Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Audi MedCup: ETNZ off to a Good Start in Cagliari

ETNZ on day one at the Audi MedCup in Cagliari. Image copyright Chris Cameron/ETNZ.

by Warren Douglas

Emirates Team New Zealand is leading the fleet after the first day of the Audi MedCup regatta, at Cagliari, Sardinia.NZL 380 finished 8th, 2nd and 1st in the three races sailed to sit on 11 points, equal with the French-German entry Audi A1, but leading on count back.

Today’s results extend the team’s lead in the 2010 season championship over Quantum racing by eight points, to 54.5.

ETNZ on day one at the Audi MedCup in Cagliari. Image copyright Chris Cameron/ETNZ.

Conditions today were difficult, testing afterguards right across the fleet. Solid performer Quantum Racing could manage only 9th, 3rd and 7th places; the Swedish Artemis, always dangerous, finished 3rd, 6th and 10th.

Skipper Dean Barker said today went much as expected across the fleet – up and down results for every team. “We finished the day well and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

In today’s conditions a good start was paramount. Spanish yacht Bribon turned a good start in the first race into a winning finish, but followed with a 9th and an 8th. In the second race, Audi A1 got a great start, picked up a little extra breeze towards the top of the beat and led all the way to the finish.

Emirates Team New Zealand got away cleanly and ahead in the third race and was in control to the finish.

ETNZ on day one at the Audi MedCup in Cagliari. Image copyright Chris Cameron/ETNZ.

Dean Barker said the race course was “tough all day - shifty, puffy with big swings. Really hard work. We missed an opportunity early on in the first race when we were very close to Cristabella. They tacked... we were planning to tack to leeward of them but did not and continued straight on.

“Had we tacked we might have rounded the first mark in second place, but we missed a wind shift towards the top and went round eighth. Cristabella rounded second. It’s the way it is sometimes. Miss an opportunity and you can't recover.

“We bounced back in race two with a second and finished the day with the win. It was great to get ourselves back in contention.”

The third race started in 6-7 knots of breeze. It swung hard left on the first beat and built quickly to more than 20 knots and there were big shifts in direction across the course.

Emirates Team New Zealand won the start and led around the first mark. They held off a determined challenge by Matador (Argentina) on the approach to the second windward mark, when the wind went back right and the three leading boats were well above the starboard layline and power reaching into the mark.

ETNZ on day one at the Audi MedCup in Cagliari. Image copyright Chris Cameron/ETNZ.

Matador, with their 2, 8, 2 for the day lie third overall, only one point behind Emirates Team New Zealand and Audi A1.

Region of Sardinia Trophy
Day 1

1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 8+2+1= 11 points
2. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 5+1+5= 11
3. Matador (ARG), 2+8+2= 12
4. Synergy (RUS), 6+5+3= 14
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 7+4+4= 15
6. Bribón (ESP), 1+9+8= 18
7. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+10= 19
8. Quantum Racing (USA), 9+3+7= 19
9. Cristabella (GBR), 4+10+6= 20
10. Luna Rossa (ITA), 10+7+9= 26

Audi MedCup Circuit 2010
Leaderboard after Day 1 at Cagliari

1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 31.5+31+35+35.5+11= 144 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA), 59.5+22,5+44+53.5+19= 198.5
3. Matador (ARG), 60+27+67+45+12= 211
4. TeamOrigin (GBR), 59.5+31+63+46.5+15= 215
5. Artemis (SWE), 57+53+33+64+19= 226
6. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 51.5+29.5+84+78+11= 254
7. Synergy (RUS), 64+35.5+73+68.5+14= 255
8. Bribón (ESP), 88+41+58+70+18= 269.5
9. Cristabella (GBR), 65+43.5+62+85.5+20= 276
10. Luna Rossa (ITA), 77.5+44.5+73+69+26= 290

Emirates Team New Zealand
Audi MedCup