Saturday, 18 June 2011
Marseille Trophy, 16 06 2011 © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup
by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
Marseille’s Rade Sud has kept the tacticians on their toes over the first two days of the Audi MedCup Circuit’s Marseille Trophy and today will almost certainly be the same.
Unusually the breezes are predicted to be from the south east over the racing period, a feature which will be new to many of the teams who have raced here on the Circuit before.
Yesterday was never straightforward. Tactically the left side of the upwind was usually the preferred option but several times, especially later in the day, the breeze was stronger offshore. So, certainly there is never a defined pattern which can be predicted for each leg. And there has be no shortage of place changing.
With Gladiator (GBR) winning the second race yesterday now six different TP52’s have won races over 13 contested so far this season. Audi All4ONE (FRA/GER) looked like they were on course to register their first win in Race 4, but the breeze conspired against them, but their third is still their best result of the season so far and a platform to build on.
Quantum Racing (USA) still lead this regatta after an uncharacteristic starting error in the second race left them struggling to get into the top ranks, so the American world champions under Ed Baird’s captaincy will be keen to bounce back to form when racing gets under way.
And the Russian team on Synergy have proven themselves to be potential regatta winners, only one point behind leaders Quantum Racing (USA)
The 40 Series racing proved very open with very little to choose between the five in terms of speed and tactical nous. Iberdrola leads on countback but it was evident that any of the teams had the capacity to win yesterday. And clearly once the boat is set up well, in these breezes, the boats are relatively straightforward to get up to speed.
British owner Tony Buckingham only saw his boat Ngoni for the first time when he arrived here, stepped on for the first time in the practice race and yesterday came very close to winning Race 1, losing out only to the French team of Alain Fedensieu, past French offshore, Tour Voile and Admiral’s Cup winner, who only sailed XII-Marseille for the first time on Monday.
Two races are scheduled for both fleets with between nine and 13kts scheduled for start time between 145 and 165 degrees, shifting left as the afternoon progresses and possibly building to 10-15kts.
Ado Stead (GBR), Tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
“It should be a quite interesting day, our forecast has 10-15 knots by mid day potentially building up to 20 later in the day. With the breeze more in East-South East it will be more gusty, it seems it could be a pretty tricky day out there today, but it also depends if we race on the bay or a little more offshore like yesterday. We had one very good race and another that dind´t go quite as good. We need to get back up today, do the right things, get a good couple results and get things in the right direction”.
Juan Luis Paez (ESP), Navigator, Iberdrola Team (ESP):
“We expect the races today to be as tough as yesterday. The fleet is sailing better each day. With this type of weather, if you fall behind, you pay, especially if you don´t hit the start line the right way. We need to start well because yesterday we had a bad one and it was pretty hard to recover, we had to fight a lot to stay alive in the race. At this point, we are the boat to watch in the competition and because of that the rest teams always try to push you to the bad side early on, so we have to stay ahead if we want to avoid trouble”.