Friday, June 18, 2010

Quantum Racing kings under the Calanques

[Source: AUDI Medcup] After winning on this track for the second year in a row Quantum Racing could be justified in claiming ownership of one of the most spectacular race tracks there is on the Audi MedCup Circuit, the 36 miles circuit down along spectacular calanques limestone cliffs to Cassis and back.

Carrying a 1.5 points bounty the win their third of the Marseille Trophy so far, gives the 2008 Audi MedCup champions a lead of 4.5 points over Matador who stole third in the closing stages of a spectacular, exciting coastal race.

It was pure, distilled, classic Marseille. Winds peaked at nearly 25 knots with big seas to ride on the 10 miles downwind leg to the turning mark off Cassis, the scenic little town which lies in a quiet bay cut from the towering cliffs. On the downwind leg the sustained surfing action was quite simply as good as it gets, and on the return leg along the base of the cliffs, it is fantastic, powerful upwind sailing in flatter water.

Quantum Racing wins the coastal race. Marseille, 18 June 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez / AUDI Medcup

The Quantum Racing team sailed an impeccable race.
The pressure was added at the start with the TP52 fleet knowing that there might be few big tactical opportunities after leaving the bay of Marseille. It was another pin sharp start from the Quantum Racing afterguard which allowed them to track left early with Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis lead around the windward mark with Quantum Racing on their tails but on the first run Emirates Team New Zealand gybed early and the American team were able to get around the leeward gate first.

From there Quantum Racing were never really challenged.

Jochen Schuemann, Sebastien Col and the Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE were probably the quickest on the water today and had overhauled the Kiwi team, but just after half way back up the long beat home, the Franco-German team lost their jib.

They had to send a man up the mast quickly to retrieve the halyard and that lost them ground to the current champions. Audi A1 took third place across the finish, whilst Matador’s never say die spirit was rewarded when they managed to grab fourth on the finish line.

The TP52 fleet sails the coastal race under superb conditions. Marseille, 18 June 2010. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi / AUDI Medcup

Equipment Failures
It was a muscular day which exposed any small imperfections in crew work, or equipment. Britain’s TeamOrigin 1851 had some of their good work on Thursday undone when their jib slipped down on the first beat when they were dicing for second place, they fought back but could only make sixth.

But the most unfortunate team were Bribon who lost their forestay strop and had to nurse their boat to the finish under mainsail only.

Quotes of the day:

Morgan Larson (USA) tacitician Quantum Racing (USA): “We like that race course. It was slightly different to last year, but not that much. I think it was a pretty straightforward race, we put the right sails up at the right time, boat handling was good. I reckon that is probably the best race I have sailed with this team in two years. I don’t think there is anything especially different. For us it is nice to have Doug de Vos with us. He knows his way around the boat which is nice. It is the first regatta he has done with us. He is not just sitting on the rail, he is sort of the mast man and doing a lot of grinding.”
“I think the addition of Phil Jameson, ‘Blood’, who joined as at the back end of last season, is a great addition. He has so much experience and is a great trouble shooter. We had a few mechanical issues before the start and one or two issues during the race and he sorted them out.”
“Visually that is beautiful course and tactically it is great. There are a lot of rocks and turns. You think it is the same every year but there are still bits where you are thinking where the mark is. Historically it has always been good for us and it is great because you sail outside in big winds and waves and then come upwind in flat water and along the cliffs.”

Once again, Team Origin suffered from gear failure. Marseille, 18 June 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin

Ray Davies (NZL), tactician ETNZ (NZL): " We've finished second, so we are very happy with that but it's been a very tricky tough race. We've had a very good first leg, and then down the long run down to the bottom end Audi were flying they sailed past us they caught up towards Quantum as well they were going the best downwiind and they surfed straight over the top of us and they just kept going. Then on the beat upwind they had some troubles with the genoa, they did a very good job of recovering, first they had to drop it and then re-hoist it, and then started pulling out of the foil. Conditions were great, it was perfect sailing, it got up to 26-27 knots sometimes down the run. But it was a long way upwind, a lot of hiking, there will be a lot of people wanting a massage tonight that's for sure."

Jochen Schuemann (GER), Audi A1 All4One (GER): " The most important part of the race was the long downwind where we were quite fast and could overtake ETNZ and we were in second position there down in Cassis, but unfortunately when we got a solid second place there we broke our jib halyard and we had to drop the jib, put it up again on the spinnaker halyard and also Jean Marie had to climb up twice in the rig to fix it so that we could continue sailing, and for all that drama we can be very happy of being so close to ETNZ in the finish, they passed us but it was a very nice race."

TP52 Series - Overall – Day 3
1. Quantum Racing (USA), 8+1+1+5+6+1,5= 22,5 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3+3+4+1+10+6= 27
3. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 2+9+2+10+2+4,5= 29,5
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 10+6+5+4+3+3= 31
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+7+7+3+1+9= 31
6. Synergy (RUS), 9+2+6+7+4+7,5= 35,5
7. Bribón (ESP), 1+8+8+2+7+15= 41
8. Cristabella (GBR), 6+4+3+8+9+13,5= 43,5
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+5+10+9+5+10,5= 44,5
10. Artemis (SWE), 7+11(RAF)+9+6+8+12= 53

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