as I should be. In tomorrow's briefing we'll talk about that and hopefully find the solution to sailing faster.

The Vascotto-Cayard duo in the afterguard works in an impressive way!! [laughs] Seriously now, we have a good feeling and we are friends since a long time. These are the ingredients that lead to a good result. This is also our aim in this regatta, to sail the best way we can. We obviously want to finish the season in the top three overall but you first need to sail well.

Video onboard Quantum Racing
Valencia Sailing was onboard Terry Hutchinson's Quantum Racing. We tried to get a different view of the prestart procedure from withing the cockpit.

First practice prestart onboard Quantum. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Video copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Second practice prestart onboard Quantum. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Video copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Photos of the day
Being onboard Quantum Racing our photos are limited to what one can capture from within one of the competing yachts.

Quantum's "grey matter", from left, Skip Baxter (mainsail trimmer), Terry Hutchinson (helmsman) and Mark Mandelblatt (strategist). Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Quantum during the practice race. Tactician Morgan Larson (standing) checks the wind. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Strategist Mark Mandelblatt tries to decipher the wind from the mast. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Mainsail grinder Sean Clarkson ready to fire up. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Artemis with Vasco Vascotto at the helm and Paul Cayard calling tactics. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Guillermo Parada and the rest of the Matador crew will have to sail flawlessly in order to secure second place overall for the season. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Guillermo Parada and the rest of the Matador crew will have to sail flawlessly in order to secure second place overall for the season. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Artemis, Matador and Bigamist are the three teams that together with Quantum vie for 2nd or 3rd position overall. Cartagena, 14 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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