AUDI Medcup - Cartagena Trophy - Day 4: Preview
Good morning from sunny and windy Cartagena. The Cartagena Trophy, and the AUDI Medcup, are now in their penultimate day and after yesterday's carnage the overall leaderboard got a little bit less complicated but with the exception of Emirates Team New Zealand, it's still too early for anyone to prepare the champaign bottles.
Artemis is now second overall, 5 points ahead of Quantum and 6 ahead of Matador. Lurking in 4th position are the Portuguese Bigamist, 8.5 points behind the Argentineans. It is clear that any boat that suffers the slightest mishap could very easily go from hero to zero and drop out of the podium battle.
In the GP42 series, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero is now sitting at the top with a 5-point cushion over Roma. The gap between these two and third-placed Endesa-Caser is too big to be bridged but in any case, barring any major disaster, there will be 2 Spanish boats in the podium.
Conditions are expected to be quite similar today but probably less windy. Still the problem the fleet faced yesterday was the combination of a strong breeze and big, square waves that caused the breakages and damages. The race committee will try to hold 3 races, meaning the yachts and crews are in for a long, tough and tiring day.
José Maria Ponce, helmsman on Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (current overall leader of the GP42 Series): We are very happy to top the overall leaderboard of the GP42 Series and with our performance in yesterday's tough conditions, despite the fact we also suffered from gear failure. A few moments after the start of the second race we tore the mainsail and had to sail for the rest of the race unable to reach our full potential upwind. Still, we have a clear edge downwind and made up most of the lost spots. These have probably been the most exciting races but also the toughest ones. We were very tired and really needed a good night's sleep.
The race committee did well in calling off the third race while the second one as well was at the limit, not because of the strong breeze but because of the waves. We loved the breeze but we were constantly worrying about the chop. We always thought the boat would break up in two at any moment. We had to thoroughly check her up after the race because we think we reached the limits of the GP42 yachts.
I swear I don't have the slightest clue what top speed we reached. It was a day where the helmsman had to be absolutely concentrated, especially downwind, because the slightest distraction could lead to disaster... [Trimmer Domingo Manrique yells, TWENTY TWO]. So, you see, our top boat speed was 22 knots, not bad.
Ray Davies, tactician on Emirates Team New Zealand (current overall leader of the TP52 Series): [On the question whether somebody, some day might be able to beat his team, at least in the TP52 fleet] Of course, it's a yachting race. Every new day is another day and all you have to do is try to avoid making the first mistake. Sailing is sailing, it's impossible to always be on top and every team is beatable.
We had a great day yesterday but we have been sailing well all year. Everything worked very well together and we didn't have any damage or breakage aboard yesterday.
We expect quite similar conditions today as well, probably not as windy but certainly big seas. We might top 25 knots of windspeed at times but we could also get down to 13. The range will be wider but still it will be another great day for sailing and we will be able to have three races. Yesterday it was just too windy for the third one.
Trimmer Jensi Lindner catches the spinanker pole onboard Valars before it falls in the Mediterranean. Cartagena, 17 September 2009. Photo copyright Luis Fernandez
One of the victims of yesterday's carnage. Endesa-Caser tore their mainsail and broke their spinnaker pole. The shore crew had to drive to Valencia to bring a new one, an 8-hour road trip. Cartagena, 17 September 2009. Photo copyright Luis Fernandez
One of the victims of yesterday's carnage. Endesa-Caser tore their mainsail and broke their spinnaker pole. The shore crew had to drive to Valencia to bring a new one, an 8-hour night road trip. Cartagena, 17 September 2009. Photo copyright Luis Fernandez