Friday, 28 May 2010

LVT: Mascalzone Latino Audi Team Takes on the Swedish Artemis

Mascalzone Latino Audi Team sailing against Artemis. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Mascalzone Latino Audi Team.

by Lorenza Priamo

Great victory for Mascalzone Latino Audi Team against Artemis, current leader of the score table in the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena. The race was primarily decided in the start when Gavin Brady stalled Hutchinson, helmsman on Artemis, with Paul Cayard skippering and calling tactics.

During the prestart duel, typical of a match race, Mascalzone Latino took control over their opponent in the last minute, locked them out on port tack and got away to lead off the starting line with an advantage that steadily increased. It was a very important race because Artemis is the team at the top of the provisional leaderboard and was unbeaten until they raced Mascalzone Latino.

On the race course, located between the gorgeous islands of the Maddalena archipelago and Sardinia, the breeze started at 8 knots from 320 degrees at the start and built up to 20 knots, shifting to the left, just like Steve Hayles, navigator on Mascalzone Latino, had forecast. The "Latin Rascals", onboard ITA 90, headed on starboard tack to the left side of the course, immediately capitalizing on the favorable wind shift. At the first weather mark the Swedish were trailing by 22 seconds, a deficit that stretched even further when their spinnaker exploded downwind.

Mascalzone Latino Audi Team was leading with a comfortable margin, but these races are only won on the finish line, where the crew of Vincenzo Onorato crossed 46 seconds in front of the Swedish yacht, led by Paul Cayard. The Round Robin leaderboard of the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena now finds Mascalzone Latino Audi Team in third place, first among the Italian teams, behind Artemis and Emirates Team New Zealand.

"Today we opted for more aggressive tactics - commented skipper Gavin Brady - since we had tried again in Auckland against Artemis. During the prestart, our opponents were in a commanding position until one minute to the gun, when we had the opportunity to stop them, and we did. We don't let anybody intimidate us, not even Paul Cayard. Once again, we showed we were a united and cohesive team, even in our free time we are one group and we don't divide ourselves according to nationalities or personal sympathies. We truly are one entity and our results are the tangible proof and they will even become more evident in the near future."

Flavio Favini, part of the Mascalzone Latino afterguard echoes Brady's opinion: "Today's race was decided in the start, we wanted the left and we managed to get it. As for our performance in this event, we are satisfied, our crew consists of top-notch sailors and, as the results show, we are always able to sail well: just one defeat up to now. The group is cohesive and keeps growing, we have good prospects ahead of us."

Mascalzone Latino Audi Team
Louis Vuitton Trophy