Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First blood to Britain's Cristabella in Cascais, 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit leaders after Day 1.

[Source: AUDI Medcup] Three different TP52's won the first three races of the new 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit season today off Cascais, Portugal, but it is Britain's much improved Cristabella which leads the TP52 Series. John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum won the practice race for the GP42 Series.

Cristabella, the British flagged TP52 shrugged off any sailing superstitions that it may be unlucky to win a regatta’s practice race when they emerged from a challenging first day of the new 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit season with a very slender lead of just one point over 2008 champions Quantum Racing.

Cristabella, owned by John Cook, skippered by John Cutler and steered by Tim Powell scored a second, eighth and a third from the three races on the bay of Cascais which were contested in moderate wind conditions which were never easy or consistent.

Emirates Team NZ starts the Cascais Trophy with a mediocre performance. Cascais, 12 May 2010. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team NZ

Underlining the strength and depth of the fleet this season, the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit TP52 Series champions Emirates Team New Zealand could only muster a modest start to their defence, posting a sixth and an 11th before regaining their winning ways, victorious in Race 3 by 49 seconds over Britain’s debutants TeamOrigin.

After the first day of racing of the new it is an easy conclusion to draw that the three teams which are new to the Audi MedCup Circuit, Luna Rossa, TeamOrigin and Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE, have significantly increased the overall standard, even considering that some have had very little sailing time with their boats. Consistency across the three races was difficult and often teams which were among the vanguard of one race would find themselves slugging it out in the lower reaches of the fleet, unable to gain places.

Emirates Team New Zealand, for whom consistently excellent starting was one of the building blocks of their Circuit title last year, made two consecutive sub-standard starts and were unable to fight back through into the top half of the fleet. When they did conspire to get off the start line in better shape, it was a familiar sight as they extended to take their first win of the season in Race 3.

Cristabella's laconic part Kiwi tactician John Cutler confirmed today that they were happy to take Tuesday’s winning gun for the practice race as much simply because "last year we could scarcely get out of our own way, so anything at all seemed worth taking." Their 2009 season finished inauspiciously when they damaged their rig in the penultimate race of the season, but with a new keel, rudder, rig, sails, and changes to the crew line up, early indications suggest that the British boat could be contenders this season.

Quantum Racing (USA) won the first race of the season, just passing Cristabella on the second downwind leg. Karol Jablonski (POL) then steered the Russian boat Synergy to win the second race of the day, getting the better of Matador (ARG) who took third.

Portugal Trophy, Cascais - Overall – Day 1
1. Cristabella (GBR), 2+8+3= 13 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA), 1+5+8= 14
3. Matador (ARG), 7+2+5= 14
4. Synergy (RUS), 8+1+6= 15
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+9+2= 15
6. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+7= 16
7. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+3+9= 17
8. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 6+11+1= 18
9. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 9+7+4= 20
10. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+4+11= 26
11. Bribón (ESP), 10+10+10= 30

Emirates Team NZ starts the Cascais Trophy with a mediocre performance. Cascais, 12 May 2010. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team NZ

Team Origin had quite an average debut in the TP52 class. Cascais, 12 May 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

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At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see tight racing which shows the "the strength and depth of the fleet this season" Strange how there are no photos of the top 4 on the leader board - only photos of the 5th, 7th and 8th position holders.

Perhaps its time to see some "strength and depth" in the media? Developing teams should have their moment in the spotlight as well - they work just as hard as the "bigger" team.


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