Saturday, September 19, 2009

AUDI Medcup - Cartagena Trophy - Closing Day: Preview

Good morning from sunny Cartagena. In about 4 hours the last 2 or 3 races of the Cartagena Trophy and this year's AUDI Medcup season will have been sailed

For Emirates Team New Zealand the day will almost be a formality since the kiwi sailing army, just like the Romans 2,000 years ago, won the the Medcup war yesterday while the battle in Cartagena will probably finish in victory this afternoon. The overall title is in their pocket but the Cartagena Trophy might need some more work. Bigamist are second, 9 points behind them, and with 2 or 3 races scheduled for today Dean Barker and his crew are poised to win 4 of the circuit's 5 events.

While the championship title is signed and sealed, the second and third place are still up for grabs and four teams will have to sail near perfection in order to claim one. Quantum, Artemis, Bigamist and Matador are within 8 points.

Unfortunately, the weather is not on our side today and the race committee has raised the postponement flag. It will be a light and shifty day and the official forecast is for 5-9 knots from 250-270 degrees at 1300hrs, building a little but then shifting back left again and collapsing.

Racing is scheduled to start at noon and the limit time for a race start is 3:30pm. Don't forget to tune in to Valencia Sailing to watch the races live through the Virtual Eye animation.

Ray Davies and Dean Barker, relaxed before the final races of this year's AUDI Medcup circuit. Cartagena, 19 September 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Morning Quote

Dean Barker, helmsman on Emirates Team New Zealand: We've had a very good season with many difficult races but we've managed to come out on the right side most of the time.

I really look forward to the Louis Vuitton World Series now because it will be nice to be back into match racing. We might probably be a little bit rusty at this stage because we haven't match raced since some time, the last time we matched raced in big boats was last February in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series. It's going to be a change, something different from what we are currently doing and without doubt exciting.

The plan at this stage is to return to the TP52 circuit next year. Together with the Louis Vuitton series and the RC44 races it's going to be a tough and long season. Although ours is ultimately an America's Cup team there is great value in participating in the AUDI Medcup. I think that without question this is the hardest keelboat racing anywhere in the world, there are some great teams and a lot of great sailors. More importantly, it's a development class that not only allows you to develop your sailing skills, but also boat speed, learning how to tune boats, make them faster and it's also a useful development platform for our boat designers. They have designed a great boat that has its strengths but also a couple of weaknesses. In general we seem to have balanced them out pretty well and achieved a good result.



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