Friday, 14 May 2010

Audi MedCup: TEAMORIGIN 1851 and Puerto Calero lead the Portugal Trophy Cascais

After five races of the Portugal Trophy Cascais, the first regatta of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit, the British crew of TeamOrigin 1851 lead overall by two points ahead of defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand. In the GP42 Series, defending champion Puerto Calero starts their season with two winning guns to become the first leader of the season

TP52 start. Image copyright Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

In a thrilling finish to the second race of the day, when the TP52 Series’ pair of four times Olympic medallists, Jochen Schuemann (GER) steering Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) and Ben Ainslie (GBR) steering TeamOrigin 1851 (GBR) duelled down the closing minutes of a fast, full throttle final run, it was the German boat which just pipped the British crew by only one second.

TP52s from the air. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

Added to their fourth place in the first race, Circuit newcomers TeamOrigin’s consistency was the result of smart tactical sailing in the puffy, and shifty NW’ly winds. In the first race the breeze averaged around 10-14 knots, but the second TP52 contest enjoyed the strongest winds of the regatta so far with gusts to 22-23 knots producing fast and exciting downwind sailing.

As befits a crew with seven Olympic medals and two America’s Cup wins between their afterguard, TeamOrigin’s starting was sharp today and they were then able to profit from the windshifts to gain places on both of today’s contests.

Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) took their second successive race victory when they managed to pass Quantum Racing (USA) near the top of the penultimate leg of Race 4. With a fourth in the second race of the day, hard won after they were on the wrong side of a big wind shift inshore during the first upwind leg, the Kiwi team marched up the overall leaderboard from eighth after Wednesday’s first three race, to lie second.

TP52 Series Race 4

Start of the TP52s on day two of the Portugal Trophy. Image copyright Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

With a maximum of 15 knots of breeze during the race Quantum Racing lead around the windward mark, gaining from their position on the left side of the course, starting close to the pin, left hand end of the start line.

After chasing Quantum Racing around the first windward mark and on the downwind leg, Emirates Team New Zealand were able to split a little further inshore, gaining from slightly more pressure and a favourable wind shift to be able to cross ahead of the 2008 Circuit winners. Dean Barker (NZL) and the New Zealand crew were able to extend slightly to win by 40 seconds, with the Russian flagged Synergy, steered this season by Karol Jablonski (POL) with Rod Dawson (NZL) calling tactics which finished third.

Artemis. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

After skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) had to be taken off Quantum Racing due to a pre-start accident, tactician Adrian Stead stepped in to deputise. Hutchinson was taken to hospital but was reported to be well enough to watch the racing unfold live on the live TV feed. The Spanish boat Bribón did not start after they suffered broken battens.

TP52 Series Race 5

Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE leads Artemis. Image copyright Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

Jochen Schuemann and the Franco-German team on Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE scored their first victory on the circuit after profiting early from the wind shift to the right, inshore on the first upwind leg. While they lead around the first windward mark of ahead of Artemis (SWE), TeamOrigin were able to make a big gain on the second beat on that side of the course which brought them on to Artemis stern as they rounded the final buoy.

While Artemis hung on longest, more offshore on the final run, it was a battle to the finish line between Audi A1 powered by ALL4One and TeamOrigin, but the Franco-German crew just got the verdict by one single second, an incredibly close finish between two of the sport’s most accomplished modern day Olympic sailors.
The young team are back

GP42 Series Race Day 1

GP42 fleet on day one of their racing. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

The lack of participation in yesterday’s practice race did not seem to hurt the young Canarias team on Puerto Calero (ESP), as they sailed cleanly into the lead in the season’s first two races for the GP42 Series.

The 2009 GP42 Series champions displayed their characteristic strategy, staying out of trouble but sailing fast to help them take and then maintain their leads in both races.

Puerto Calero - leading GP42. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

“Except for the last start, I think we sailed flawlessly today,” said skipper Jose Maria Ponce (ESP). “I’m very happy with the team, I didn’t expect to do so well so early in the event. Our tactician Gustavo Martinez was right on top of the difficult conditions we had today.”

GP42 surfing. Image copyright Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

On his first day of Audi MedCup sailing, John Bassadone (GBR), owner/skipper os Peninsula Petroleum (GBR): “I have no words, it was so great. A mixture of excitement and anxiety, today was fantastic. The boats, the class, the competition, the race courses – all great. I can’t wait until tomorrow!”

Portugal Trophy, Cascais

TP52 Series
Overall – Day 2

1. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+9+2+4+2= 21 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 6+11+1+1+4= 23
3. Synergy (RUS), 8+1+6+3+5= 23
4. Quantum Racing (USA), 1+5+8+2+10= 26
5. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 9+7+4+6+1= 27
6. Cristabella (GBR), 2+8+3+5+9= 27 points
7. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+7+8+3= 27
8. Matador (ARG), 7+2+5+9+8= 31
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+3+9+10+6= 33
10. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+4+11+7+11= 44
11. Bribón (ESP), 10+10+10+12(DNC)+7= 49

GP42 Series
Overall – Day 1

Airisessential on day one of the GP42 racing. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

1. Puerto Calero (ESP), 1+1= 2 points
2. Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP), 3+2= 5
3. Iberdrola (ESP), 2+5= 7
4. Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), 4+3= 7


Iain Percy (GBR), tactician TeamOrigin (GBR)
“ It was a good day, a solid day with no big mistakes which in a 50 race series is what it is all about so we are happy. It was a really exciting final race. The wind was switching between the wind off the shore and wind off the sea and we kind of knew it was going to goback hard right , so we got ourselves on the inside and when it hit we almost managed to roll over All4One, but they passed us on the line, so it was really a fun race.
“ There's so many good people, if you make any mistake you are going to be punished hard so we have to try and avoid mistakes. We've already made them like everyone on the first year but we have to try to eliminate them as much as we can.”

Jochen Schumann (GER), skipper Audi A1 powered by All4ONe(GER)
“ We have a good reason to celebrate. We won our first race as a team, as Audi A1 powered by All4one. It was a tight one. It was probably the windiest race we had so far, also for our team, around 23-25 knots, surfing conditions, we actually struggled a little bit. I think Artemis was a little faster so they rolled us on starboard, but they went outside us and at the end they ended up too deep and couldn't make a finish with the spinnaker, but from behind there was even more pressure. Origin came and rolled us on the other side, but then diving into the finish we just made it by meters which I think is good enough. This is a very level and open competition, fantastic conditions here in Cascais.”

Synergy close racing with TEAMORIGIN 1851 on day two of the Portugal Trophy. Image copyright Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

Karol Jablonski (POL), skipper Synergy (RUS):
“ It's been tough out there, for sure we were dealing with a few issues on our boat but in the end we managed to score quite good two finishes, third and fifth.”
“ What is I would say is very good for us in this conditions specially for the team which sails for the first time together. In the TP52 we have many nationalities together> We have two kiwis, one Italian. I'm Polish, so it's tough work for us because we have to work on communication but these guys are getting better and better. But we still have a long way to go in the TP52's and long way to go in the AC boats. We all know this is not going to happen neither in one second nor in one year. This is a long time project. We are happy to have owners who understand this, and I think the future is good for them.”

Quantum Racing on day two of the Portugal Trophy. Image copyright Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

Adrian Stead (GBR), tactician Quantum Racing (USA): “ They are cracking boats to sail, there's some pretty good drivers out here and our go was just not getting mixed on the start, the starboard end always looked quite nice but I wasn't going to put us in there so any star was good and take the race from there. We came out today with twelve points, second race could have been a lot better, but a bit more practice and who knows.
“ Unfortunately just when we were hosting the mainsail Terry got hit by the boom on the top on his head and was very dizzy and disorientated, very sick so he had a scan, but it looks it's going to be alright, we had a little giggle, we took out one of our shore crew members and I ended up driving and someone else doing the tactics and pit but we just had to try to make the best of the day with what we had, but hopefully Terry will be back tomorrow. Last time I helmed a whole race was in 2005.”

Audi MedCup