Audi Medcup Circuit 2011 http://www.medcup.org Audi Medcup Circuit 2011 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:53:22 GMT en http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5457 Farewell to a man of the MedCup family http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5457 Thu, 3 May 2012 09:49:40 GMT

The memory of the Cristabella saga and its owner John Cook will remain forever linked to the sea, the Mediterranean, the TP52 class, and the MedCup Circuit. The TP52 Cristabella was part of the fleet which started off the competition in 2005, and remained faithful to it, taking part in almost all its events, until she had to leave due to her owner’s health problems, the same that would finally cause him to pass away in late April.

English by birth, Cook ran under the flag of the Real Club Náutico de Palma, and was a "classic" sailor. In fact, the TP52 Cristabella was easily recognizable not only by her white hull and blue letters, but by her rudder wheel, which had not been replaced by the tiller, as it had already happened onboard the whole MedCup Circuit fleet in recent years.

John Cook's is indeed an irreparable loss to the world of sailing, but his name will live on in the history of racing in the Mediterranean.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5452 WORLD SAILING MANAGEMENT OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5452 Tue, 6 Dec 2011 16:48:50 GMT

World Sailing Management (WSM), organizers of the MedCup sailing circuit, the official international competition of the TP52 and Soto 40 classes, regrets to announce to all those involved and interested in this prestigious circuit, that it has decided to suspend the 2012 season.

This difficult business decision was taken for the following reasons, all of them related to the economic and financial crisis affecting the whole world and Europe in particular:

  1. Serious uncertainty regarding the number of boats, mainly in the 52 Series (TP 52 class), willing to commit to compete in all of the events comprising the circuit with the risk of an insufficient number of competitors to ensure the competitive level reached by the circuit in previous seasons.

  2. The lack of financial resources available to local authorities in their bid to become potential venues for the events of the circuit, which limited the ability to address their usual obligations and maintain the circuit’s level of quality.

  3. Together with the abovementioned factors, a decrease in the support needed from AUDI AG, which has been the circuit’s title sponsor, has led WSM to terminate, early and peacefully, the sponsorship deal linking both companies.

In brief, WSM believes that it is more rational to suspend the Circuit than let it continue with falling standards.

Nevertheless, WSM will continue to work during 2012 in order to overcome these difficulties, confident that it will be able once again to provide the sailing world with the spectacle that the MedCup Circuit has always been.


Madrid, December 6, 2011

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5443 Soto 40 recognised as international class http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5443 Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:36:40 GMT

Adopted successfully for the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit, the Soto 40 class was introduced to Europe for this season and is promised a strong future on the 2012 Audi MedCup Circuit considering the number of new boat sales which have been confirmed for the coming season. Hull number 33 is presently being completed with boats now racing country’s such as Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Japan, the USA, Spain and England among the complement of 11 different nations.

This significant recognition by ISAF is a considerable endorsement of the rapid growth and internationality of the Soto 40. It underlines that our decision taken by the Audi MedCup Circuit that the class is the right one. For a class which had its roots as a local one design in South America we see a very bright future for the class in Europe and worldwide.” Said Nacho Postigo (ESP) technical director of the Audi MedCup Circuit.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5441 José Cusí, Seahorse magazine ‘Sailor of the Month’ http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5441 Mon, 7 Nov 2011 19:15:39 GMT

The prestigious sailing magazine Seahorse has announced that José Cusí, owner of the historic Spanish Bribón campaign for nearly 40 years, is the winner of the October ‘Sailor of the Month’ award. The Spanish boat ended its competition days last September in the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit with a praiseworthy second place.

The announcement has triggered numerous positive reactions in the sailing world. New Zealand´s Dean Barker, former Bribón Skipper and winner of the Audi MedCup Circuit in 2009 and 2010 has defined Cusí as a “fantastic man’. Fellow countrymen such as Nacho Postigo, Technical Director of the Audi MedCup Circuit, or Iker Martínez have also congratulated the Spanish owner, who has expressed his will to sail in smaller boats in the future. While Postigo has pointed out that “Spanish sailing owes Cusí a lot”, Martínez has said that he´s happy with such good news because “after 40 years at the top, José deserves this award”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5435 Audi MedCup Circuit 2012, a new Botin Partners design for Audi Azzurra Sailing Team http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5435 Mon, 7 Nov 2011 15:34:21 GMT

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team have made an important statement of intent for the 2012 Audi MedCup Circuit confirming that they are building a new boat for what promises to be an exciting 2012 season. The build of the new boat has just started at King Marine in Valencia lead by Pablo Santarsiero. It's a design by Marcelino Botin and Adolfo Carrau of Botin Partners, the office which has designed all the Audi MedCup Circuit winning boats since 2008, Quantum Racing in 2008 and 2011 and Emirates Team New Zealand in 2009 and 2010.

The structural engineering side of the design has been undertaken by New Zealand’s Pure Design & Engineering under the vastly experienced Giovanni Belgrano, with CFD studies by Italian-Argentine Alberto Porto. Juan Garay of North Sails will be the sail designer, while the deck was designed by the crew in collaboration with Botin Partners. Project manager of the new Azzurra is Miguel Costa.

After a challenging 2011 season there is great enthusiasm among the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team for the news that the team will be armed with a new boat for the coming season, as confirmed by the strategist Vasco Vascotto:
"I want to thank personally the Roemmers family, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Audi, for supporting us with this challenge, behind us always with such passion and enthusiasm, showing such support for our team."
I am happy to know that we can take this project forward, building from the  good results we got this year. Having a new boat represents a wonderful opportunity for us to continue the journey, to continue to improve, and to point to more and more important goals. "

With this new boat backed by Alberto Roemmers, a passionate member of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team underlines its commitment to the 52 Series of the Audi MedCup Circuit after taking third place overall.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5428 Finale Bellisima! Audi MedCup Champions Quantum Racing add 2011 World Title http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5428 Sat, 8 Oct 2011 16:43:51 GMT

They added to worlds wins in 2008 in Lanzarote and defended the title they won last year Valencia.
Emerging with a four points margin over Germany’s Container, the American flagged Quantum team complete the same 'double' as they did in 2008, winning both the Audi MedCup Circuit title as well as the World Championship.

With tactician Adrian Stead (GBR) combining with new navigator Francesco Mongelli (ITA) Quantum Racing were consistent across the very different wind conditions, from the very light sub 10kts conditions of the first three days of racing to a useful fourth in the strong early morning Mistral of Friday, to their final flourish in today’s moderate 7-11kts.

In paying tribute to team owner Doug De Vos, who was on hand to enjoy their success, Quantum Racing’s inspirational project manager Ed Reynolds, architect behind each of their wins, commented:

“Each of these world titles has been about a quintessential team performance, with two different teams of different characteristics and styles with no major, standout star names in either but unified in the level of results, and that is really down to Doug De Vos for putting the resources to give us good solid teams.”

Tactician Stead who called the shots successfully last season in Valencia, smiled:
“ It is splendid."
" It is a great way to finish the season. We had a tense Audi MedCup, we have been really pleased with the way that we have sailed here against boats which have been in their conditions in the form of Gladiator and Paramount Park. Everyone has been pushing pretty hard.”


Udo Schuetz’ Container with skipper-helm Markus Wieser (GER) and his crew, augmented at this regatta by Kiwi mainsheet trimmer Don Cowie, came out on the final day with their strongest finishes of the late season.

Their 2,1,2 over the last three races of the season a secured them second place overall and shook off some of the disappointment of their lacklustre finishes in Cartagena and Barcelona.

Wieser attributed a large measure of their success to completely changing their rig set up under the advice of Cowie who won the Audi MedCup Circuit title twice as mainsheet trimmer with Emirates Team New Zealand. Wieser said:

“We are happy that it finished up like this, it was a long season and the last two regattas we hard with no boatspeed. But here we changed everything, a complete new set up with Don Cowie, and we had boat speed again and could be more aggressive in the way we sailed. We were so slow in Cartagena. But second here is good.”

Tony Langley’s British crew on Gladiator, surprise early leaders of these world championship, held on to third place overall with their third place in what  proved to be the final race, completing the podium by virtue of a better tie-break than the Spanish Paramount Park Murcia

Langley commended the approach of their tactician, Melges 32 world title winning Chris Larson:

“What was great was the attitude he came with. He came to me and said ‘I really think we can win this’ and that mental attitude was really refreshing and we really set out to try and do that. So that was a big change really. Nacho (Postigo) stepped in and did a really nice job with us too.”

Three different boats lead the world championship over different days, but Quantum Racing were on solid form in the light-moderate conditions and today’s leftover sloppy seas. The breeze was shifting up to 30 degrees and there were big changes in wind pressure, between 5 and 11kts. Although there was breeze mid to later afternoon it proved too unsettled to run a third race, leaving Quantum Racing to enjoy their celebrations.

Container won the first race after starting close to the right hand committee boat end of the start line, showing good speed in the testing conditions Quantum Racing were unable to catch them with Audi Azzurra Sailing Team taking third.

In the second race Container led at the top windward mark with a beautiful layline call from the top left of the course by navigator Marc Lagesse (RSA) and tactician Hamish Pepper (NZL) until the leeward gate when Quantum Racing took the right hand gate mark and split to the right and gained 1 minute and 17 secs on Container on the second beat.

For Gladiator, third in the final race proved critical as it gave them the superior tie break over Ignacio Triay (ESP) and the Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) crew.  Langley wins the Owner-Driver trophy.

 

Audi TP52 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Final results

1. Quantum Racing (USA) 1+3+5+1+4+2+1= 17 points
2. Container (GER) 2+7+3+4+2+1+2= 21 points
3. Gladiator (GBR) 3+1+4+2+6+5+3= 24 points
4. Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) 4+2+1+3+5+4+5= 24 points
5. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (IT) 5+4+7+6+1+3+7= 33 points
6. RÁN (SWE) 6+5+2+5+ 8 (DNF)+6+6= 38 points
7. Audi ALL4ONE (GER/FR) 7+6+6+7+3+7+4= 40 points

 

Quotes:

Adrian Stead (GBR) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
“It is splendid, a really good day to finish on. It was pretty tricky with the breeze moving between 20 to 30 degrees, puffy and we made the best out of it. Container got away in the first race a little and so we made sure we got a good second place. In the second race we split with Container at the gate and we managed to extend on the second beat which was great.
It is a great way to finish the season. We had a tense Audi MedCup, we have been really pleased with the way that we have sailed here against boats which really have been in their conditions in the form of Gladiator and Paramount Park. Everyone has been pushing pretty hard. Container have been lurking there all week, their OCS in race 2 there was no way back and that was costly, but that just goes to show how tight the fleet is.
If there had been a bit more breeze this week Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and Audi ALL4ONE would have been in the frame too.
I think it is great that we have come and defended. In a couple of the light races we were definitely on the back foot, especially race 3. We had to be strong after our fifth. It was a tense MedCup.We overachieved in Cascais, we missed a few tricks with our sails, with our communication which meant we narrowly lost in Marseille. The game moved on in Cagliari definitely.
And there was always the potential of not knowing if it would be a four or five race series or an eight or nine race series. There was pretty of looking out for each other, but for me the turning point of the regatta was the light air race in bomb alley, being able to beat Gladiator and Parmount Park Murica in that really light stuff really made the difference.”


Markus Wieser (GER)
skipper-helm Container (GER): “We are happy that it finished up like this, it was a long season and the last two regattas we hard with no boatspeed. But here we changed everything, a complete new set up with Don Cowie, and we had boat speed again and could be more aggressive in the way we sailed. We were so slow in Cartagena. But second here is good. We knew we could do better than we did in the past and had the better boat speed to do it. The only shock was the OCS which pushed us back but we finished the regattas with 2,1,2 and proved that Quantum Racing are beatable. With more preparation we can get there. Don will be back with us next year with some new sail designs planned, we will back fully motivated. Quantum have shown they are the team to beat.”

Tony Langley (GBR),
owner-helm Gladiator (GBR):
“We are really pleased with third. If you had told me at the start of the week we would be third I would never have believed you. But here we are. We are pleased because we sailed well. We took some real steps backwards during the season at Palma Vela and in Barcelona. But we made some changes and I think they have really paid off. It really sets us up for next year.
Chris (Larson) really was good for us. What was great was the attitude he came with. He came to me and said ‘I really think we can win this’ and that mental attitude was really refreshing and we really set out to try and do that. So that was a big change really. Nacho (Postigo) stepped in and did a really nice job with us too.”
“I feel like we are just so far ahead of where we were at the beginning of the season at Palma Vela. So I’m looking forward to next season.”


Ed Reynolds (USA) project manager Quantum Racing (USA):
“What can I say. With fewer boats you would think it would get easier but it always gets more difficult. This really was not easy in the conditions, but I think the team sailed an awesome regatta. They did what they had to do, focusing most of all on being fast all the time. They were good at setting the modes in the different conditions and moving between them. Ado Stead sailed brilliantly with some good start and really following the plans we talked about.
Each of these world titles have been about a quintessential team performance, with two different teams of different characteristics and styles with no major, standout star names  in either but unified in the level of results, and that is really down to Doug De Vos for putting the resources to give us good solid teams.
Francesco Mongelli has been a fantastic addition to the team here. In fact both tall Francesco (coach De Angelis) and short Francesco (Mongelli, navigator) have been great here. Little Francesco added a whole different dynamic, visibly excited to be with the team and his energy was infectious, he was so proud to be with the team that it was infectious.”

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5427 Zennström: A Year in The Audi MedCup Circuit http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5427 Sat, 8 Oct 2011 10:31:05 GMT

Audi TP52 World Championship - I guess this feels very much like a second home for you having been here and been successful?
Nikklas Zennstrom
- "We were here three weeks ago when it was crowded with a lot of people. In a way I like it like this when it is very quiet and calm."

AWC - How does it all compare to what you had as your expectations when you set out a year ago in Valencia?
N.Z.
- " It has been a very busy and intense season, starting way back at Palma Vela in April and then one event every month, and also each event is so very intensive and the fleet is very, very good, such a high level of competition. It is pretty much as I expected though. I knew it would be intense, it would be tough and that there would be races where you would end up last. All those things have happened, and yes being last is harder to take than you think, but for us we decided that we would be making this a learning year, and so the most important thing would be to learn throughout the season, to gain confidence and improve. That was why our victory in Barcelona was so important for us. That showed us that things were paying off and the conditions were favourable, we got some of the breaks. That was hugely important for the team, to have that moment. But I am sure that we have improved as a team."

"Obviously this is the first time for us, but speaking to other teams, we are sure that even though it is smaller fleet it is much tighter for position. There is so little difference between the guys who win and those further down, that is the tough part of it. You look around the fleet and think ‘well, we were beaten by those guys you just don’t need to be ashamed of that. And you look around at the whole fleet, and so being beaten by them all is nothing to be ashamed of. But you still end up last and that is very hard to take. But the margins really are so small. You have a bad shift, a bad tack, a bad gybe, a bad set and that is it. So the feeling is you are racing to be the top boat, but as soon as you make a mistake you are suddenly racing not to be the last. That is how it is".


AWC - And how has the season actually unrolled compared with what you planned and hoped for, have you made more or fewer changes to the boat, rig and team than you anticipated?
N.Z.
- " On the technical side with the boat we have really not made many changes compared with other teams who say they maybe made a big mistake with the set up of their boat at different times, trying to re-engineer their boat through the season. We really were quite happy with the way our boat came out. And we spent a lot of time optimising sails as they came out, so in general we have been very happy with the boat and the set up. "

" On the team side we made a few changes. We had some difficulties with the grinder because Chris Dougall who got injured, and so we had Jono Macbeth on board, and then we made changes with Morgan Larson on tactics from Barcelona. That was about making a change. I am great believer in it being not always having the best people doing the job, but having people who fit well together, who work well as a group, and having the right balance. Morgan stepped into that role well, gelled well with the team and he has very good fleet racing skills."

AWC - And how would you describe your role in the team as owner-helm? And what is your philosophy with regards to the team ethos, you seem to favour a close knit, extended family approach?
N.Z.
- " I am sure if you take a boat like Quantum Racing or Audi ALL4ONE, the skippers take a much bigger role on board whereas my role is to drive the boat. On our boat the tactician is calling the shots and my job is to drive the boat fast."

"
For me, I have two roles in our organisation if you like. Tim manages the whole programme but I work with him on what the objectives are, what the strategies are and how we set things up. But when I am on the boat I am just driving. It is very clear to me that you need to have different roles in port and on the boat."

" We stay in the same place, we have a crew house and have our de-briefing every night and briefing each morning and I participate at all of them and that is very important because if I did not it would be harder for the team to work around me. I am very happy to get constructive criticism and feedback. When you are sailing you are getting feedback from the trimmers all the time, you have the tactician giving you boat on boat manoeuvres, so that is also the way to learn. Gavin Brady is very good on boat on boat manoeuvres as a match racer.  A lot of times this year  I really felt I was thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool and I really had to learn fast. He was very good in coaching and me learning in that way. In Cartagena and Cascais, all the way through the season there have been a lot of tough situations, you put yourself in there like a match racing situation with, like, Ed Baird. And if you have not done it you are very likely to come out on the losing end, but you learn from it. As a sailor if you can outmanoeuvre them there is a great buzz experiencing things like that, but it is also a great way to learn. Sometimes we have not had good results that is because it is part of the learning curve. I think for us as a new team and for as an owner drive you need to allow yourself to make mistakes."

AWC - What parts of the programme are you especially involved or passionate about, the technical side, people, the sailing?
N.Z. - "
I think for me my role and passion is about making things with the team gel, so things are really humming and people are happy with what they are doing. But for sure sailing is a very technical sport and we are quite fortunate to have a fair bit of big boat experience. But what really is interesting now is that the boats  do look quite different when  you compare our design to the other Vrolijks and the Botin designs, they are very, very different hull forms, but you can see that they are very similar in terms of speed and results and it is such a good thing now that you have a 2009 design which is as good as the 2011 designs, which is great. It is wonderful technology and I appreciate, but all the guys, like the boat captain for example, know their jobs much better than I would and so it is very difficult for me to add anything as we go along. It is great fun, but these guys are so good at their jobs and so I think my job is so much more to make sure that things are humming."

AWC - What do you see as the future for the class on the Audi MedCup Circuit, do you worry that it is still perceived as a class where you have to have your amount of money to be successful and spend more to win as an owner-driver?
N.Z -
"It has been hard for several reasons to get more people into the class. There has been a little bit of stigma that the Audi MedCup is such high end class that is difficult for an owner to come in and drive his own boat at such a high level. And so we have proved that we can win, and look at Tony Langley here, he has been doing well the first few days."

" It is maybe true that in 2007, or some time like that, that you could come in and just spend money to win. But today you just can’t. The class is very well controlled, the budget is controlled and you cannot outperform by money. There is a limited number of sails with the buttons, you have a limited number of crew. No one can have an excessive number of shore crew because it would not add anything. Even now we see that you don’t need to build new boats every year. Look,
the ex Bribon is actually the best performing boat in the second half of this season, and that is a 2009 design. These boats are now at a level where you can show up with a 2009 boat and be competitive. So the longevity of these boats is now very, very good and the sail buttons are good. The sails you do have to spend money on, but is you race IRC you can turn up with new sails at every regatta – most people don’t do it but you could. And crew, sailing with 12 here, you can sail IRC with 15, so someone buying or building an IRC boat can spend more money."

" And here for sure the race management is so good, everywhere the race committee are doing a fantastic job, the while organisation is very good, and Audi as a sponsor are doing a very, very good job. Sailing in nice venues is great, but what you cannot do is come here with a competitive advantage, you cannot build a boat which will be like a handicap beating boat. There is no silver bullet. And that way you do get more exposed, but if you want to improve this is the way to do it. We have two owner-drivers but if we can get three or four then that would be great.
"

AWC - So would you like to see you Swedish compatriot Torbjorn Tornqvist back as a successful owner-driver?
N.Z -
He should. I am sure he misses it.

AWC - And the biggest high point?
N.Z -
"For sure Barcelona was the high point, not just winning but because it went to the wire, and because we went there with no expectations, let’s go out there and enjoy ourselves and not be so worried about results."

AWC - Any changes foreseen for next season? And what could be the objectives, a podium at the end of the season?
N.Z -
"We had a chat about the things we want to do with the boat. There are small things, but nothing major. For us we want to continue, no big changes in terms of the team. I believe if you make a lot of changes you unsettle everything. This has been the learning season and next year we go in with the aim of better results. We have not set the objectives, but I don’t see why we can’t have the podium as a target."

AWC - And how many days have you sailed this season, it must be a few!
N.Z - "I have not counted, this has been a very busy year but roughly 90 days. You can feel that now towards the end of the season, we do the Middle Sea Race as well. It is very good now, though, we are very relaxed. The atmosphere here has been great, very relaxed, chill out and try and get some good results."

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5424 Gladiator lead Audi TP52 World Championship http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5424 Tue, 4 Oct 2011 16:44:40 GMT

Gladiator (GBR) revolted against the season’s form book and lead by the smallest margin ahead of defending world champions Quantum Racing (USA).

Langley and his team never let the late season heat get to them, neither that extra warmth generated by the unseasonably fierce Autumn sunshine, nor that applied by the very evenly matched, now highly TP52 optimised fleet.

Larson guided owner-driver Langley intelligently in the very gentle breezes, making two clean, clear air starts, sailing quick and keeping clear of the early, first beat traffic.

Against the crop of 2011 launches, Gladiator, the 2009 build Vrolik designed former Artemis, lacked nothing for light airs speed in spite of their compact sail programme winning the second race by nearly three minutes.

Added to their third in the first race of this World Championship, Gladiator’s win leaves them only just ahead of Quantum Racing.

Ed Baird’s American team won the first race convincingly but had the Spanish crew of Paramount Park Murcia (ESP), skippered by Gonzalo Araújo (ESP) with Ross MacDonald (CAN) calling tactics, slip away from them right on the finish line. The resulting third place relegated Quantum Racing to second overall.

Winds, from the NW then east of N, never quite reached nine knots at any stage. In these exacting conditions clear starts were key, as was minimising interaction with other boats and reading the best lanes of wind pressure.

“That is the best result we have had in a day and we have never lead any regatta at this level, so it feels really good. You hope all the work and effort we all put in over the season will pay off one day, and never really expect it to, but here we are.”

“Chris was spotting shifts early and positioning us nicely when we were coming into traffic and for me that made all the difference. So I am very happy.” Smiled Langley.
“But we wont be letting it got to our heads, there is a long way to go yet.”  

Quantum Racing were quickest off the start line of the Race 1 and were a steady leader by the first windward mark, ahead of Markus Wieser (GER) and the crew of Container.

The German team proved slick in the light conditions, taking second, but they were over the start line in the second race. Having to re-start left them to round the course in seventh.

“It was a very streaky breeze. As our coach Francesco de Angelis said to us, it was like a road with many potholes and you had to avoid them.”
Summarised Ado Stead (GBR) the Quantum Racing tactician,
“We came out of today with four points over two pretty tricky races, ending Day 1 tied for the lead of the World Championship, which is not too bad.”

Second place in the second race leaves Paramount Park Murcia, the team led by Araújo, MacDonald and Ignacio Triay, lying third overall, two points off the best aggregate of Gladiator and Quantum Racing.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5422 Lance Adams will campaign a new Soto 40 next season http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5422 Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:33:14 GMT

After three years campaigning around the Northern European waters of the English Channel with his Corby 33 Banshee, Adams and his team are set to make the step up to Audi MedCup Circuit under young Kiwi skipper Piers Tyler, 23.

Adams was one of the first potential owners to sail on this season’s Circuit, enjoying one of the best seats in the house aboard Patagonia in Cascais in May. Now he plans to train with his crew on their native Solent prior to next season.

“The attraction of the Soto 40 is that it is such an exciting one design offering really close racing. The attraction of the Audi MedCup Circuit is that it is such a well run Circuit. It is fantastic and we can’t wait to take part.” Commented Adams in Barcelona.

I have been sailing in the Solent in IRC boats, crewing first and then I have owned a Corby 33 Banshee for three years. We have raced there and in Northern France, Cork and beyond.” He continues, “It is a big step up for us, but the whole of our crew want to do it and they have such enthusiasm to come and do some serious racing at a very serious competition and so come and see how good we really are.”

“I have always aspired to reach this level. In Cascais we saw the standard was pretty high and the conditions there were really quite extreme for the size of boats, but here in Barcelona it has been very different, much more fascinating with the wind shifting all the time.”

We hope to get the boat before the end of the year into Valencia. We might do some training there first but I think we will bring the boat to the Solent to start with and find our feet there. The plan is to do the Spring Series there. It is obvious that more time you spend on the boat in a race environment is much more beneficial."

Piers Tyler is a young Kiwi graduate of the New Zealand Youth programme who has raced and skippered in the Caribbean and Europe since leaving New Zealand at 18:

My dad pushed me off the beach at the age of four off Narrow Neck, Auckland and I have been sailing ever since. I sailed from New Zealand through the New Zealand Youth Scheme moving to Europe at 18, 23. I skippered in the Caribbean at 21 and done a lot of offshore racing and inshore.. Peers include Adam Minoprio who is helm on Camper, Phil Robertson is doing the World Match Racing tour. But the core crew is English and all come from a dinghy background, but we race all around the English Channel to Ireland and Northern France. I am impressed and looking forward to the challenge. I think the crew is ready for it but we will learn a lot of lessons at the first event!” says Tyler.

The Solent based British tactician of Ngoni which finished third overall on the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit and won the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy in August, Kevin Sproul has promised to help the emerging English team:

It is great news that there will be another English boat for next year and especially that they will bring the boat to England to race on the Solent before the season starts. We have offered our help as much as we can to help the guys get up to speed as quick as possible. One of the beauties of the Soto 40 is that as a one design it is relatively easy to get to a decent base line in terms of boat speeds and crew skills to be competitive. And it has been a lot of fun this season.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5417 Audi MedCup 2011 Circuit end of season party gathers 700 guests http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5417 Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:50:13 GMT

The 2,800 square-metre area in the brand new Cúpula Las Arenas, in the former bull fighting arena, was the scenario for The Next Level, the prize giving ceremony and end of season party for the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit.

Some 700 guests gathered, including owners like José Cusí, Pedro Mendonça, Niklas Zennstrom or Alberto Roemmers with sailors like Ed Baird, Jochen Schumann, Tomaso Chieffi or Markus Wieser, as well as personalities like Russian fashion designer Konstantin Gayday or key institutional and media representatives, all not wishing to miss out on the special occasion. Mayte Fandos, Deputy Mayor for Life Quality, Equality and Sport for the Barcelona City Hall, Lothar Korn, Marketing Director of Audi Group and Manuel Caballero, President of Audi Spain handed the prizes to the winners under the ceremonial guidance of the former South African model and German TV presenter Jo Ann Strauss.

The night started with a champagne dinner cocktail, accompanied by La Vella Dixieland´s live music band and then continued with stunning acrobatic performances and the hugely popular band, The Tall Tutsies, front lined by Luis Doreste, the Spanish Olympian sailor and skipper of www.visitmalta.com.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5413 Quantum Racing and Iberdrola Team are 2011 Audi MedCup Champions http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5413 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 17:41:11 GMT

Having ended the challenge from Spanish icons Bribon the previous day, and so relieving themselves of a pressure build that had haunted them since their middle of the season fifth place finish in Sardinia, the Quantum Racing Team which is skippered by America’s Cup winner Ed Baird (USA) clinched the title with a showcase race victory.  

Although Quantum Racing had lead since the fifth day of this five month, five regattas 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit season, the 2008 title winners arrived for the showdown Conde de Godo-City of Barcelona Trophy with a Circuit shrunk to only 3.5 points.

After a thrilling final two days of an incredible season Quantum Racing won their second Audi MedCup title by an overall margin of 15 points, ahead of Jose Cusi’s Bribon, Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing team take third.

The dream finish for the Bribon campaigns which have spanned 38 years were ultimately denied by Quantum Racing and also by RAN. The Swedish flagged boat owned and steered by Niklas Zennstrom, won the Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, despatching Bribon to second step on the regatta podium.

But there was an emotional farewell from the Audi MedCup Circuit sailors for the Bribon team delivered only metres from Cusi’s home club, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona.

Owner Cusi said, 
"We've given Spain many wins during this 38 years, and that's a reason to be happy. The boat retires but I don't, I'll keep racing on more simple boats. As we crossed the finish line I got a phone call from the king to congratulate us for our second place in a Circuit of such high level and in Barcelona.

Quantum Racing started with victory in the opening regatta of the season in Cascais, finished second in Marseille, fifth in Cagliari and third in Cartagena. Quantum Racing’s project manager Ed Reynolds, also co-architect of their 2008 title win, smiled on the dockside today:  

Of all the MedCups this is the one I am most thrilled about. When they had to step up, they did. We feel like we have been defending the whole season, like we had a target on our backs since we won in Cascais at the beginning of the season. We were defending before we were ready to. I just hate to lose, and so I have such a sense of relief but it is so great to be part of a team like this. In competitive sport when everything is on the line to be a part of something which stands up and takes control that was the best part of the whole year.”  

The inaugural Audi MedCup Circuit 40 Series title was Iberdrola Team’s with a day to spare, but the Spanish team which is skippered by Jose Maria Torcida, also won their fourth Trophy of the season with another pair of race wins today.

If the Valencia based title winners proved a class apart in the early season, there has been clear indications not only of a very rosy future for this exciting 40 foot high performance one design with a big number of potential owners sailing on board as guests in Barcelona, but also that the level of competition has evened.

Inaki Castaner’s Noticias IV took second place on the 40 Series Circuit with Tony Buckingham’s Ngoni finishing their season third overall after winning in Cartagena last month.

 

After Quantum Racing (USA) wrapped up the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit 52 series with a win in the penultimate race of the season earlier today, Niklas and Catherine Zennstrom (SWE) and their RÁN (SWE)  team lifted the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy this afternoon when they  finished with a final fourth place with their regatta title rivals Bribon (ESP) in seventh and Quantum Racing eighth.
Going into the final race only two points separated the top three challengers for the final Regatta Trophy of the season.
Bribon had a one point lead on RÁN and two points on Quantum Racing.
RÁN started best, emerging off the start line in cleaner air, clear of the tussle for the committee boat end of the start line which saw Bribon and Quamtum Racing both starting late off the line.
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team lead a 1-2 for the Audi backed 52 Series teams as Audi ALL4ONE finished second from a race which started in the strongest sea breeze the nine race series enjoyed.
With RÁN winning in Barcelona, trophy regattas have been shared evenly through the Audi MedCup 52 Series fleet. Quantum Racing won in Cascais in May, Container in June in Marseille, Audi ALL4ONE in July in Cagliari, Italy. Last month Bribon won in Cartagena, Spain and RAN triumph in Barcelona.
Jose Maria Torcida and the Iberdrola Team complete the double in Barcelona in the Soto 40 class. After they tied up the inaugural Audi MedCup Soto 40 Circuit title yesterday, the Spanish crew won both races today to secure their fourth regatta title of the season.
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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5414 Quotes of the day http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5414 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 16:39:12 GMT

Adrian Stead (GBR), tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
“It is awesome. It has been good, we have really stepped up at this regatta. To come here and finish it off has been great. It is one of the most hard fought titles there is, it is a long season and here you are sailing against some of the best sailors in the world. The boats are constantly changing. Everyone is always trying to get better and better and you are always thinking about how you outsmart everyone. It is a long season. You have to be on your game at every regatta.
It is absolutely brilliant now, though. We had some really tough times. In Palma pre season we broke the mast step of the boat we had to retire from that Palma Vela pre season regatta, regroup and rebuild the mast step. When everyone came to Cagliari they were pretty strong. I missed a couple of things there tactically and then we broke the backstay. But you just have to keep chipping away. I am sure that every boat here can now look back at their Audi MedCup season and see where they could have saved 10, 15 or 20 points. I look at Bribon in Cascais: they blew up their A4 kite, they were OCS by the skin of their teeth in one race going, and they had a red flag. The points situation has been interesting because Audi Azzurra, Container and us have been kind of see-sawing and Bribon were able to play through. They were always the boat we were happy to put between us and Container or Audi Azzurra and we get here and they were breathing down our necks.

Ed Reynolds, (USA) project manager, Quantum Racing (USA): 

Of all the MedCups this is the one I am most thrilled about. When they had to step up, they did. We feel like we have been defending the whole season, like we had a target on our backs since we won in Cascais at the beginning of the season. We were defending before we were ready to. I just hate to lose, and so I have such a sense of relief but it is so great to be part of a team like this. In competitive sport when everything is on the line to be a part of something which stands up and takes control that is the best part of the whole year.”

José Cusí (ESP), owner-skipper, Bribón (ESP):
Quantum won the first race and was last in the second. Coming back in to port it was fantastic, I'm really thankful that everybody congratulated us and supported us constantly. This is Bribón's last race, I'm moved but very happy at the same time,  we've given Spain many wins during this 38 years, and that's a reason to be happy. The boat retires but I don't, I'll keep racing on more simple boats. As we crossed the finish line I got a phone call from the king to congratulate us for our second place in a Circuit of such high level and in Barcelona. I'm very happy because the crew has offered me the boat's flag, the one we carry on the stern and all in our hearts, and they're going to sign it. We've proudly sailed with it all over the world".

Ignacio Triay (ESP), trimmer, Bribón (ESP): 
It´s really hard to explain. After 18 years, I remember when I began here in February 1994, just over there. It´s hard to say with words how I feel today being the last day. I think that it will take me a while to realize what we´ve done this season and this year, which has been incredible. The support by the media and our rivals has been really emotional for us. I want to congratulate those who won because Quantum deserve to win the championship and RÁN has done a great event here in Barcelona. We were sixth after the second event of the circuit and we´ve end up second. It´s gift for our owner and for His Majesty”.

José María Torcida (ESP), skipper-helm, Iberdrola Team (ESP):

“It´s the end of the season, we saw that all the preparation work that we did paid off, especially with the sails, it was key for this final win. We were really focused from day one, we started doing a good job and managed to save our lead. We knew this was important because the rest of the teams would improve as the season progressed. Things have been a lot tighter in the fleet at the end. We are happy with our success and the teamwork that we´ve done, it set the basis for what came after. Great crew work, everyone has done their own job having a good time. The future is bright for this boat, it´s easy to sail and trim, and it´s very well built. It makes the competition interesting, we´ve seen this here. At the end the competition has been a lot harder. I think that a 10-12 boat fleet will be espectacular. Once we won the Circuit yesterday we wanted to win here, because we had not won in a Spanish venue yet. It was the perfect way to say goodbye and it became our goal. We kept an eye on both Iberostar and Ngoni, and things worked out the way wanted.”

Juan Luis Páez (ESP), Navigator, Ibedrola Sailing Team (ESP):

We are really happy about winning the Audi MedCup Circuit, because it was not easy. At the end, all the team work and our preparation since Christmas have paid off. We´ve worked a lot. In terms of logistics, having the best sails, and in terms of the team, creating a great crew, we´ve done great, these issues have been key in order for us to win this. This should help us for the future, this is a team that deserves continuity. We all know that it´s all about the sponsors and I think that Iberdrola is probably happy, because we´ve been very professional. The fleet has grown with the months, improving a lot. It has a lot of future. Things have changed a lot since Cascais. 2012 will be tough, I´m sure. Now the goal is to win this trophy because we are only two points ahead of the second team. It´s quite important for us to win here, we´ll fight hard for it.”

Niklas Zennstrom (SWE), Skipper, RÁN (SWE):
“It´s been a good day, with really stressful racing. Quantum had a top start in the first race, leaving us behind, and Bribón managed to take a point from us.  The second race was tough, Bribón also got in front of us at one point, but overall we went back to sailing the way we´ve done all week, relaxed and having a good time.  We are really pleased to win the last Audi Med Cup event because it has shown us and everyone that we have been getting better through the season. I also want to congratulate Quantum Racing because they did a very good job”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5402 And RÁN makes five http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5402 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 14:44:54 GMT

Going into the final race only two points separated the top three challengers for the final Regatta Trophy of the season.
Bribon had a one point lead on RÁN and two points on Quantum Racing.

RÁN started best, emerging off the start line in cleaner air, clear of the tussle for the committee boat end of the start line which saw Bribon and Quamtum Racing both starting late off the line.
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team lead a 1-2 for the Audi backed 52 Series teams as Audi ALL4ONE finished second from a race which started in the strongest sea breeze the nine race series enjoyed.

With RÁN winning in Barcelona, trophy regattas have been shared evenly through the Audi MedCup 52 Series fleet. Quantum Racing won in Cascais in May, Container in June in Marseille, Audi ALL4ONE in July in Cagliari, Italy. Last month Bribon won in Cartagena, Spain and RAN triumph in Barcelona.

Jose Maria Torcida and the Iberdrola Team complete the double in Barcelona in the Soto 40 class. After they tied up the inaugural Audi MedCup Soto 40 Circuit title yesterday, the Spanish crew won both races today to secure their fourth regatta title of the season.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5395 Quantum, winners of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5395 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 12:52:32 GMT

A win in the penultimate race of the season clinched the overall 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit title for Quantum Racing. They cannot be beaten for the overall title. And their win, with Bribon in third and RAN fourth sets up a showdown for the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy with Brribon on 23pts, RAN on 24 and Quantum Racing on 25.

Quantum Racing started perfectly, untroubled in the middle of the start line and lead at each and every mark, with Audi ALL4ONE in second.

Bribon secure second for the 2011 season.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5390 Fighting to the finish in Barcelona http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5390 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 10:10:01 GMT

They may be champions elect, within reach of their second circuit title, but the American flagged team are determined, after winning in Cascais, to bookend their season with a regatta win.

They have to make up a four points deficit on regatta leaders RÁN and Bribon. RÁN are equally determined to win their first regatta of the season. And Bribon, having all but ceded the title race, also want a regatta win as the perfect signature to end Jose Cusi’s 38 years of Bribon campaigns. Win, lose or draw emotions will well up on Bribon come the final finish line for them.

Two races are scheduled for both the 40 Series and the 52 Series. Garbi sea breeze conditions of 8-11kts are forecast.

While these are the principal title battles there are very many side battles to be won and lost.

In the 52 Series Circuit standings there are still only 6.5 points separating second and fourth places. Over two races Bribon in second on 167.5 points, Audi Azzurra on 173 and Container on 175 all still have options on second place. It is far from a foregone conclusion that Bribon will take second for the Circuit.

And in Circuit terms there is also only 7.5 points separating fifth and seventh place, RAN on 194, Synergy on 198.5 and Audi ALL4ONE on 200.5.

So to a great extent the battles for the season standings will be a key driver in some of today’s afterguard strategies. Even that fight for the basement placings is important. No team wants to finish on the bottom rung of the ladder.

Yesterday may have been the day for dastardly deeds, Quantum Racing summarily halting Bribon’s title run, but today might be about Machiavellian sub-plots. Or will the 52 Series fleet just go and try to sail their own individual races?

The Soto 40 City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta is close with 10 points difference between first and fifth.

Iberdrola Team lead the regatta by two points from Javier Banderas’ Iberostar, while Ngoni, Tony Buckingham’s crew, are still in touch with the lead – only five points behind the Spanish team.

Adrian Stead (GBR), Tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
“Today looks like the breeze is going to blow a bit lighter than yesterday, it should be a couple of knots softer. We are in a pretty strong position to win the Audi MedCup, but we are also thinking about this trophy here in Barcelona and about finishing the season on a high note. We are really close to Bribón and RÁN, we sailed really well yesterday and we´ll try to a little more of that today. There is going to be a lot of fun and games around us today, there are three boats with the potential of being second in the circuit and they´ll be battling for that. We are in a fortunate position because we can go out and sail our own races, which is what you always want. The pressure is on the other boats”.

Steve Hayles (GBR) navigator RÁN (SWE):
“I think it is pretty tight. I think Quantum Racing will still want to win the event, they are only four points out of it, but there is plenty going on. The forecast is up in the air, there is a big variance in what might happen, but hopefully we can get out there and have two good races. We sat and looked at it last night. We have got ourselves out of bottom spot for the season which was sort of one of our goals of the last event, but we have now kind of come to the opinion that is not relevant, we would take a regatta win ahead of anything.
We have no allegiances, our intention is to go out there and sail a perfectly normal day and go out and try and win two races and if that includes camping on people, it doesn’t matter who they are, then so be it. I suspect it will be the same for just about everyone. It is the same game for everyone. There are a couple of battles in there of course, but we are not paying any attention to any of it. It is enjoyable being up where we are. It is good for the team, it is really nice to see Niklas enjoying himself, getting something back for all the huge amount of time and effort he puts in.
It will be a tricky day. There is a big range of possibilities – from almost possibly no sailing which I think is unlikely, but I am plumping for a little delay and it will come in with S-SW’ly sea breeze coming in at 10-12kts, similar conditions to yesterday. That is what we are hoping for, and we are quick.


Iñaki Castañer (ESP), Skipper, Iberostar (ESP):
“We are going out there today to win the trophy.  We are almost virtually second in the general standings and for us winning in Barcelona is very important. We are really focused in winning here, not thinking so much about it overall. I think that we have the necessary speed to do this and also the talent. The forecast is similar to yesterday´s, about 11 knots tops. After many regattas, we finally have managed to reach Iberdrola in terms of speed, especially going upwind, so that gives us real chances to win. All the teams have improved in the last weeks, we have to keep an eye on all of them, not just on Iberdrola”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5379 The final finish line for Bribón http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5379 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 07:21:40 GMT

The final finish line for Bribón
With their participation in the Conde de Godó Barcelona Trophy, the long and celebrated history of Bribon comes to an end. José Cusí´s boat, a pioneer and driving force of the MedCup Circuit has not missed a regatta since 2005 when the MedFleet convened in Punta Ala, Italy for the inaugural regatta.

But Bribón is more than a boat.

It has become a  huge piece of global sailing history, a boat where some of the best sailors in Spain have built successful careers going on to make their names known all over the five continents.

The 38 year long wake left behind has been mainly propogated by two key names: Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, and José Cusí.

It was the spring of 2004 when Ignacio Triay and Nacho Postigo explained their project to us, and we clearly saw that it was the way to follow”, explains Cusí, Bribón´s owner. “We were a bit disappointed after so much racing on handicap, we were not satisfied with it, so we decided to take a step forward and talk to European owners in order to create the class and established the Circuit´s basis”.

Looking back in time, Cusí feels that it was the right decision. “We have to adjust to modern times, understand the problems faced by owners and sponsors problems, but it was only a matter of time before things got better. Back in 2006, when the fleet had over 20 boats, we had an exceptional year. Those are a lot of boats when you stop and realize that we are talking about 52 footers. I think that it´s the perfect boat and the best scenario to compete in Europe”.

Since that first regatta in Punta Ala (Italy), in May 2005, the MedCup has evolved. TP52’s have not stopped developing in terms of speeds and materials used, the result of a better optimization under the rule and incremental advances by designers. Curiously enough, Spain´s most notable team has often not been the newest or most optimized boat. “In 2005 we started with a Farr design which was a design sister of the Caixa Galicia and Aifos boats. Two years later we started with a brand new Vrolijk built in Valencia. Maybe we extended its lifespan a bit, we were a bit short with its performance, and this season we are competing with the old Matador, a 2009 Vrolijk”.

Both the owner and Triay, his right hand man, agree about the toughest moments the team have been through the last seven years: “Without a doubt, the two collisions that we suffered because they caused some serious damages. We felt impotent and disappointed, because the boat is part of you. It happened in Ibiza in 2006 and in Cagliari in 2010, both times at the last event of the season which also led to the boats to be replaced with a newer model", explains Triay, Bribon's project manager and trimmer .

38 years is a long time and it has written a long and distinguished roster of crew members. Four of the actual members have been present in every single Audi MedCup Circuit with Bribón: “Alberto Viejo, Marcel Van Triest and myself, have been here since 2005, but we also have to point out names like Ross MacDonald, who only missed last year´s event due to work related issues”, remembers Triay. The list of skippers is not short. "Buchan, from the United States, was our first helmsman, he was with us in order to fulfil the Corinthian class requirements, and then Augie Díaz in 2005´s last event", he adds. After that came Bouwe Bekking, José María Torcida, Dean Barker, Thierry Peponnet, and Galician Gonzalo Araujo for the last two seasons, which might symbolized the progressive advance towards a more Spanish oriented crew. “I´m really glad about the fact that 13 or 15 of our crew members are Spanish”, explains Cusí.

When questioned about the team´s retirement, the most renowned Spanish owner does not look for any excuses, admitting that age takes its toll, and that both he and King Juan Carlos aggregate too many years between them now to remain in these demanding boats. The fact that Cusí is retiring in Barcelona is not a coincidence. “Everything started 38 years ago and we wanted to finish here”, he confesses. “I´m confident about having a great end, but finishing first is a really hard thing to do. I feel bad, because our Skipper can´t be here for Bribón´s last regatta, but he follows us every day , so he is present in a way”, he adds.

Whatever the final result is, Bribón´s farewell will be emotional and full of gratitude for everything that the project has meant for the world of sailing, both in Spain and in Europe.

Oh, and by the way, let´s be clear on this: I´m not retiring, I will keep sailing, although not in regattas”, concludes Cusí.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5372 Quantum Racing deliver on D-Day. Champagne awaits the Iberdrola Team http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5372 Fri, 16 Sep 2011 17:13:52 GMT

Having whittled their circuit title deficit on the long time leaders all the way back to to seven points, Bribon (ESP) were victims of a neatly executed game plan from the get-go. Quantum Racing (USA) not only regained the upper hand in the championship title duel but also went on to deliver a morale boosting race win to boot.

And while Quantum Racing’s day was one of their best, Bribon lost places in a tight finish to cross sixth in the first race, then sailed to a fourth. That made it their worst pair of scores since July’s first day of the Region of Sardinia Trophy in Cagliari.  

In contrast Quantum Racing, which is skippered by America's Cup winner Ed Baird, RAN (SWE) backed up their bullet with a good second place behind in the subsequent race. That ensures Quantum Racing's target for the final day of the season is a very modest one.

With a worst case score of 16 points on the table – assuming they start both races – Quantum Racing have a cushion of 14 points.

So the title champagne may be iced for the American flagged and supported programme which won the Audi MedCup Circuit in 2008, but so too the real celebratons are on hold in the Soto 40 fleet.

Iberdrola Team know they cannot be beaten for the inaugural 40 Series title after the first of three races today, but the Spanish crew - who have had their boat longest, are dead set on making sure they win the final regatta too. They lead the Barcelona regatta by two points and want to be sure they would have won regattas in all four countries that the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit has visited this season.

Quantum Racing not only secured themselves a grip of their second Audi MedCup title, but their 1-2 today also takes them to third place on the regatta standings for this Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy within four points of leaders RAN and scond placed Bribon.

Niklas Zennstrom’s RAN team bounced back from an eighth in the first race to win the second contest today, so returning to the regatta lead on countback ahead of Bribon.

But the highlight of the day was the text book assault by the American flagged team in delivering their Race 6 win….‘the best we have sailed as a team this season’ Kevin Hall (USA) navigator on Quantum Racing said immediately after finishing.

In 9-11 kts of sea breeze Quantum Racing took the challenge to Bribon on the start line and came away from the gun leading the Spanish crew out to the right of the course. Quantum Racing were then able to carry Bribon out past the starboard tack layline in a crucial move

Audi ALL4ONE
lead around the windward mark ahead of Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, but the Italian crew were judged to have fouled Synergy on the approach to the windward mark and had to take a penalty turn, costing them. But the end of the final run was painful for Bribon, losing both Synergy and Audi ALL4ONE on the finish line.

In the second race RAN started close to the pin end of the start line and were able to lift away from their rivals earning the extra pressure on that side of that left side of the course.

With the Garbi sea breeze today just over 10 knots, just above the crossover between Bribon’s favoured light airs and into Quantum Racing’s comfort zone, Quantum Racing were able to sail more of their own race, chasing RAN across the finish.

The Soto 40’s had three races. Iberdrola took second in the first race behind Iberostar as the green team clinched the season championship. In the second race the champions elect returned to the front of the fleet with a win. But in the third race – which was won conclusively by NgoniIberdrola were on the wrong side of the first beat but recovered to fifth which means they go into the final day of this regatta with a two points lead over Javier BanderasIberostar crew which includes Spain’s double Olympic gold medallist Luis Doreste as tactician.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5375 Quotes of the day http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5375 Fri, 16 Sep 2011 17:10:47 GMT

Adrian Stead (GBR), Tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
“We had good steady conditions today and we felt pretty strong today about coming in in a good place. We had two good races, we sailed well right from the start and put the question mark on somebody else. In the first run of the first race we managed to get away from Bribón a little, and at the end that help us to get a couple of points from them. In the second race we caught pretty strong waves but managed to get through and lead the bunch around the top mark, so we wanted to stay in that condition and we did. It´s been a very solid day which puts us at the top of the standings for the Audi MedCup. Right now there are 14 points between us and them with a maximum of 16 points on the table, so we are in reasonable shape. We are going to go out there tomorrow with the goal of winning the regatta closer. We need to stay focused, be smart and sail the same way that we did today”.

Kevin Hall (USA), Navigator, Quantum Racing (USA):
“The first race was the best race that we´ve done so far this season. We were worried about pressure in the beat but we were strong, especially with ALL4ONE. We had to fight our way through to take the lead and keep it.  It´s been a positive day that puts us in a good place. We were happy after the first race, but we still knew that we had a long way to go. We came out with a goal: to sail focused in our boat. We thought that if we did that and Bribón won both races, then so be it, and the result´s been really positive”.

Juan Luis Páez (ESP), Navigator, Ibedrola Sailing Team (ESP):
“We are really happy about winning the Audi MedCup Circuit, because it was not easy. At the end, all the team work and our preparation since Christmas have paid off. We´ve worked a lot. In terms of logistics, having the best sails, and in terms of the team, creating a great crew, we´ve done great, these issues have been key in order for us to win this. This should help us for the future, this is a team that deserves continuity. We all know that it´s all about the sponsors and I think that Iberdrola is probably happy, because we´ve been very professional. The fleet has grown with the months, improving a lot. It has a lot of future. Things have changed a lot since Cascais. 2012 will be tough, I´m sure. Now the goal is to win this trophy because we are only two points ahead of the second team. It´s quite important for us to win here, we´ll fight hard for it.

Gonzalo Araújo (ESP), skipper-helm, Bribón (ESP):
“It has been a tough day, we knew it would not be easy. When we entered in the fight, other’s boats strategy between us has changed. The true is that we have fought as we could. At both races Quantum has reached a favourable position at the start and that has determined a little the races. They have complicated our life with a serie of tacks. This has been the general trend. During the second race we had a problem in the windward buoy and that cost a couple of points, but it is normal to compete in a pointing fight like this one. In the end, we should try to win the regattas we have left. In the last race we will see the considerations we need, control and attack considerations, depending on the way things are”.

Morgan Larson (USA), Tactician, RÁN (SWE):
“The day unfolded the way that we all thought, with moderate wind and pretty flat seas. There were a lot of races in one race. Quantum was keeping its eyes on Bribón and as well Azzurra, for the overall. We were just thinking about sailing the regatta and hopefully beating Bribón. We had a bit of an unfortunate start in the first, we battled back, but Bribón did a good job of pushing us back. We recovered nicely and did a good job, we were close to Gladiator and Container, we lost one point. With five points down with Bribón into the second race we knew that Quantum was going to help us with them. Niklas had a great start and we were able to preserve our lead for the fleet. Bribón had a lot more trouble than us. For the last day Quantum is close to locking the overall regatta and Bribón has a chance to fight for that and this trophy. It´ll have to do a lot with how many races take place. Like I said there are going to be a lot of races within the same one. After a great 38 year career, Bribón is going to have to earn it to win here at their hometown”.

Ross MacDonald (ESP), Tactician, Bribón (ESP):
“You want to do the best you can on a day like today but there are so many things that have to be done in order for us to get the first place… We got to think about what we´ve done so far and where we are now. All things considered it was actually not a bad day for us, could´ve been a lot worse. It´s great that RÁN´s doing well, we´d like to sail like that too. We´ll have to see how tomorrow goes and try to win this thing. It´s going to be tough for us to win the overall with this point difference right now. All they need is to have one boat in between of them in tomorrow´s races, so it´s going to be a tall order for us. We´ll do our best and we´ll see how it goes. We are excited about finishing up in a high note and as best we can. I´m happy that Bribón´s days are ending with things the way they are.”

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5357 Quantum likes pressure http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5357 Fri, 16 Sep 2011 14:19:22 GMT

In the first race the 2008 champions took the challenge to the Spanish favourites and were able to gain an early advantage on the first upwind, ultimately able to drag Bribon above the Starboard tack layline. From there they were always able to keep their key rivals in check.

Quantum Racing took the lead on the first downwind when they were able to roll inside Audi ALL4ONE on a gybe and from there they were able to hold the lead to the finish while Bribon finished in fourth.

In the slightly stronger sea breeze the two rivals were much more evenly matched for speed. While RAN recovered from a difficult eighth in the previous race, they were able to start off the left end of the line with a high mode off the line which allowed them to play right of centre

Quantum Racing seemed comfortable to sail their own race and were able to sail the shifts at the top of the beat to round third. Bribon came in late to luff around the mark just behind their rivals.

But Bribon were bounced on the second beat by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which dragged them back into the traffic. A kite hoist problem at the offset mark required them to sail high and they finished sixth from a very, very close finish.

With RAN winning the race they are tied with Bribon for the Barcelona Regatta title leading into the final day.

In the Soto 40 fleet victory for Iberdrola extends their overall regatta lead to three points over Iberostar.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5353 Quantum at 10 http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5353 Fri, 16 Sep 2011 12:52:56 GMT

It was a text book race for the American flagged team:, ‘the best we have sailed as a team this season’ Kevin Hall navigator on Quantum Racing said immediately after finishing.

In 9-11 kts of sea breeze Quantum Racing took the challenge to Bribon on the start line and were able to come off the line leading the Spanish crew out to the right of the course.

Quantum Racing were able to carry Bribon out past the starboard tack layline in a crucial move

Audi ALL4ONE lead around the windward mark ahead of Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, but the Italian team were judged to have fouled Synergy on the approach to the windward mark and had to take a penalty turn.

On the run Quantum Racing were able to squeeze down inside the leading boat to lead the race.

Bribon’s fourth to RAN’s eighth gives the Spanish crew a lead of five points at this Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Regatta over the Swedish flagged team.

Second place for Iberdrola Team ensures they are unbeatable for the Circuit title in the 40 Series, but they have a battle on their hands for this regatta after Iberostar won their second race in a row to lie only one point behind Jose Maria Torcida’s Iberdrola Team.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5349 Barcelona: Day of Judgement, 1. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5349 Fri, 16 Sep 2011 10:15:18 GMT

After 41 races spread over four countries, Portugal, France, Italy and Spain and wind conditions from fierce 35 knot gusts in windy Cascais at the start of the season in May, to this finale regatta in the light, sometimes capricious sea breezes at this finale Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Regatta, it all boils down to the next two days of racing for a delicately poised 52 Series title race.

The momentum is with Bribon. A podium in Italy, winners in Cartagena, Spain last month and leaders since yesterday at the final regatta ever for their Bribon crew, racing on the waters off their club, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona, it is a fairytale in the making.  A late charge to clinch overall victory in the MedCup after seven years of trying since being one of the 2004-5 founding fathers of the MedFleet of TP52’s would be the perfect end Bribon’s 40 year history.

But Quantum Racing are the class act in a position to kill off the Spanish team’s dream, and they have a pedigree to match.  Don’t forget that Quantum have history too. In 2005 when the inaugural series went to the wire on the final race of the season, they were title challengers. In 2008, under skipper Terry Hutchinson, they won the title. With new skipper Ed Baird, an America’s Cup winning helm, they have lead since the start of the season. But this has always been a finely balanced season. Though Quantum Racing have always lead, the biggest their lead has been was 12 points – after winning the first regatta in Cascais. So a seven points margin going into the final two days and four races is a cushion – of sorts – in this eight boat fleet.

Two races are scheduled for today at this Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy in breezes which promise to be a little stronger – up to 12kts max from west of South – which should even be a little more settled than yesterday’s split breezes which fought from different sides of the race course.

And for the Soto 40’s the title is all but Iberdrola Team's. They need only get through today’s  racing to win, but their absolute target is to win their fourth regatta of the season – their first in the team’s home country after losing out last month to the British crew on Ngoni. Today business commitments mean owner-skipper Tony Buckingham will not be sailing and so Kevin Sproul is back on the helm. And Iberostar, Javier Banderas’ team, will be looking to follow up yesterday’s race win on their second day on the Audi MedCup Circuit.

Agustín Zulueta (ESP), Project Manager, Iberdrola Sailing Team (ESP): "We just have to start today and we´ll be the Circuit´s virtual winners. Although the main goal was to win the five-venue championship, of course, we also have another goal, and that is to win at least one of the Spanish trophies. We didn´t do that in Cartagena, so we have our chance here in Barcelona, that´s our short term goal now. We are highly motivated for those two reasons. Also, coincidentally, today´s the day when our main sponsor and its Marketing Department representatives are coming to see us, so it´s a big day. Conditions are suppose to pick just a little bit from yesterday, I really hope that we get to sail all three races".
Ignacio Triay (ESP), Trimmer, Bribón (ESP): It´s going to be an interesting day here today. The weather conditions couled be slightly stronger than yesterday but not much different. Even when our boat has sailed really well in light conditions, we´ve also sailed very well with stronger winds. We came here after the Copa del Rey and the Cartagena victories and we were thrilled about having achieved that this season, but we have a chance to make it even bigger. We´ve already seen that the boats are keeping an eye on us, Quantum really did yesterday at the start. Yesterday we manage to reach the rest of the boats after a bad start, Ross McDonald did a great job avoiding the potholes. It´s a tight fight up there and the boats are going to watch each other carefully".

Ignacio Triay (ESP), Trimmer, Bribón (ESP): It´s going to be an interesting day here today. The weather conditions couled be slightly stronger than yesterday but not much different. Even when our boat has sailed really well in light conditions, we´ve also sailed very well with stronger winds. We came here after the Copa del Rey and the Cartagena victories and we were thrilled about having achieved that this season, but we have a chance to make it even bigger. We´ve already seen that the boats are keeping an eye on us, Quantum really did yesterday at the start. Yesterday we manage to reach the rest of the boats after a bad start, Ross McDonald did a great job avoiding the potholes. It´s a tight fight up there and the boats are going to watch each other carefully".

Ed Reynolds (USA) project manager Quantum Racing (USA): “I think yesterday we got the best start of the year, everything going in the right direction and it just started slowing down a bit. I saw upwind hat we sailed into a real soft spot just below the starboard layline on he second beat and that really pushed us back. We came into this and everyone said, you know what, this is going to come down to the last race and we just have to be strong. I get e-mails constantly asking ‘what happened’ and the response is just the same as always, if you make the slightest mistake these guys are on you. You have to be so fast all the time.
Our guys do have to raise their game, I am not the one saying that, they say that themselves. They feel they have absolutely earned this position, this is their series and they just have to go out there and do it. There is no other way. Think about you as a professional athlete at the top event in the world right now, I believe, coming into the last race two days of the MedCup with a chance to do something really special. If you are not up for that you should get a new day job. I think these guys are ready. They are strong. And as I have said all along I don’t think we will crack under pressure or lose it, but somebody could very well come and take it away from us.
Bribon’s is a beautiful story and we don’t want to be the ones to ruin it, but one of the things we have seen is that when it gets to light air, they have been blazing fast in the light. Even before they had this boat as a team they have always been quick in the light.”

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5323 Evgeny Neugodnikov (RUS), Skipper, Synergy (RUS) http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5323 Fri, 16 Sep 2011 08:00:26 GMT
Age: 29.

Place of birth: Ekaterimburg (Russia).

Married/single: Married.

Children: Yes, a four year old son named Yaroslav.]]>

Favorite book and writer: Different stuff. Depending on my mood I read thrillers or comedy.

Favorite song and singer/group: Any song from Chayf, a light-rock Russian group.

Favorite food: Pancakes cooked by me and different types of Russian soups.

Hobbies: I´ve played ice hockey and play football.

Have you got a nickname? No.

Dinner with... (it doesn't have to be a sailor, it can be anybody) My family.

What did you study? I studied Metallurgical Engineering.

Where did you start sailing? In Ekaterimburg.

What's your biggest vice? Russian massage with honey and aromatic herbs.

What would you be if you were not a sailor? I´m not sure but I´d be doing something related to the ocean. I have a sailing school in my hometown and I´d probably be doing that.

Have you got any ritual before sailing? No.

Where is your favourite sailing location? Anywhere with good conditions that´s not too hot, maximum 25 degrees.

Where would you like to be in 10 years? With two more children, enjoying life and sailing, or doing something related to it

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5326 An unstoppable momentum? Anything can happen. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5326 Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:35:31 GMT

Long time Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA) slid to a second successive seventh place in the eight boat fleet which is competing for the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy.

After finishing third in Cagliari, winning in Cartagena and now seizing the regatta today lead in Barcelona with their come-from-behind second place, their incredible momentum  might almost even suggest a date with destiny come Saturday’s gala prizegiving as the perfect full stop to the 40 year history of the famous team.  

But in fact the title race is still a four cornered fight.
Germany’s Container scored their first race win since July to keep the Markus Wieser skippered crew in the title challenge.
Less than 13 points separate Quantum Racing from fourth placed Audi Azzurra (ITA) with up to four races of the season left. The American flagged team, which won the overall title in 2008, lead Spain's Bribon by just seven points.

While Container started best today and were able to use the added wind pressure to the left side of the course, it was Tony Langley’s Gladiator (GBR)which lead around the windward mark. Container took the lead on the first run as they read the fluky wind pressure better and Gladiator chose to gybe set to the left of the run
Bribon had come off the start line second best after the challenge for the pin end of the line and found themselves with a struggle on their hands.
But their excellent boat speed in the light, 6-8kts breeze, was the key to their climb through the fleet from sixth at the first turn, going on to chase Container across the finish.

Of concern to the Quantum Racing crew will, again, be the way in which they slipped from an early third after a strong opening beat, to cross seventh.

The rise of the 52 Series fleet’s oldest design, Bribon, over the second half of this season has been pronounced.
They stood sixth on the Circuit standings after each of the first two events, fifth after Cagliari, fourth after their win in Cartagena and now they lie second on the season standings after having made up 31.5 points on Quantum Racing over the last 18 races.

Bribon’s trimmer and project manager Ignacio Triay (ESP) came ashore saying that with two days to go the season title race starts again here:

“ It feels like the season starts here, it starts today. Everything could happen in the next two days, everything!”
said Triay,
“ I tell you I would never have expected this. We were pretty convinced that the podium of the Audi MedCup would be a fight between Quantum, Audi Azzurra and Container and we were pretty convinced that the fight for fourth place would be between us, RAN and Synergy.”

“ In Cartagena we had the feeling that, hey,  maybe we should go for more. Suddenly we found ourselves closing to the podium, so we said maybe we should try. Here has happened three things: today or tomorrow the conditions could change but so far the conditions for Bribon have been not bad. We did a more constant three days and our most direct opponents are doing worse than any other event before, so all together I was looking at the numbers and probably after two days in Cascais it was closer than it is now. It is not going to be for anyone with a weak heart. Anything can happen?
Quantum is still far ahead, we have Azzurra and Container very close to us.”


The 52 Series are scheduled to sail four more windward leeward races, effectively losing their coastal race since only one race could be completed today.

In the 40 Series race it was Iberostar which scored their first win as a team in this fleet, holding off Tony Buckingham’s Cartagena winners Ngoni. The British crew held their nerve and concentration in the final stages of the last run to secure second only just ahead of Iberdrola Team.

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5327 Quotes of the day. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5327 Thu, 15 Sep 2011 15:45:52 GMT

Markus Wieser (GER) skipper-helm, Container (GER)
"What a great race for us of course winning by more than a minute. After a perfect start we had a free lane after RAN tacked early and we always got new pressure from the left. Once we managed to overtake GLADIATOR it was easy to defend the lead with covering the stronger right side of the course. It's so much easier when you don't have any dirty air from the other boats, but we also sailed more or less faultless today.

We got a lot of great input by our coach Fritjof Kleen. He predicted the right strategy for the day expecting the left shift.

It was not a drag race for us. The fastest boat was BRIBON camoing back after such a bad start when there were 300 m behind on the first beat. They are on the track to win the overall Audi MedCup Circuit. Speedwise no one can keep up with them”.

Ross MacDonald (CAN), tactician, Bribon (ESP): 
As you can see it is pretty tricky out there, no matter how many points are left anything can happen. Container are there too and it has all tightened up. It is going to be great to watch from outside. I think we are learning to sail the boat better for sure and it is going better, the way we are setting it up and the way we are sailing. We are sailing with a little more patience, now we are able to sail it like it is our own boat. Maybe early on we had too many preconceived ideas where to place our weight and things like that  and now maybe it is more intuitive it is like the way it feels.

The momentum is great but the conditions are helping too. It has been fairly light as it was in Cartagena too. The boat likes that stuff, we are short on the waterline and so in big breeze and flat water we suffer upwind, but every dog has its day, lets just hope there are a few more dog days”,

Ignacio Triay (ESP) trimmer-project manager, Bribon (ESP)
It feels like the season starts here, it starts today. Everything could happen in the next two days, everything!

I tell you I would never have expected this. We were pretty convinced that the podium of the Audi MedCup would be a fight between Quantum, Audi Azzurra and Container and we were pretty convinced that the fight for fourth place would be between us, RAN and Synergy.

In Cartagena we had the feeling that, hey,  maybe we should go for more. Suddenly we found ourselves closing to the podium, so we said maybe we should try. Here has happened three things: today or tomorrow the conditions could change but so far the conditions for Bribon have been not bad. We did a more constant three days and our most direct opponents are doing worse than any other event before, so all together I was looking at the numbers and probably after two days in Cascais it was closer than it is now. It is not going to be for anyone with a weak heart. Anything can happen?

Quantum is still very far, we have Azzurra and Container very close to us.

But, if it is windy tomorrow, everything can change. It is possible to win the circuit for sure, but we came here to win Barcelona. That was our goal and we come here to do our job, to say goodbye to our Bribon history with a winner. From the beginning RAN has made it very difficult for us, but we came here with that goal, to win here. But we still have not really looked at the overalls, but it does not just depend on us it depends what others do.

I don’t know about luck, but I certainly think that the motivation is on our side. I have been sailing on Bribon for eighteen seasons and I don’t remember never before the crew being so close as a group of friends and so motivated as we are. I tell you, you need to have a nice crew: very smooth, very motivated to keep pushing, keep pushing as one. It is not easy. But I don’t know if the luck is with us or not, but the attitude, the momentum is with us. We feel so supported here by the city, by our friends here. But of course tomorrow could be a disaster. Today we saved the day and we keep going.”

Ed Baird (USA), skipper-helm, Quantum Racing (USA): 
We did sail our own race, we were strong all the way up the first beat and then when we came across on starboard we were within two boat lengths of the boat that rounded first and then we ended up rounding in fifth. Then down the run we dropped a couple of places as well, but we had put ourselves in a very high probability to gain position. And it did not gain, so it was disappointing not to gain.

I think we are sailing the boat well and are doing things the best we can. Each day brings a little different conditions, every boat has their moments. Today was certainly challenging, nobody knew what was going to happen in that breeze. We were quick enough, it was really a dying, not quite sure what’s going to happen next kind of day.

We have had people breathing down our necks all season, we are still ahead of where we were when we came into the regatta”.

José María Torcida (ESP), Skipper, Iberdrola Team (ESP):
We are almost touching the final victory with our fingertips but we can´t celebrate yet. Today is been a day of light wind, we tried to fight by the pin end side against other boats and ended up behind the whole fleet. It was tough making decisions, because it could blow left or right, there was a sequence of shifts that made it hard to choose. In the first beat it took us a while to catch it. In the second one we sailed a lot better, except for the end, where the pressure went up and Iberostar passed us by the right side. The first four boats came in really tight, we came in really close with Cruiser-Racer”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5308 New venues possible for 2012 http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5308 Thu, 15 Sep 2011 15:20:38 GMT

Audi MedCup Circuit - The 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit finishes in Barcelona and the competition is closer than ever before. What have been the key contributing factors this season?”
Nacho Postigo - “The potential of all campaigns has been getting higher and closer every year. There are no more favourites or outsiders. Every team can beat the others. We had four different winners in four events in the 52 Series, and the boats often finished within seconds. And the Soto 40 class is now growing rapidly and sees the level rising. Competition couldn’t be better.

AMC - What is your opinion on the size of the 52 Series fleet, is there an optimum number given the current economic climate?
NC - “We prefer to have these eight truly competitive 52 Series campaigns to just having higher numbers of boats that can’t match the pace on the race course. We are aiming for attractive regattas and want to inspire new owners. The TP 52 is the de facto top monohull class for grand prix racing in the world on the world’s leading regatta circuit. It’s dynamic, challenging and telegenic. And we’ll have more Soto 40 racing in 2012, the pre-entries have already been filed”.

AMC - The Audi MedCup so far sticks to its name by running four out of five events in the Mediterranean. Are you thinking about extending the series to other countries and race areas?
NC - “Yes, right now we’re looking into a different route for the 2012 circuit. There might be a regatta in Northern Europe next time.”

AMC - What are the most important criteria for choosing a venue?
NP
-  “First of all, a new regatta venue needs to provide good sailing conditions. But any venue should also appeal to the criteria desirable to owners and crews, and it must represent an important market to the title sponsor. And last every event has serious logistical requirements, and it needs to fit into the budget.”

AMC - Might we see Audi MedCup regattas contested on the Baltic Sea?
NP - "This may happen, why not? There are a couple of interesting options, for example in Germany and Sweden. We have invited some guests from potential host cities, not only from Kiel and Travemünde, which have indicated a strong interest in hosting an Audi MedCup event, and they have come to have a look at the set-up here in Barcelona".

AMC - So, in essence though new areas will be reached, it will remain the Med Cup?
NP
- “The MedCup is a strong brand which has been built from firm roots and popularity in the Mediterranean and we do not want to compromise ourselves there. I see us sticking to at least two events held in the Med. But a season opener is most likely to happen again on the Atlantic coast”.

AMC - When do you plan on announcing the venues for 2012?
NP
- “We plan to announce the route of the upcoming Audi MedCup Circuit by the end of this year. This will still give us enough time to build up the tension in all countries. I’m a hundred percent sure that we’ll have another great season with dramatic racing in 2012”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5305 Fry's Eye View of 2011 http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5305 Thu, 15 Sep 2011 13:48:30 GMT

As trimmer and sailmaker he has a key role in the ‘speed loop’ the small group which is charged with making the critical incremental speed gains over the season. They started the season with lacklustre results in Cascais and Marseille, struggling to find competitive allround speed with their more aggressive Vrolijk design, but they have still been the season’s most consistent performers and came to Barcelona with a good chance of the overall title.

Audi MedCup Circuit - Simon, we are close to the end of the season, what are your views on the obvious improvements in Audi Azzurra’s performance over the second half of it?
Simon Fry - "If you break down our performance into three areas we have been relatively consistent, the second thing is we are sailing the boat immeasurably better than we had been and we are at the last regatta; here we have to stay as calm and collected as we can be, with a chance of winning. We need to execute as we have been all season, to make little incremental improvements, and from there what will be will be".

AMC - So what have you learned specifically?
SF - "Gains have been incremental. The pitch of the boat is critical. We have actually come to some hard and fast pitch targets and it is thing we check on every two to three minutes, sea state and hull speed dependent. So that is something we have definitely made advances in. Sails we have definitely stepped forwards with, just the marriage of the two sails in particular, not only in design but in the way they are trimmed. Downwind we are sailing with more and more rake, and then I think Jochen’s boat gave us a heads up in Cagliari where they were dropping more rake in in the breeze, and sailing with a radically different set up in over 20kts. We spotted that, pinched it and that really helped our upwind performance where we had been struggling to keep the boat going in a straight line uprange over 20kts. Realistically we should have won in Cartagena, but…..the mainsail fell down".

AMC - At a key moment when you had effectively taken the regatta lead and the Circuit lead on the water, your mainsail tumbled down in Cartagena. How do you view this now and what was that like at the time?
SF -" These things happen. There was a really, really good maintenance programme in place. The guy who looks after it was distraught for a couple of hours and so you just have to put your arm round him and say ‘look you did everything that was asked of you, it was a clean break and every other boat was running exactly the same specification….it is what it is. It was interesting because we went out and had a beer that evening…in truth we went out and had about ten gin and tonics each….it was quite nice to see us all pull together as a team. We said ‘look this is not going to derail us…if it has a lasting effect on our MedCup result we deal with it then. I think that because the Audi MedCup is one of those series where there is no discards, then every now and then someone will have something. Remember Quantum Racing had a backstay breakage in Cagliari and they just focused and got on with it. I remember we had a mainsail strop break in 2007 on Patches, the first coastal race of the year in Alicante. And you thought, god, what a kick in the balls, when it was a 20 boat fleet and suddenly you were counting 15-18 points more than you should be. Realistically then we should have put it to the back of our minds."

AMC - And you have been with the TP52’s since 2006 and the Circuit since 2007, how do you see the level this year?
SF - "The fleet management is different and so you sail differently now. Year on year the boat handling gets better, and there have been boats that have lead that. In 2007 it was Artemis who raised the bar a little, just in general boat handling and the way they got themselves around the course. You can say Mean Machine started that in 2006, Mean Machine and Warpath set a level that everyone had to get to. Artemis were the leaders in 2007 not just on the water but in terms of the programme, 2008 Quantum, 09-10 Team New Zealand, but I think this year there are different teams that are leaders in different areas. I don’t think there is a clear boat speed leader. There is no standout programme ahead of the rest. That is why incremental gains, literally looking for millimetres here and there, have been so important."

AMC - Do you perhaps think Quantum have not been able to make those gains in the same way as previous years and maintain that obvious edge they had at the first regatta?
SF - "On the one hand maybe Quantum have looked down avenues which might not be immediate and tangible on the race course. On the other hand I really do not think they are struggling. If you look at F1 a team has a bad race, it’s a bad race. The set up wasn’t right, the package wasn’t right and this is really no different. You have to come to the next event trusting in what you are good at, get your head down and get on with it.
But the counter of that is that momentum is a really big thing. But it can change race by race"
.

AMC - Just give us an insight to life with this famous sailing team, what is it like behind the scenes?
SF
- "I have been with the team four years and it is certainly a really nice team to be with. There is always a nice atmosphere and there is always someone different around to talk to and things to talk about. There is a close knit feel when you want it like that, but with the language differences they are quite happy if we go off and do our own things. Living with the team, it is an awesome team to be involved with. But I think teams have evolved because there are less boats. I had options to go elsewhere, but this is enjoyable and if you are enjoying it you give your best all the time. And it is important to carry on enjoying it through the season. There is nothing worse than a long drawn out season, just thinking I want to just get through this and move on. You should not be there".

AMC - And you sail with a tactician and a strategist, Francesco Bruni and Vasco Vascotto, both passionate Latino Italians; to outsiders it might seem a high octane mix?
SF - " On the one hand they are very, very similar – very intuitive sailors, they see the race very, very similarly. They look upwind and have very good eyes, each to map out to have a really, really good understanding. But they are also very different. Ironically (in his sailing) Francesco is more flamboyant than Vasco. Vasco in his personality is a fantastic person to have in a team, just keeps everyone on their toes, lots of mickey taking and lots of taking the mickey out of himself. Francesco is happy to play a lower level and let Vasco go and do the interviews. But Francesco has to make the decisions and so, ultimately the buck stops with him, and I think that ultimately he is a lot more creative than people give him credit for".

AMC - And which is the more punchy in terms of boat placement and tactics?
SF - "Francesco is more punchy, for sure, but people would not appreciate that because they would automatically link the person to their tactical approach. One of the things that Vasco preaches that I really sign up to is: ‘Let’s have a boat which is the same speed as everyone else and then back ourselves.’ He is very much of the opinion that we will out our boat in the right place and make small gains when we can. And if we are making a loss we will minimise it".

AMC - What is different this year with the slightly smaller fleet?
SF - "In a smaller fleet there is a higher element of risk attached. If your performance profile forces you into a corner – say you are very fast in some conditions and not in others".

AMC - Give us an insight into some of the changes which have been pivotal?
SF - "We were fast downwind in Cascais, embarrassingly fast and so we had to temper that. That was down to the foil package, we were relatively low drag, not enough grip and too unforgiving. It was a really nice combination. In Marseille it was kick in the balls on the coastal race when we go passed by Container, Bribon and Synergy, and Francesco called a rabbit from the hat and we got second. That was massively important for the season. But we continued to make changes. The foil package was changed. The rig set up changed. You have to Guillermo a lot of credit for driving that. The two guys in the coach boat are instrumental in the speed package. And then Vasco, Francesco and us trimmers always have an input, it is open to the whole boat. But you can not overlook the work of Juan Garay, he is the sail designer but his work really extends into all different areas, looking at the whole package".

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5312 Wieser comes back http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5312 Thu, 15 Sep 2011 13:10:32 GMT

But a second place for Bribon sees the Spanish crew take the overall lead in the regatta and maintain their charge for the overall season title, keeping the pressure on Circuit leaders Quamtum Racing.

Container started nicely on the left side of the start line and were able to profit from the extra pressure on that offshore side of the windward-leeward course.

Bribon rounded the first mark in fifth but were able to climb steadily with smart sailing in the split breeze conditions.

But Quantum Racing, the Circuit leaders, again struggled in the second half of the race sliding from third at the first turn to cross seventh.

Bribon’s recovery to second allows them to now lead RAN for this regatta by a single point.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5307 Time for Quantum? http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5307 Thu, 15 Sep 2011 10:03:27 GMT

In the overall standings for the season Bribon lie just half a point behind Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, who today really need to get their title back on track with a pair of strong results. The Italian team feel they have been under a certain amount of extra attention from some of their main opponents and others, but perhaps today will be their chance to fight back.

Or perhaps some teams will seek to try and halt the upward trajectory of Bribon which are challenging for second overall and are getting to within reach of the overall title in this their final regatta as Jose Cusi’s Bribon team.

But with two windward-leeward races planned for today this could be the pivotal day of the season, leading into tomorrow's high points value Coastal Race.

Circuit leaders Quantum Racing do continue to move closer and closer to the title, even with their seventh in the second race yesterday. Quantum Racing’s navigator Kevin Hall (USA) explains the likely scenarios from his perspective:

“Yesterday we had a tough call to make in the second race, we liked the left a lot, like Bribón and RÁN and though we could follow them and hang with them, maybe even get to RÁN, but we decided to stay ahead of Azzurra and ended up paying less attention to the other two. Today, second and third are basically tied, and that makes things really interesting for us. There are a few scenarios. One, they can each say we could still get Quantum and maybe if we work together and get to them if we don´t tack in each other. Two, they could say we want to fight for that second spot and race looking at each other constantly. An the third could be to ignore the other boats and just try to win the races and see how that goes in terms of points at the end. It´s very hard to look at one boat and sail your own race, we saw that yesterday. We think that conditions will be a bit softer today, yesterday we didn´t think they were going to die the way they did. Bribón is quick in this stuff so they are definitely candidates to perform well again”.

Meanwhile for the Iberdrola Team they seem destined to collect the inuagural overall Circuit title for the Soto 40's if they keep up their same high level today, after winning twice yesterday:

Agustín Zulueta (ESP), Project Director, Iberdrola Team (ESP):
"We´ve had to adjust to the Soto 40 this year and that makes things harder, of course, but everything has been going great. I really enjoyed yesterday´s races as the team´s director because I saw a solid team sailing in conditions that don´t particulraly suits us well. They started well, picked to the right sides and did great maneuvers. We are excited about the next races because we are really close to winning the championship, and that has been our goal from the beginning. I hope that we perform as well as we did yesterday".

All races will be broadcastec live, from around 13:00 hours, through www.medcup.org/audimedcuptv.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5289 RAN increase their regatta lead. Bribon's late title charge continues. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5289 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 16:47:58 GMT

For the event leaders RAN that was a win in the first race, followed by a good second place to increase their lead over Bribon by one point today, while for Bribon a third was followed up by their second race win on owner Jose Cusi’s native waters at this iconic team’s swansong regatta.

A seventh in the second race of the day hurt circuit leaders Quantum Racing’s chances at this regatta, but the American flagged team still remain on track for the season’s title with a 12 points margin.

However the remarkable rise of the Spanish flagged Bribon crew means that since the start of the Region of Sardinia in Cagliari in July they have gained 24.5 points on the Circuit leaders.

Bribon
have elevated themselves to third overall for the season and this evening stand only half a point behind Italy’s second placed Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

And as the challenge for the 2011 52 Series title unfolds Bribon’s late season charge means they are now only 12 points off the circuit lead with three days left of the season, and up to five scheduled races including Friday’s high scoring coastal race before the titles are due to be presented at Saturday evening’s gala prize-giving.

In the Soto 40 class Iberdrola Sailing Team were on imperious form over their first two races of the regatta, winning twice by relatively comfortable margins.

RÁN built their first race victory from a beautifully executed start at the committee boat end of the start line, crossing on port to lead out to the right side of the course and earn the best of the advantage on the right. RÁN, Quantum and Synergy then led the charge to the right, and at the windward mark, Zennstrom's crew had the lead.

In the second race it was Bribon which emerged from a tightly compacted pin end start earning the left side of the course. But it was this group from the left side of the start which did best.

While Bribon and RÁN were well set for the race with decent margins at  the head of the fleet at the first turn, as the breeze faltered and swung left on the next round Synergy Sailing Team stole themselves a good third place, while Quantum Racing dropped from the fourth place they held at the first mark, losing two boats close to the finish to finish seventh.

In the first race for the 40 Series Iberdrola started well at the starboard end, and also were first to profit on the favoured, right inshore side establishing an early lead which was never challenged. Javier Banderas' Iberostar, newcomers to the fleet sailing Noticias IV took second.

In the 40 Series fleet which raced for the first time at this regatta it was Jose Maria Torcida and crew on Iberdrola which re-confirmed their supremacy in the class when they sailed to comfortable back-to-back wins, showing good speed in the 7-12 knots of sea breeze to build on their substantial Circuit lead.

Iberdrola maintained her pacemaker's position again in the second race whilst the rest of the fleet had a good race. Ngoni had better race third behind www.cruiser-racer.com. Iberostar tool four. All the boats headed left on each leg, but the wind certainly decreased as the race went on. The second Soto 40 race started in 10 knots and finished in 6-7 knots.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5292 Quotes of the day. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5292 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 16:40:33 GMT

Morgan Larson (USA), Tactician, RAN (SWE/GBR):
“When you are having a tough time sometimes any change might freshen some things up, but it´s not really anything that I´ve brought. I kind of walked in into a nice situation. It feels really good to be sailing in the fleet´s first positions. Niklas Zennstrom has been doing a great job in these flat waters, he sets the tone. We can see that the conditions are really good for our boat and Niklas feels comfortable with them. So far this week we´ve been sailing at a high level which makes us feel positive because this is a tough race course.  Things look good pretty good right now, I think that the team came here wanting to improve the work that was done over the season, trying to make it show in the overall standings, and so far we´re getting it done. Barcelona can be a challenging place to sail”.

Gonzalo Araújo (ESP), Skipper, Bribón (ESP):
“It´s been a good day, we are still on the right track, with good results. These are difficult winds, not a lot of wind, and everything´s well on board. We have a bigger advantage from the guys behind us and we are closer to the ones ahead of us, so it´s a really positive evaluation. The key is not to miss in many areas, a good start and good tactics. It´s a matter of not making many mistakes, a matter of doing most things well. Quantum and Azzurra have started the trophy staring a lot at each other, and that can hurt you regarding other teams in the fight, but there are still a lot of days left so we have to go a day at a time. There´s no other way. Each day there are a lot of points at stake, and you need to get as less as possible.”

Francesco Bruni (ITA), Tactician, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
“We are putting our best against Quantum but we are paying for the way we´ve started in the races so far, it´s been really hard for us. I must say that Vasco and the rest of the team are doing a great job trying to come back and trying to reduce this bleeding. The only good thing is that it was only one point at the end. Of course, this is not how we wanted to start here in Barcelona, we were expecting something better, but we´ll be fighting until the end. Tomorrow is another day and we´ll start better than them. Also, Bribón is now a rival that we have to be really, really careful with.”

Ed Reynolds (USA) project manager Quantum Racing (USA):
“Today´s racing sort of personified the whole year for us. We´ve done a couple good regattas and then a bad one. We maybe got a bit tunnel vision today but at the end of the day we came out with a better lead than we had yesterday, so we are pretty satisfied. It´s going to be incredibly tough, everybody keeps bunching up, we´re trying to see how it goes a day at a time. I think that for Azzurra, who came in as our closest rival, it´s been tough. They´ve been tacked on everywhere, the fleet´s been really hard on them this regatta, Bribón are doing great and managed to move in, now that they are closer to the top, I have a feeling that they are going to be closely followed”.

José María Torcida (ESP), Skipper, Iberdrola Sailing Team (ESP):
“Everything´s gone well, we´ve done two great starts in the right side, acquiring a distance from our opponents. Once we were ahead of the, we controlled both races, and the fact that the rest of the boats have been constantly switching places benefited us at the end. This gives us more confidence, because we thought that things were not going to go so well today. The mainsail change has been important and the way the boat has been sailing too. Our new crew member, Antonio Piris, has great experience. We knew that we was a great addition, maybe not so much in maneuvers as with Javi, but he helps us in many other aspects. He didn´t need much time to adjust to our team”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5284 RAN on the RUN, extends their lead, Iberdrola wins twice. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5284 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 14:55:49 GMT

RÁN built their first race victory from a beautifully executed start at the committee boat end of the start line, crossing on port to lead out to the right side of the course and earn the best of the advantage on the right. RÁN, Quantum and Synergy then led the charge to the right, and at the windward mark, Zennstrom's crew had the lead.

In the second race it was Bribon which emerged from a tightly compacted pin end start earning the left side of the course. But it was this group from the left side of the start which did best.

While Bribon and RÁN were well set for the race with decent margins at  the head of the fleet, as the breeze faltered and swung left Synergy stole a good third place, while Quantum Racing dropped from the fourth place they held at the first mark, losing two boats close to the finish to finish seventh.

In the first race for the 40 Series Iberdrola started well at the starboard end, and also were first to profit on the favoured, right inshore side establishing an early lead which was never challenged. Javier Banderas' Iberostar, newcomers to the fleet sailing Noticias IV took second.

In the 40 Series fleet which raced for the first time at this regatta it was Jose Maria Torcida and crew on Iberdrola which re-confirmed their supremacy in the class when they sailed to comfortable back-to-back wins, showing good speed in the 7-12 knots of sea breeze to build on their substantial Circuit lead.

Iberdrola maintained her pacemaker's position whilst the rest of the fleet had a good race. Ngoni had better race third behind www.cruiser-racer.com. Iberostar tool four. All the boats headed left on each leg, but the wind certainly decreased as the race went on. The race started in 10 knots and finished in 6-7 knots.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5275 Light exercise? http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5275 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 09:51:45 GMT

Both 52 Series and the 40 Series fleets are scheduled to have two races.
There is a certain divergence between the weather forecast models for today, one suggesting that the sea breeze might struggle to establish itself, the other predicts that it will come in, building to 12kts. But the overall picture looks like a more challenging day than the 52 Series enjoyed for their opening pair of races Tuesday.

For Quantum Racing, the Circuit leaders, a solid 3,2 brace establishes a momentum they will look to protect today. They opened a little more daylight on their principal rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and Container yesterday. In the background yesterday’s excellent 1,3 opening day for Bribon sees the Spanish boat elevate themselves to third overall on the Circuit, whilst the duel between Synergy and RAN is also poised with the regatta leaders in Barcelona now just half a point behind the Russian team.

The Italian flagged team on Audi Azzurra need to bounce back after two fifth places yesterday with a couple of strong finishes today if they are to come back on Quantum Racing and extend on Bribon.

The 40 Series fleet sees the debut of two new teams. Olympic gold medallists Luis Doreste (ESP) and Domingo Manrique (ESP) who won Flying Dutchman gold here in 1992 are at the core of the Iberostar team with Javier Banderas (ESP). They sail the Noticias IV, while the second new team is www.visitmalta.com on Patagonia. Bigamist, the Portuguese team which raced in Cascais, have a fundamental change here with Afonso Domingos on the helm.

Juan Luis Páez (ESP)
, Navigator, Iberdrola Team (ESP): "I think that the weather conditions for today are pretty open, not the typical Garbí form Barcelona, which is what we had yesterday. It seems that we are going to have a seabreeze with an influence from the Levante, and that will make the races a lot more open. It´s going to be interesting, with many options, these regattas are always really competitive and you need to be 100%. We have a new trimmer, highly experienced, and that´s good because it has not affected us. Both the trimmers that we´ve had are among the best you can have on board".

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), Strategist, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
"The forecast for today says things are going to be tough out there again, with light conditions. RÁN´s sailing great, they´ve struggled at some points of the season but they are really in shape now, and its proves that anyone can win here in Barcelona. For us, the two fifths yesterday are obviously a bad result, but we are still there 8 and a half points away. With a good day we can solve this. We have to stay calm. Yesterday we saw the Barça-Milán football match, where a team dominated the whole time and the match ended up with a tie. That made us think, because if things like that happen in football it´s even more likely that they´ll happen on the race course. We´ll see how it goes out there today".

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5260 RÁN sets the pace in Barcelona http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5260 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 16:56:22 GMT

While it was something of a red letter day for the black hulled RÁN with its signature gold keel bulb, so too there was a strong start to the season’s finale for the Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA).

The American flagged team worked hard for a well earned third in the first race of the day, which was contested in the light 7-9kts of S’ly sea breeze, and then bolstered that score with a good second to lie third.
But the key for the Quantum Racing which lead the season standings by just 3.5pts when they went afloat is as much that they stepped five points more ahead of their main title rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) who posted two fifth places, and six points more on Container (GER).

The crew of Bribon (ESP) continued their winning momentum after last month’s triumphs in Cartagena and at the Copa del Rey, when they made the best possible start with victory in the first windward-leeward, holding off RÁN to the finish with Quantum Racing taking third.
Tactician Ross MacDonald (CAN), Olympic bronze medalist here in 1992, and navigator Marcel Van Triest (NED) conspired to place Bribon on the favoured right, inshore side of the first upwind after starting on the right hand end of the start line. They were able to lead at each mark.

In the second heat with the breeze having built slightly at 7-11kts and clocking slightly more to the right, it was the on the first run when RÁN stayed further offshore, to the right downwind, where Zennström’s team were able to prosper, taking the lead at the leeward gate. Jochen Schuemann’s Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE looked to have built themselves a useful position when they rounded the top mark in second, but they had to peel to a replacement kite downwind after suffering a small tear, but it was at the second windward turn that they slid down the fleet after their mainsheet just skidded over the buoy, requiring them to take a penalty turn.

RÁN never ceded their lead, holding off Quantum Racing, to the line. Zennström’s team showed good speed upwind and downwind, the owner-helm relishing the fact there is no pressure on them and a lot of confidence among their team unit after their recent successes offshore.

“ I think that we came here with a different mindset that we did before, after the Mini Maxi championships we were really happy with how we performed and that boosted our confidence. This is the last event and our crew is going to fight to improve and try to have a good time racing. I also think that we were not so stressed coming into this event and that´s important” Zennström confirmed as he came ashore

The regatta standings are tight at the top with RAN leading by a single point over Bribon and QuantumRacing just one point further back. The three top boats today already have small cushion on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which landed a pair of fifth places today.

Iberdrola Sailing Team served notice that they intend to return to winning ways when they took first in the S40 practice race ahead of Tony Buckingham (GBR) and his Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy winning team on Ngoni. The six boat 40 Series resumes points racing Wednesday. A large contingent of potential Soto 40 owners are in Barcelona in force with dozens lined up for test sails during racing this week.

Niklas Zennström’s team on RÁN had their best day yet on the windward-leeward courses of the Audi MedCup Circuit when they scored a second and first place to lead after the first day of racing at the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta.

While it was something of a red letter day for the black hulled RÁN with its signature gold keel bulb, so too there was a strong start to the season’s finale for the Circuit leaders Quantum Racing.

The American flagged team worked hard for a well earned third in the first race of the day, which was contested in the light 7-9kts of S’ly sea breeze, and then bolstered that score with a good second to lie third.

But the key for the Quantum Racing which lead the season standings by just 3.5pts when they went afloat is as much that they stepped five points more ahead of their main title rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team who posted two fifth places, and six points more on Container.

The crew of Bribon (ESP) continued their winning momentum after last month’s triumphs in Cartagena and at the Copa del Rey, when they made the best possible start with victory in the first windward-leeward, holding off RÁN to the finish with Quantum Racing taking third.

Tactician Ross MacDonald (CAN) and navigator Marcel Van Triest (NED) conspired to place Bribon on the favoured right, inshore side of the first upwind after starting on the right hand end of the start line. They were able to lead at each mark.

In the second heat with the breeze having built slightly at 7-11kts and clocking slightly more to the right, it was the on the first run when RÁN stayed further offshore, to the right downwind, where Zennström’s team were able to prosper, taking the lead at the leeward gate. Jochen Schuemann’s Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE looked to have built themselves a useful position when they rounded the top mark in second, but they had to peel to a replacement kite downwind after suffering a small tear, but it was at the second windward turn that they slid down the fleet after their mainsheet just skidded over the buoy, requiring them to take a penalty turn.

RÁN never ceded their lead, holding off Quantum Racing, to the line, Zennström’s team showed good speed upwind and downwind, the owner-helm relishing the fact there is no pressure on them and a lot of confidence among their team unit after their recent successes offshore.

“ I think that we came here with a different mindset that we did before, after the Mini Maxi championships we were really happy with how we performed and that boosted our confidence. This is the last event and our crew is going to fight to improve and try to have a good time racing. I also think that we were not so stressed coming into this event and that´s important” Zennström confirmed as he came ashore.

The regatta standings are tight at the top with RAN leading by a single point over Bribon and Bribon just one point further back. The three top boats today already have small cushion on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which landed a pair of fifth places today.

Iberdrola Sailing Team served notice that they intend to return to winning ways when they took first in the S40 practice race ahead of Tony Buckingham (GBR) and his Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy winning team on Ngoni. The six boat 40 Series resumes points racing Wednesday. A large contingent of potential Soto 40 owners are in Barcelona in force with dozens lined up for test sails during racing this week.

Ed Baird (USA), Skipper, Quantum Racing (USA):

“Clearly we are very happy with our result here today. The first race I had a bad start and had to tack away really hard and we were tacked on by Azzurra. We worked really hard to get back in the race and the guys did a great job with that. In the second race we has a better start and had the chance to return the favor to them, we led around the first mark and had a tough call in the second windward leg with teams on both sides of the race course. The one on the left got us, it was RÁN, they were sailing well, going really fast. We are keeping an eye on the four boats that are in the fight, doing what we can and getting the best results that we can.”

Niklas Zennstrom (SWE), Skipper, RÁN (SWE):

“These conditions are very good for us because the boat was going really well, we also sailed very well. We had two very good starts, had a lot of confidence in the boat and that way we managed to do things the way we wanted. I also think that we came ihere with a different mindset that we did before, in the Mini Maxi championships we were really happy with how we performed and that boosted our confidence. This is the last event and our crew is going to fight to improve and try to have a good time racing. I also think that we were not so stressed coming into this event and that´s important”.


Tim Powell (GBR) mainsheet RAN (SWE):
The conditions obviously suited us, I think we sailed very well. We had good starts and the boat was going well both upwind and downwind and tactically we were good. We just had a very solid day.

You don’t know one way or another if Morgan makes a key difference, but ultimately for us what is important for RAN is to finish off the season on a high note. Roll on tomorrow and we will see can keep it up.

Morgan Larson (USA) tactician RAN (GBR):

“ It is nice to be back in the fleet for sure. It was a boat speed day and there were some subtle shifts but we had good speed upwind and downwind. It is like a class reunion to be here again. I have missed it for sure being away sailing other boats. I would say today for me was about not screwing up the good performance of the trimmers, so that would have been easy to do because there were some potholes out there for sure. I like the conditions here, but you could easily go out and have two fifths or two sevenths. I have not been here since the 1992 Olympics when I was training partner with JJ Isler.”

Jochen Schümann (GER) Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER):

"This was very close racing again today with the entire fleet, but not a happy end for us. We stayed third quite a while in both races but missjugded the windward mark two times. On the last beat we were on the lay line at an early stage but it was shifty. At the end we hoped for a little right shift that happed before but didn't when we needed it. We had the option for two more tacks or to squeeze in. The latter one worked out although we slowed down a lot. We didn't touch the mark with the hull but the top 3-4 cm of the buoy with our main sheet. After a 360 you're trailing the fleet.

The torn gennaker didn't hurt us too much. We managed a smart inner peel and the new one is also a A1.5. But we really don't know why we always have bad luck with the gennakers. This time there was just a little loop in the drop line that tied the sail together and occured the triangle hole."

Matti Paschen (GER), trimmer on CONTAINER (GER):

"We are not happy at all with this outcome of the day. We knew we are weak in light air with little chop, but we started very well two times and could hold our lanes. But we miss just a tiny little bit of upwind boat speed. And falling 1.5 to 2 boat length back means being not in front at the top mark. It is a matter of our set-up. RAN is 100 % our sister ship, build in the same mold. And they are doing very well here. We need to keep on fighting and work on the fine-tuning."

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5262 Quotes of the day. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5262 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 16:50:37 GMT

Ed Baird (USA), Skipper, Quantum Racing (USA):
Clearly we are very happy with our result here today. The first race I had a bad start and had to tack away really hard and we were tacked on by Azzurra. We worked really hard to get back in the race and the guys did a great job with that. In the second race we has a better start and had the chance to return the favor to them, we led around the first mark and had a tough call in the second windward leg with teams on both sides of the race course. The one on the left got us, it was RÁN, they were sailing well, going really fast. We are keeping an eye on the four boats that are in the fight, doing what we can and getting the best results that we can.

Niklas Zennstrom (SWE), Skipper, RÁN (SWE):
These conditions are very good for us because the boat was going really well, we also sailed very well. We had two very good starts, had a lot of confidence in the boat and that way we  managed to do things the way we wanted. I also think that we came ihere with a different mindset that we did before, in the Mini Maxi championships we were really happy with how we performed and that boosted our confidence. This is the last event and our crew is going to fight to improve and try to have a good time racing. I also think that we were not so stressed coming into this event and that´s important”.

Tim Powell (GBR) mainsheet, RÁN (SWE): 
"The conditions obviously suited us, I think we sailed very well. We had good starts and the boat was going well both upwind and downwind and tactically we were good. We just had a very solid day.

You don’t know one way or another if Morgan makes a key difference, but ultimately for us what is important for RAN is to finish off the season on a high note. Roll on tomorrow and we will see can keep it up. "

Morgan Larson (USA), tactician, RÁN (GBR): 
It is nice to be back in the fleet for sure. It was a boat speed day and there were some subtle shifts but we had good speed upwind and downwind. It is like a class reunion to be here again. I have missed it for sure being away sailing other boats. I would say today for me was about not screwing up the good performance of the trimmers, so that would have been easy to do because there were some potholes out there for sure. I like the conditions here, but you could easily go out and have two fifths or two sevenths. I have not been here since the 1992 Olympics when I was training partner with JJ Isler.”

Jochen Schümann (GER) skipper-helm, Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER):
"This was very close racing again today with the entire fleet, but not a happy end for us. We stayed third quite a while in both races but missjugded the windward mark two times. On the last beat we were on the lay line at an early stage but it was shifty. At the end we hoped for a little right shift that happed before but didn't when we needed it. We had the option for two more tacks or to squeeze in. The latter one worked out although we slowed down a lot. We didn't touch the mark with the hull but the top 3-4 cm of the buoy with our main sheet. After a 360 you're trailing the fleet.

The torn gennaker didn't hurt us too much. We managed a smart inner peel and the new one is also a A1.5. But we really don't know why we always have bad luck with the gennakers. This time there was just a little loop in the drop line that tied the sail together and occured the triangle hole."

Matti Paschen (GER), trimmer, CONTAINER (GER): 
"We are not happy at all with this outcome of the day. We knew we are weak in light air with little chop, but we started very well two times and could hold our lanes. But we miss just a tiny little bit of upwind boat speed. And falling 1.5 to 2 boat length back means being not in front at the top mark. It is a matter of our set-up. RAN is 100 % our sister ship, build in the same mold. And they are doing very well here. We need to keep on fighting and work on the fine-tuning."

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5251 Winning momentum for RÁN http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5251 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 14:40:31 GMT

Spanish favourites Bribon won the first race; after reading the breeze best on the first beat they were able to lead around the windward mark and hold on to cross the finish ahead of RÁN with Quantum Racing taking third

In the second race RÁN made the running, after starting close to the pin end of the start line they were able to lead at the windward mark from Audi ALL4ONE. The Franco-German team suffered a small rip in their gennaker which required them to peel to a less powerful kite. At the top mark second time up Audi ALL4ONE fouled the mark and had to make a penalty turn.

Although Bribon took third behind Quantum Racing in the second race to lie second it was a satisfying opening day for the American flagged team as they lie third – 3,2 for the day – but having earned five points against their tital rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, and seven on Container.

In the 40 Series practice race it was Iberdrola Sailing Team which won, ahead of Tony Buckingham’s winners in Cartagena Ngoni.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5238 Toni Guiu, co-owner of the Soto 40 www.cruiser-racer.com http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5238 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:21:27 GMT

Guiu is a constant observer of the European and global racing scene, paying attention to the evolution of one-design fleets as well as the handicap circuits. Seeing the potential of the Soto 40 class Guiu decided to set up the www.cruiser-Racer.com project along with Álex Laplaza for the Region of Murcia Cartagena Trophy.

Guiu, Laplaza and their crew which has been successful together with their Sinergia 40 L’ Inmens left Cartagena excited about their participation in the Audi MedCup Circuit, the world’s leading regatta circuit, but they also had set in train their long term goal for the future: to compete on the Circuit, starting with the Conde de Godó Trophy – Barcelona, appropriately launching their brand new Soto 40 on home waters.

After their debut in Cartagena, Toni Guiu explained. “There´s a certain level of owners who lack sponsorship but and are key players in the national RI or IRC circuits, but they are maybe a little intimidated by the Audi MedCup Circuit. When they stop and look at the circuit from the outside, they are afraid that they wouldn´t perform well here. That´s a psychological barrier that needs to be addresses”

Owners lose sight of the simplicity of One-Design racing and some, for whatever reason, feel they prefer the vagaries of handicap racing, but for Guiu and Laplaza, who have a long history in top level regattas, the Audi MedCup Circuit offers many incentives.

“The quality of this competition is remarkable. It scores really high in all the different areas that are part of a regatta. The organization in the water is excellent and the races are almost perfect. The Open Village and the Race Village is a really attractive initiative for sponsors, even for those like us who lack the support of big companies with bigger budgets. Overall, it´s a really attractive concept from every angle you want to look at it”.

Guiu points the Circuit´s and the Soto 40´s strengths: “The boat is really good, great for its price”, says Guiu, who details the differences between the Soto 40 and other 40 footers: “What´s remarkable is how light the boat is and how stiff it is thanks to the substantial keel bulb. Steering has not been a problem, even with me lacking experience with the tiller. I have always sailed with a wheel. The one thing that feels different for me is the different inertia. The Soto 40 is really light and it needs momentum kept high to tack best. But because of the foils it doesn´t allow you long luffs such as a tight leeward gate rounds. You have to tack quick in order for the boat not to stop and you also don´t have a big margin to recover leeway if you arrive close to the windward mark.”

When asked about the Circuit´s future, where he expects his team to be competing, Guiu, who raced in two pioneering Spanish Whitbread Round the World programmes Licor 43 and and co-skipper Fortuna speaks straight: “It´s not a competition for really big fleets. I think that 10 or 11 TP52s and 12 or 14 Soto 40s is the perfect number. I believe that is the right amount for the Circuit to be balanced in order to have a good competition and also the necessary media return for the sponsors. The future of sailing is in the hands of these events, because they are the only ones who can offer real returns to big sponsors. One of the things that make a difference, for instance, is the live broadcasting of the races through the Circuit´s website, because it has a large audience.

In Barcelona, Cruiser-Racer will have the chance to test their new boat in their usual race course, with a realistic attitude and the desire to compete to the best of their possibilities among the best teams, trying to make the most of their conditions as the Circuit´s local crew.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5236 Staying cool in the Barcelona pressure cooker http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5236 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 09:33:14 GMT

Already on land the fierce sun has been burning down on the race village which is situated in the heart of the Catalonian capital on the Moll de La Fusta, almost at the foot of the Columbus statue.

With the series leader board tightly framed, Quantum Racing leading by 3.5 points from Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, and Container and Bribon with a fighting chance of taking the title, there will surely be a high level of nervous tension to be contained as the first points races for the 52 Series are due to start this afternoon.


The sea breeze is further to the left than on the practice race. The forecast direction is around 180-190 degrees with the pressure building to around 11-12kts. Two races are scheduled for the 52 Series, while for the S40’s it is the official practice race day.
All of the race action is broadcast live through the day on www.medcup.org.

Vasco Vascotto (ITA),
Strategist, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
“We have light variable conditions here today, 12 knots top, and it also seems that there has been some crew changes in some of the teams. It´s going to be tough, we are all keeping the standings in mind and how many points we have, so it will be a fight. I think that we have the right amount of tension and concentration. There are four boats who can win this circuit and Bribón is one of them. They also have an advantage, which is that their boat sails really well in this conditions. We have to study what happens and see if we can do something big at the end of the week”.

José María Torcida (ESP), Skipper, Iberdrola Team(ESP):
"The forecast for today and the rest of the week doesn´t show strong conditions. Light winds make the races more open. We are happy to have new boats here, our goal is to win the circuit and that shouldn´t be a problem unless something terrible occured to us. We want to win here to put a perfect end to a great season. We are going to be the boat to beat, we saw it in Cartagena. We have to do our job, not making mistakes and stay in the same shape. Some boats will use new sails, and that will be an advantage for them, we are going to use a mainsail with a few days of practice in it, and should be better than the one we used before. We´re also changing the jib, we´ll be using a new one that performs well with winds like the ones we´lle have here today, about 12 knots."

The pressure cooker that is the final event of the 2011Audi MedCup Circuit, the Conde de Godó-City of Barcelona Regatta looks set to have a slow start today with a relatively light sea breeze forecast to build steadily during the afternoon. Already on land the fierce sun has been burning down on the race village which is situated in the heart of the Catalonian capital on the Moll de La Fusta, almost at the foot of the Columbus statue.

With the series leader board tightly framed, Quantum Racing leading by 3.5 points from Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, and Container and Bribon with a fighting chance of taking the title, there will surely be a high level of nervous tension to be contained as the first points races for the 52 Series are due to start this afternoon.

The sea breeze is further to the left than on the practice race. The forecast direction is around 180-190 degrees with the pressure building to around 11-12kts. Two races are scheduled for the 52 Series, while for the S40’s it is the official practice race day.

All of the race action is broadcast live through the day on www.medcup.org.

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), Strategist, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):

“We have light variable conditions here today, 12 knots top, and it also seems that there has been some crew changes in some of the teams. It´s going to be tough, we are all keeping the standings in mind and how many points we have, so it will be a fight. I think that we have the right amount of tension and concentration. There are four boats who can win this circuit and Bribón is one of them. They also have an advantage, which is that their boat sails really well in this conditions. We have to study what happens and see if we can do something big at the end of the week”.

José María Torcida (ESP), Skipper, Iberdrola Team(ESP): "The forecast for today and the rest of the week doesn´t show strong conditions. Light winds make the races more open. We are happy to have new boats here, our goal is to win the circuit and that shouldn´t be a problem unless something terrible occured to us. We want to win here to put a perfect end to a great season. We are going to be the boat to beat, we saw it in Cartagena. We have to do our job, not making mistakes and stay in the same shape. Some boats will use new sails, and that will be an advantage for them, we are going to use a mainsail with a few days of practice in it, and should be better than the one we used before. We´re also changing the jib, we´ll be using a new one that performs well with winds like the ones we´lle have here today, about 12 knots."

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5228 Quantum Racing take pole position http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5228 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 16:20:48 GMT

If the American flagged team under skipper-helm Ed Baird which have lead the Circuit since winning in Cascais in May have recently had a few shaky moments, their win today was much more assured and confident.

Racing on the waters adjacent to the 1992 Olympic harbour in a decent Garbi sea breeze which topped 14kts, Quantum Racing started smartly mid line, along with Bribon – which won the Circuit’s last regatta in Murcia.

The leading duo were well placed to catch the first wind shift from the left. Quantum lead Bribon at the first windward mark and were able to maintain their lead across the finish, pursued by Niklas Zennström’s RÁN.

Although the conditions looked relatively straightforward, the awkward, contrary swell kicked up by the Mistral wind blowing to the NE in the Gulf of Lyon made life a little more complex than it should have been, both upwind and downwind.

While the Quantum Racing team unfolded their strategy from the start gun, their other main title contenders were not as slippery off the start. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team worked steadily, able to steal third behind RÁN.

Returning to the Audi MedCup Circuit after racing last in Marseille Tony Langley’s Gladiator (GBR), with Langley steering and Tomasso Chieffi (ITA) calling tactics, were always in the mix after a good start and first beat. They rounded the top mark in fourth and only faded slightly in the later stages of the race.

But this was only practise, and although a sharp reminder of Quantum Racing’s potency – they have not won a windward-leeward race since Cagliari in July – it is only when points racing resumes Tuesday that the picture will be the truer one.

The six boat Soto 40 fleet have their practice race Tuesday with effectively two teams which are entirely new to the Circuit and one brand new boat.

Jesus Turro and his crew of VisitMalta.com are competing on Norberto Alvarez Vitale’s Patagonia with Luis Martinez Doreste (ESP) as tactician, while Iberostar is the re-branded Noticia IV.

Only project manager Iñaki Castaner remains on board but the crew is lead by Olympic gold medallists Luis Doreste and Domingo Manrique – who won gold for Spain here in 1992.

And Alex Laplaza and Toni Guiu and their crew have been having their first sails with their brand new boat, hull number 27, www.cruiser-racer .com.

Quotes

Ed Baird (USA), Skipper, Quantum Racing (USA):
“This is an interesting place because the sea breeze comes from a couple different directions. The one that we have today comes from the 200º-220º directions and the other one is a little more Easterly, so we have to learn about it, it´s valuable information. There are a lot of things to look in order to see how the fleet sails in these conditions. That been said, the rest of the week is going to be different from haw we sailed today, with stronger conditions. We have to respect the lighter wind because it makes this a whole different game. Our guys had a good day today, everything worked well onboard, so we are happy for this starting point”.

Víctor Mariño (ESP), Strategist, Container (GER):
“It´s going to be a tough week, we have sea breeze and all the teams are making a lot of changes, trying to polish every small detail. It´s also going to be a tough week because we are all going to be keeping an eye on each other. We have a boat that´s not great in this type of conditions, with lighter winds, we sail better with strong winds, so it will be hard for us. We are doing our best and it will be an interesting week, especially after the first couple of days, because we might be able to predict certain things with more accuracy and that will make the races more exciting. In the Circuit´s last stretch all the teams will take more risks. Quantum seems to be doing really well, they are improved, Bribón is as consistent as they have in the last venues, doing an extraordinary job, and Azzurra seems to have awaken, showing all the potential that their team has. We have to trust in our abilities and try to be among the top three boats at the end of the week.”

Tony Langley (GBR) owner-helm Gladiator (GBR):
“We are quite happy. We had a little shake down yesterday and today it went quite well. It was good to be in the mix, fourth at the windward mark. The second beat was not so good but the straight lines were good and the corners were good, so it was OK.
We sailed at the Copa del Rey with a slightly more amateur crew and we did OK. This week I guess we’ll get slaughtered – that’s what happens to Gladiators! But it is how we get slaughtered that counts!
We have a couple of changes since Marseille. We have Tomasso Chieffi here as tactician and Guy  Reid here as grinder. This year is all about having a look, dipping in and having a look but we have already made the call to do the full season, provided it is not in latitudes which are too northern.


Tomasso Chieffi (ITA) tactician Gladiator (GBR):
“It was really nice today, we have been chipping away. First time out for me was the Copa del Rey and of course you need to put yourself into shoes of the boat and understand how things work on the boat, so we made steady progress, stepping forwards in Palma and ended up winning the last race there. It was light wind race. And so we do come out of Palma with a very good feeling. We came here and today I was a little surprised to be right there in the pack. The start was good. Tony and I have been working on communication in the starts, and that is paramount in this fleet. If you don’t have an even start at least then you are very soon washed out of the back of the fleet. We made a couple of mistakes here and there and lost a couple of places but all in all we were happy with the day. We come here as the underdogs, but in terms of expectation we are on the same page. And so that hopefully means we are not going to be underdogs for the whole week. Consistency will not be on our side, but we good have spikes here and there, but some good scores would make us happy, and put some big smiles on everybody’s faces.”

Steve Hayles (GBR), navigator RAN (GBR/SWE):
“ It was hard to tell really from that but it was good it was a pretty close race. It was very close at the top mark. We got a good start and there was a nice little left shift off the start line which we got, it had been there. But otherwise it was a nice, normal race and it was nice to get a half decent result.
(on change of tactician to Morgan Larson)
Really truthfully there is little difference between Morgan and Gavin, Morgan only stepped on the boat this morning. He is not that well known to our guys, but I have sailed with him before. He is a very talented sailor, has a good feel and knows the fleet. In truth he was settling himself in today so we will how it goes tomorrow. He is well organised. My honest feeling is that Morgan will now benefit from Gavin’s hard work, a lot of the things he has given us we are using, like the way we started the boat today is as much down to Gavin. At the moment we are benefiting from the good work he did.
It was a little funny today because the swell comes in from the NE, overnight in the Gulf of Lyons, it looked sort of easy but really it was not. The waves are behind you which was not easy. Hopefully it will calm down because it also makes it a bit bouncy and bumpy downwind. I think the fleet compacted a bit on that last run.
This is fun after the 72 footer. On the 72 you are moving a tonne of sails every day! This is good fun!”

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5239 Official presentation of the www.visitmalta.com-Gramona Soto 40 team http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5239 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:57:16 GMT

 

The Spanish Soto 40 team www.visitmalta.com-Gramona, owned by Jesús Turró, which will race at the the Conde de Godó Barcelona Trophy onboard Soto 40 Patagonia, was oficially presented yesterday  in the Race Village of the Audi MedCup Circuit. Olympic sailor Luís Martínez Doreste and pre-olympic sailor Javier Padrón are among the top sailors in the boat's line up.
Jesús Turró, together with María de Pereda, responsible of the Malta Tourism Office in Spain, and Nacho Postigo, technical director of the Audi MedCup Circuit, presented the www.visitmalta.com-Gramona team in the Race Village of the Conde de Godó City of  Barcelona Trophy Regatta.
The new team race onboard Patagonia, the Soto 40 owned by Norberto Álvarez Vitale, includes Olympic sailor Luís Martínez Doreste, Snipe Worlds 6th classified Alfredo González, and J-80 pre-olympic Javier Padrón.
"We are very proud and thankful to be part of a Circuit as prestigious as this, and we hope we can someday become one of its venues", said María de Pereda. Jesús Turró also expects his project to continue in the future, "we lack experience with this kind of boat, but our line-up makes us be optimistic and ambitious, cause we'd like this to be a long term project", he said.

Jesús Turró, together with María de Pereda, responsible of the Malta Tourism Office in Spain, and Nacho Postigo, technical director of the Audi MedCup Circuit, presented the www.visitmalta.com-Gramona team in the Race Village of the Conde de Godó City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta.

The new team race onboard Patagonia, the Soto 40 owned by Norberto Álvarez Vitale, includes Olympic sailor Luís Martínez Doreste, Snipe Worlds 6th classified Alfredo González, and J-80 pre-olympic Javier Padrón.

"We are very proud and thankful to be part of a Circuit as prestigious as this, and we hope we can someday become one of its venues", said María de Pereda. Jesús Turró also expects his project to continue in the future, "we lack experience with this kind of boat, but our line-up makes us be optimistic and ambitious, cause we'd like this to be a long term project", he said.

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5218 Back to Zero http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5218 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:43:32 GMT

The Garbi sea breeze is expected to prevail at least over the first few days of this key regatta, dropping in intensity as the event progresses.
With a N’ly Mistral blowing in the Gulf of Lyons to the east a large circulation is set up in this part of the western Med which enhances this southerly sea breeze.
It has been a slightly overcast morning though the prospects for breeze are good, expecting up to 18 or 19kts with choppy, steep seas.
The 52 Series fleet will do their two practice starts before rolling into the official practice race.
For Bribon this will be an emotional week on their home city, but project manager Ignasi Triay says the crew are not speaking about this being their swansong:

“This 2011´s last event and the truth is that we´ve improved every day until now. We are in Barcelona, our hometown, and a lot of noise has been made about the fact that this is Bribón´s last event. It seems that it´s something that´s affecting a lot of people who are around the event, but it doesn´t affect our crew. We hear a lot about it but we don´t look at it the way this that people does. We are focused in this event because we are in a good place in the general standings, with good possibilities to do something big, even reaching the podium. We are thinking about doing a good job here these days, we´ll have enough time to think about this being our last event on Saturday evening. We have to stick to our plan, to be consistent and not make too many mistakes.”

Kevin Hall (USA), Navigator, Quantum Racing (USA):    
We are looking forward to competing here in Barcelona this week, there are great teams here and the competition has come down to the last event and that´s pretty exciting for all of us, our strategy is to sail well, and you could argue that if we sail this regatta to win it with good solid finishes that should do it for the season as well, but there are a couple other teams who are probably thinking the same thing, so it will be exciting. We don´t talk about points, it´s such a small advantage that we don´t even count on them to help us right now”.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5219 Joaquin 'Chimo' López (ESP), boat builder, Longitud Zero. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5219 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 08:00:26 GMT
Age: 49.

Place of birth: Castellón.

Married/single: Married.

Children: No. ]]>

Favorite book and writer: The Hunter of Ships, by Justin Scott.

Favorite song and singer/group: Space Trucking/Deep Purple.

Favorite food: Fish.

Hobbies: Mountain biking.

Have you got a nickname? Where does it come from?They call me Chimo,
which is how they call the people named Joaquín in Valencia

They call me Chimo,
which is how they call the people named Joaquín in Valencia

Dinner with... The late Vicente Ferrer, because I admire the work that he did in India

What did you study? I finished high school, after that I´m self-taught.

Where did you start sailing? In Castellón.

What's your biggest vice? To study structures and its resistance, it´s
a bit of an obssesion.

What would you be if you were not a sailor?So many things. I´d
liked to be a pilot or and archeologist...or a diver, for example.

Have you got any ritual before sailing? No. I´m all against superstitions.

Where is your favourite sailing location? I´d like to sail the African coast, but it´s tough because of it´s constant conflicts. I hope that I can do it soon.

Where would you like to be in 10 years? Doing what I´m doing now. I

wouldn´t change a thing.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5209 Match point! http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5209 Sun, 11 Sep 2011 16:47:04 GMT

Meantime the multiple match race world champion Baird will be keeping combative, close quarters boat against boat skills on ice, perhaps reserved for later in the week.

As the world's leading regatta circuit reaches its climax the lead of Quantum Racing (USA) is a mere 3.5pts over Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA)
But with only 18 points separating the top four teams - Quantum Racing, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, Container and Bribon - on the overall standings, the reality is that any one of these four teams harbour realistic hopes of winning the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit title.

“ It is exciting that it has come down to the last event this year.” Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Baird says on the eve of Monday’s Conde de Godó - Barcelona Trophy’s TP52 Practice Race.
“ We don´t look at our positions as though we have a lead. It’s virtually tied. Any race can erase that coupla points that we have. We just need to go out and have a good regatta, and to keep an eye on what´s been happening later on in the week and then see what we have to do from there.”

In fact the pre-regatta strategy of Quantum Racing differs little from those of their main rivals, but as sure as the final races of the season roll in, so the screw will tighten and winning those private duels and matches becomes vital.
Second placed Audi Azzurra Sailing Team are not light on match racing talent. Tactician Francesco Bruni (ITA) until recently topped this season’s World Match Racing rankings and has two America’s Cup campaigns to his credit.

“We know well that this week can´t be a match race between us and Quantum Racing, because there are some other teams like Container or Bribón who are still close, they are all within 15 points of us. If you have two bad races, they´ll be ahead of you, and I´m sure Quantum´s thinking like this as well.” Bruni contends today.

Beyond match racing, Container’s skipper-helm Markus Wieser (GER) and trimmer Matti Paschen (GER) arrived in Barcelona buoyed by just having won the Dragon Gold Cup for the first time, whilst Bribon (ESP) prepare for their swansong regatta on owner’s Jose Cusi’s home waters unbeaten for the last two regattas, winners of the Copa del Rey and last month’s Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy Regatta.

Those top teams field largely unchanged crew line ups but, in their bid to make their final regatta of the season their best, others have changed key roles.
Synergy Russian Sailing Team’s management have brought 1988 Olympic gold medallist Thierry Peponnet (FRA) out of the coach boat in to the role of tactician to work with new navigator Johan Barne (SWE).
Barne was America’s Cup navigator with Victory Challenge, but is an accomplished match race crew as well as a Soling Olympic crew who finished fifth in 1992 on these same waters.
On Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran (GBR/SWE), Morgan Larson (USA) steps on board as tactician replacing Gavin Brady (NZL).
Tony Langley’s British flagged Gladiator return to the Audi MedCup Circuit with Tomasso Chieffi (ITA) as tactician.

The Soto 40 fleet has mustered a season maximum of six boats with a host of potential owners visiting Barcelona to sail, several lined up to order boats for next season.
Pedro Mendonca’s Portuguese Bigamist crew raced in their native Cascais but return to Barcelona to race. They compete with the former XXII but the team which is skippered by Afonso Domingos (POR) have chosen not to carry forward XXII’s points, but instead starting afresh. This is understood to be because of their investment in five new sails which maximises their potential to win here, but exceeds the sail button allowance for XXII.

Ed Baird (USA), Skipper, Quantum Racing (USA):
“We´ve had a good season so far and it´s exciting that it has come to the last event this year. We don´t look at our positions as though we have a lead, it´s virtually tied. Any race can erase the couple points that we have. We need to go out and have a good regatta, keep an eye on what´s been happening later in the week and see what we have to do from there. Light air increases the stress because boats get a little bit further away from each other upwind and downwind and it´s quite difficult to quickly change what you are doing and run to chase somebody down at the other side of the course. You have to be more thoughtful and be patient, It´s going to be that kind of venue. We always make some adjustments, we have some new inventory in sails in order to give ourselves any opportunity that we can, it´s all a part of the season´s management. We are following the same plan that we did before and we are trying our best.

Francesco Bruni (ITA), Tactician, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
“We know well that this week can´t be a match race between us and Quantum, because there are some other teams like Container or Bribón who are still close, they are all within 15 points. If you have two bad races, they´ll be ahead of you, and I´m sure Quantum´s thinking like this as well. This is the beginning of the week, and at this point we only have to think about racing well and watch our points. Once we get to the middle of the week if I´m asked again about our strategy, I´m sure I´ll have a complete different answer. Our long term forecast says we´ll have light conditions here this week, mainly sea breeze and honestly, I think that this makes the boat sail in a very similar way. We´ve taken a few steps forward lately in terms of speed, we only have to sail well, trying to choose the right side, with concentration and not thinking too much about points, at least not at the beginning. The decisions that you make tactically are going to be very important in these light conditions, which suit Bribón well, they have proved that in previous events. Aside from them, most teams are very similar”.

Gonzalo Araújo (ESP), Skipper-helm, Bribón (ESP):
“This the last event of the season and as we all know it´s special for us, because it´s the last event of a project that has been living for a lot of years. Focusing on the circuit, this is one event more for us, we have to keep going on the same path that we´ve been following in the last events, doing things correctly and trying to get a good result at the end. If we can actually get a win that´s great, if not, we have to try to be up there, because we still have podium chances. We´ll try our best to be as high as we can in the general standing when the circuit comes to its end. Consistency has always been the key here. At the beginning of the season we had some problems and we´ve improved a lot in the last events. This race course is not especially complicated in terms of currents or wind, so it will be important to take care of that consistency that I talked about before when it comes down to the start, the way you handle the boat and its speed”.

Thierry Peponnet (FRA)
tactician Synergy (RUS):
“We feel we should be getting better and better and the goal is to be on the podium. We are looking at that as a target for a long time now, and we have been close since winning the first race of the season in Cascais. I am pretty sure we can do it. There is no pressure but we just have to sail well and be much more concentrated. Often we have started the event well in a very good position, winning the first races Cascais and last month in Cartagena but then in the middle of the championship dropping in the rankings.  It is difficult to say why but maybe losing that edge of concentration and motivation. So everyone is very motivated. We had a clear call from the owner that he wanted some changes and is expecting some results here. We have changed the navigator to Johan Barne to also be closer to the weight limit, but also to be able to get more strategic input. Johan has done a lot of Soling sailing and was originally the crew of Magnus Holmberg, he did a lot of match racing with Magnus and was navigator for the Swiss team on the America’s Cup Victory as well, so we are hoping to find a good way to work together quickly.”

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5198 To The Wire in Barcelona http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5198 Tue, 6 Sep 2011 15:07:12 GMT

Quantum Racing, skippered by America’s Cup winner Ed Baird (USA), need a solid final regatta if they are to hold off the advances of Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and lift the title.

We are really looking forwards to Barcelona. We have a job to do there and are confident we can do it. When we look back to Cartagena our feeling is very much not to panic, if there is nothing particularly broken then we don’t have to worry about trying to fix things, but just to focus on trying to the do the things that we know we do well better.

We have an exceptional team who are used to closing out major titles, like the America’s Cup and World Championships and so I don’t think pressure or confidence will come into it.” Opens Ed Reynolds (USA), Quantum Racing’s project manager, “I think that we have to make sure we are fully optimised for the conditions expected, which might be something like 12-16kts sea breezes with the choppy seas we saw last year. Those conditions I certainly feel are not a weakness for us.”

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, skippered by Gullermo Parada (ARG) with Vasco Vascotto (ITA) as strategist and Francesco Bruni (ITA) as tactician have proven the most consistent 52 Series team over the second half of this season. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team have just finished second overall at the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy in August after July’s Region of Sardinia Trophy off Cagliari where they also finished runners up. They are the only team to have been on the podium at each and every regatta this year.

The Audi Azzurra Sailing Team crew which last year as Matador finished third overall, only five points shy of Quantum Racing who were second in 2010, show every sign of finishing their season on a high. They could press Quantum Racing right to the wire heading into 2011’s Barcelona finale only 3.5 points behind long time Circuit leaders Quantum Racing.

We will arrive in Barcelona very highly motivated, with a high morale with great support. We know that the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Audi and Roemmers Family members will all be there to support us, and that's why we want to finish the season in the best possible way. We expect to have a good week.” Offers Guillermo Parada (ARG), Audi Azzurra Sailing Team’s skipper.

Since winning the Cascais Trophy in Portugal the American team Quantum Racing have topped the overall standings after each of the four regattas so far this season but their lead was effectively halved in Murcia last month.

The final regatta of the season, the Conde de Godó - Barcelona Trophy starts in just one week’s time when the battle for the title might even become a three cornered one as the German flagged team on Udo Schuetze’s Container are still only 11.5 points behind the 52 Series Circuit leaders.

The title victory in the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit is far from over. A good series could easily get back 10 or 15 points of Quantum Racing’s lead.” Says Markus Wieser (GER) skipper-helm of Container, “ It's all in their hands for sure, but they also didn't sail so well in the past. We think the hardest competitor to beat will be Bribon again, because they are the fastest boat in light air. Even they might be able to grab the overall trophy. The beat us by 18 points in Cartagena and Quantum Racing by 13.5. So, why not do so again?"

Indeed Bribon, racing in the home water of owner Jose Cusi, is far from out of the title race, 18 points off the Circuit lead in fourth place. Recent winners of the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy, they are considered the form team in light to moderate airs.

The schedule for the title shoot out regatta differs slightly from the four preceding events, with the official Practice Race on Monday September 12th and points racing for the 52 Series starting on Tuesday 13th.

As it stands it is certainly not easy to predict which team will be crowned 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit champions.

Historically Barcelona’s Garbi sea breeze is slightly less reliable in September but will usually make an appearance, blowing anywhere between 11 and 16-17kts from around 200 to 210 degrees. The gradient breeze is sometime the brisk Easterly Levante which has marked the weather in the last few days in the Catalonian capital.

Different TP52s have won in each regatta this season and it would not be a surprise to find a fifth boat winning the Conde de Godó - Barcelona Trophy. The fleet is due to be at full strength with the return of Tony Langley’s Gladiator.

In the 40 Series it is not as open. Spain’s Iberdrola Sailing Team start in Barcelona with a lead of 28 points, but they will be racing in a class of six Soto 40’s following the arrival of Toni Guiu and Àlex Laplaza's new boat www.cruiser-racer.com, which will make its debut on the team’s home waters.

Britain’s Ngoni became the only team other than the Iberdrola Sailing Team to win a regatta this season when they won in Murcia. Tony Buckingham’s crew have designs on the second place which is presently held by Noticia IV.

I really think that after our performance in Murcia that it is do-able. Our main thing will be to try and put boats between us and Noticia IV in as many races as we can, and from that point of view a six boat fleet can only be better for us. Certainly in Cagaliari I felt like Noticia IV was a little quicker in the big breeze at times, but we were certainly fast in Cartagena and go to Barcelona with a lot of confidence. We feel like we have improved at each regatta so look forward to continuing with that.

Said Kevin Sproul (GBR), Ngoni’s skipper who will hand the helm back to owner Buckingham for Barcelona.

Portugal's Bigamist crew return to race in Barcelona and will be sailing onboard XXII, with Star Olympic sailor Afonso Domingos as skipper-helm along with programme owner Pedro Mendonça.

Quotes:

Agustín Zulueta (ESP), Iberdrola Sailing Team’s project manager:

We made several mistakes in Cartagena from which we draw some conclusions:: first of all our sails have suffered a lot throughout the 30 races that we've done till now, and some need to be replaced. Secondly the level of this fleet has evened out now which means that if we make mistakes they beat us. So it is very clear to us what we have to do in Barcelona.”

Markus Wieser (GER) skipper-helm of Container (GER):
"We worked a lot on our sails after Cartagena especially on the light wind gennaker and built a new A2 on out last slot. We hope we can improve on the light air performance now compared to the last regatta because in general we're expecting even lighter breezes than in Cartagena."

"We should not be too disappointed after Cartagena keeping in mind that this is still our first TP 52 season and most of the other team have much more experience with these boats than us. The season's opener and Marseille were just great with our boat speed in heavy winds, but we simply couldn't anticipate the necessary trim and set-up changes for medium to light air quick enough. Let's say the others learned their lessons better than we did. But we'll keep going and do the best we can to fighting back in Barcelona."

"The victory in the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit is far from over. A good series could easily take out 10 or 15 points of Quantum Racing’s lead. It's all in their hands for sure, but they also didn't sailed too well in the past. We think the hardest competitor to beat will be BRIBON again, because they are the fastest boat in light air. Even they might be able to grab the overall trophy. The beat us by 18 points in Cartagena and Quantum Racing by 13.5. Why not do so again?"

"Although racing is so tight in this class it always comes down to boat speed. If you are just that little bit too slow you can't act anymore and deliver your strategy and tactics, you have to then react. And this doesn't work out well quite often. If you are fast enough, you manage to be in front once, and then the rich are getting richer most of the time."

Jochen Schuemann (GER) skipper-helm of Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE:
Although we were not that happy with rank four in Cartagena we missed the podium with just a tiny little margin to QUANTUM. This showed that we were on the right track and our victory in Cagliari was not only by luck.”
“We can't do much about our downwind weakness in medium to strong breeze, because we had used all our slots to build new sails already. Otherwise we certainly would try a different A4. But we are developing a new gennaker which we hope to use at the Worlds in Porto Cervo later the year.”
“Our goal is a podium finish in Barcelona. We know we missed the Circuit podium already but every single race and every single trophy is important to us. The conditions in Barcelona seem to be quite uncertain from very lttle winds with lumpy seas to strong Tramontanta - everything could happen. So you need to strength your general performance and not concentrating on specific conditions.”
“It will be an interesting regatta for the overall win of the season, with QUANTUM, AZZURRA and even CONTAINER still in striking distance.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5196 www.visitmalta.com-Gramona will race the Soto 40 Patagonia in Barcelona http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5196 Sat, 3 Sep 2011 09:04:13 GMT

The new team will race in Barcelona on board Patagonia, the boat which has been loaned to aspiring crews by the class president Norberto Alvarez Vitale. The Spanish owner is well known as the owner-skipper behind the Solete and Gramona programmes, he is also a regular participant at the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre regatta each year, and a committed competitor on the Spanish cruiser-racer circuit. Their Soto 40 project will be named www.visitmalta.com-Gramona and features some of Spain’s top sailing talent from Catalonia, the Canary Islands, Galicia and Andalucía.

www.visitmalta.com will form part of the fleet of six which will comprise the 40 Series fleet racing on the famous Olympic waters off the Catalonian capital city. The new boat of Toni Guiu and Àlex Laplaza's, www.cruiser-racer.com, is expected to arrive imminently to be raced on the duo’s native waters. .

Alfredo Mella, one of the grounders of the new www.visitmalta.com team, explains:
The idea started  about a a year ago, when we introduced the project to www.visitmalta.com. They liked the idea from the beginning", he adds, “Malta has the potential and wants to become a sailing destination, and this project perfectly suits that goal".

The Conde de Godó Barcelona Trophy, the fifth event of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit takes place from the 12th - 17th of September in Barcelona.

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5192 Bribon's impeccable Series http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5192 Thu, 1 Sep 2011 09:23:44 GMT

The Bribon crew sailed an impeccable series, finding a winning level of consistency on a race course which is considered one of the most challenging of the year. In the end Gonzalo Aurajo (ESP) and crew only needed to start the final race to clinch their first regatta title since winning the same Trophy back in 2008.

It was a popular victory in a city which is passionate about the Audi MedCup Circuit which has become a high point of the summer holiday season, and which enjoyed celebrating the Spanish TP52 team’s win.

Bribon proved that the Circuit’s oldest TP52, the 2009 Vrolik design, can win regattas when up against the best of the 2011 clutch of six new build boats.

While Bribon re-established their winning credentials, in the red hot 40 Series regatta it was Tony Buckingham’s Ngoni which broke the regatta winning monopoly of Spain’s Iberdrola Team. After the crew which is lead by Jose Maria Torcida had won in Cascais, Marseille and Cagliari and looked favourites to repeat in Murcia, the British crew of Ngoni showed great speed and strong tactics in the light, fickle sea breezes to build their foundations for what proved to be a comfortable overall victory.

Lead by skipper-helm Kevin Sproul, the Ngoni crew had secured the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy by the close of play Saturday, not requiring a score from the final Sunday’s only race.

A disappointing run of lowly scores in the middle of the regatta for Circuit leaders Quantum Racing -6,4,7-, saw the American flagged crew’s circuit margin shaved completely, but a remarkable win in the high points value Coastal Race saw Ed Baird and crew turn the tide to finish well. The current world champions finished on the podium, with a third place finish behind Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

Luck was not with the Italian crew who finished second overall and left Cartagena having risen to second on the Circuit. Vasco Vascotto, Francesco Bruni, Gullermo Parada and their international team which sails under the flag of the Costa Smeralda YC maintained their unmatched record as the only crew to have been on the podium in all four regattas, successively in Portugal, France and Sardinia, Italy.

But Parada and the Azzurra crew will struggle to put behind them a painful incident which snatched coastal race victory from them within sight of the grandstand finish in the Cartagena harbour. After battling back to lead the coastal race into the harbour, the Audi Azzurra had momentarily seized the overall lead in the regatta, and the Circuit, but their halyard lock loop failed just as they were keeping Quantum Racing neatly in check. The mainsail slid inexorably down. It took them several minutes to make a running fix, but they suffered a telling loss, allowing Quantum Racing through.

The Soto 40 fleet really came of age at this regatta with close racing between the three top boats, proving how equalised the fleet has become with the early advantage of Iberdrola Sailing Team seemingly evened out.

Ngoni sailed with four crew who had never been on a Soto 40 before, but quickly came to terms with the tactical options with a hat trick of comfortable wins. But equally there were some extremely close finishes, down to as little as one pump on a wave on the finish line.

Two new crews made their debut in the Soto 40 fleet. From Australia, Brent Fowler brought a young crew, average age 24, for their first experience on the Audi MedCup Circuit. Sailing Patagonia by the Australian Soto 40 Team, they pledged to return with a full programme in 2012. Toni Guiu and Alex Laplaza, a Barcelona duo, sailed XXII as www.cruiser-racer.com as a preliminary to racing their own new boat in Barcelona.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5184 Bribon are Spain's Kings of Cartagena, Britain's Ngoni Break the Iberdrola Monopoly. http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5184 Sun, 28 Aug 2011 17:20:46 GMT

Unmatched consistency on a very difficult race area ensured that the Spanish crew secured the 52 Series regatta title of the first Spanish regatta of the season as long as they finished

Such regularity was only slightly exceeded in the Soto 40 Class where the British crew of Ngoni overhauled the Spanish favourites on Iberdrola Team, who came to Cartagena unbeaten on the Audi MedCup Circuit this season, to win the 40 Series’ Region of Murcia Trophy even before they had contested their one race today.

Bribon clinched their first Trophy Regatta win since triumphing here in 2008 when they staged a remarkable recovery from last at the first mark of the first of two races today. After choosing the wrong side of the first leg, double Olympic medallist Ross MacDonald (CAN) guided them down the right side of the first downwind and by the first leeward gate they had a slender lead. Finishing second to Synergy (RUS) meant the Spanish team only needed to start the final race to lift the trophy.

They finished the nine race series with a winning margin of three points over Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. The team skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) collect their second runners up position after last month finishing behind Audi ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) in Cagliari.

The remarkable team spirit which underpins this Spanish programme, owned by Jose Cusi but which has had HRH Juan Carlos as its skipper and patron for more than 40 years, was certainly a key factor in winning on a rugged, unfashionable stretch of water which is especially testing due to the way the winds are influenced by the high cliffs, valleys and headlands which mark out the race course area.

Helmed by Gonazalo Aurajo (ESP), who joined the team last year, some core members of the Bribon crew have sailed together for around 10 years. Several times during racing they were able to squeeze keynote results from difficult positions, sometimes even on the final wave or final puff of wind.

“For so many years we’ve been fighting, fighting alongside each other with this crew, and sothey deserve this for all the hard work they´ve done for such a long time. I personally want to dedicate the victory to them, because it´s tough to keep the chemistry and a good atmosphere when you are not getting the best results. That´s why this goes to them. As a team, we´d like to dedicate the Trophy to our owner, José Cusí, because unfortunately he couldn´t be here with us today and share with us such beautiful moments”. Smiled Ignasi Triay (ESP) project manager and trimmer of Bribon.

The win of Bribon, a 2009 launched Rolf Vrolijk design which was the oldest boat in the fleet, now means that different crews have won each of the four regattas this season after Quantum Racing in Cascais, Portugal, Container in Marseille, France and Audi ALL4ONE in Cagliari, Italy.

Making up the podium in third, Quantum Racing (USA) suffered a breakdown with their primary winch in both races today which compromised them, but having arrived in Cartagena with a lead of seven points over Container (GER), the Circuit leaders’ leave with a fight on their hands.

With three weighty sixth places finishes this week counterbalancing their Coastal Race win and just one second place, their margin is halved to 3.5 points as the Circuit heads to an exciting finale in Barcelona next month.

Now the only team to have finished on the podium at each regatta this season, back to back second places for Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, promotes the team which is skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) to now lie second ahead of Udo Schutze’s Container which finished fifth.

For the British crew of Ngoni, their win was missed by owner Tony Buckingham who will be back on the helm in Barcelona, but their triumph is a result of a well run programme which saw Ngoni as the second Soto 40 in Europe, training early season alongside the benchmark Iberdrola Team. Despite four changes of crew line up since Cagliari last month, the British team gelled quickly, were fast in the lighter conditions and showed every sign they can be equally competitive in Barcelona.
Iberdrola Sailing Team finished second in Cartagena but have built their Circuit lead by two points here to 28 points.

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5187 Quotes of the day http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5187 Sun, 28 Aug 2011 17:10:42 GMT

Kevin Sproul (GBR) the skipper-helm, Ngoni (GBR): 
“ We are really happy. We´ve had a fantastic regatta here, we think that our progression from earlier events is due to the fact that we started with a new boat and did not have a lot of training. It was very, very difficult at the beginning for us, because Iberdrola and NH Resorts have been sailing really well and they had a lot of previous practice. We felt that every regatta we were a little bit better and that showed in the results.

Gonzalo Araújo (ESP), Skipper, Bribón (ESP):
“ I´m very happy, both for me and for our teammates. This year we´ve worked really hard and we´ve been rewarded because we´ve been able to see that with a good boat we are able to be there with the best, something that we didn´t have last year, and that made us feel impotent. I was not in the team when the last trophy was won here in Cartagena, but it´s very especial, because the level here, it´s as high as it can get.

The fact that we won in Spain makes it really special because there is so many people that you know around. José Cusí, the owner, deserves this trophy because he´s made a great effort to have us here, sailing with a new boat. He also has an unbelievable career behind him, so he deserves this and a lot more.

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), strategist of Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
" We look at the good things, I think we have done our best regatta of the year, and already in Cagliari we did a good job showing that we are alive and fighting. We recovered in a good way after the bad luck of yesterday, not giving away even a metre. Maybe we could do something more today, but the fact that we were 6th on the top mark, and we finished second passing Quantum on the line, it's a signal that I like more than any other. Until now we are always been on the podium, 3° in Cascais and Marseille, and 2° in Cagliari and here. We don't say anything, but if in Barcelona would arrive that result that misses, we will have a double surprise.

Kevin Sproul (GBR), Skipper, Ngoni (GBR):
We are really happy. We´ve had a fantastic regatta here, we think that our progression from earlier events is due to the fact that we started with a new boat and did not have a lot of training. It was very, very difficult at the beginning for us, because Iberdrola and NH Resorts have been sailing really well and they had a lot of previous practice. We felt that every regatta we were a little bit better and that showed in the results. We finished third and fourth in the first events and we felt that if continued with that improvement coming here, we could be in for a second place and it would give us a lift for the end of the season in Barcelona. There were three boats with chances of winning the event but at the end it has actually been better that what we expected for us and we´ve won. We´ve had a few crew changes which have been good in a lot of ways, but mainly is the way that we´ve sailed the boat. In key positions we´ve got a fantastic Mainsheet Trimmer, Jib Trimmer and Spinnaker Trimmer, and we´ve sailed together a lot. We´ve also had the rigs set up properly and we´ve sailed better in different winds conditions. The key here has been our consistency, in the past we were inconsistent, we had some good races and some bad ones. I think that us winning the Trophy here is the result of a lot of practice.”

Marcel Van Triest (ESP), navigator, Bribón (FRA):
It feels great, we´ve been progressing during the season. I remember that we had some issues in Cascais, we started doing better and recently we won the Copa del Rey, and it was really good for morale. We did some good things here, we are really happy about that. There´s really not a specific reason why we sailed so clean and consistent all week, we like it when it´s not a one-sided race course because it suits us fine. I don´t know about us sailing that clean, we took a penalty in this event. You need some good luck, of course, it´s important that things go your way. As I said, we are happy with our boat´s speed, it´s going really well. As a team we´ve always been a good team, with a great atmosphere and I think that it eventually pays off”.

Ignasi Triay (ESP), Trimmer, Bribón (ESP):
We are very happy, because believe it or not, the last time that we won an Audi MedCup Trophy was right here, in Cartagena, three seasons ago. We´ve been fighting and fighting for so many years with this crew, that they deserve this for all the hard work they´ve done for such a long time. I personally want to dedicate the victory to them, because it´s tough to keep the chemistry and a good atmosphere when you are not getting the best results, that´s why this goes to them. As a team, we´d like to dedicate the Trophy to our owner, José Cusí, because unfortunately he couldn´t be here with us today and share with us such beautiful moments”.

Adrian Stead (GBR), Tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
Bribón and Azzurra sailed very well this week, consistently, they stepped up to it, and we´ve had good races and bad races. Today we´ve had some problems, because we basically broke our primary winch in both races. Down the last run we actually couldn´t gybe at times, we gave away a first, and that made it really hard. We still up there in the Circuit, we need to stay solid and begin to think about the next event with a new approach. As far as I´m concern we are in front here and we are going to stay in front".

José María Torcida (ESP), Skipper, Iberdrola Team (ESP):
We are still a good team and our boat has great speed. We underestimated Ngoni early in the week, because we saw that they started well but we didn´t think that they were going to stay so strong. The truth is that they´ve done quite well and we have to congratulate them for that. Our rival from day one here was NH Resorts. We´ve kept an eye on them all week, that was our goal, not to lose points with the second team in the general standings, and we succeeded. Our real goal is to win the Circuit, what happened here this week is really good for the competition and also for us in order to stay more focused”.

Markus Wieser (GER) skipper-helm, Container (GER):
"We are disappointed, no doubt. Very frustrating trophy for us. We sailed not good, because we were not fast enough and that makes you loosing your confidence in your strategy and your tactics as well. Our change to a light wind set-up didn't really worked out. We definetely lost ground to most of the other boats. Than you get mentally under pressure to do better, but negative pressure is the last thing you need to be successful. It's a shame in the overall circuit ranking, but we should keep in mind that we are newcomers in this class. Myself I had never steered a TP 52 before Cascais. So there's plenty to learn for us and we have to analyze our mistakes and fight back strongly in Barcelona always keeping in mind, it's not over until its over."

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5179 Ngoni and Bribon are Trophy Champions in Cartagena http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5179 Sun, 28 Aug 2011 14:44:22 GMT

.
The Spanish flagged team finished the final race with a fifth to finish three points clear ahead of their Italian rivals on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team who take second step on the podium for the second successive regatta.
The Soto 40 fleet sailed just one race today but the result, second place behind Iberdrola Team, was largely academic for the British crew of Ngoni. Tony Buckingham’s crew had won the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy with a day to spare.

Ngoni's winning skipper helm Kevin Sproul (GBR) said
“We are really happy. We´ve had a fantastic regatta here, we think that our progression from earlier events is due to the fact that we started with a new boat and did not have a lot of training. It was very, very difficult at the beginning for us, because Iberdrola and NH Resorts have been sailing really well and they had a lot of previous practice. We felt that every regatta we were a little bit better and that showed in the results. We finished third and fourth in the first events and we felt that if continued with that improvement coming here, we could be in for a second place and it would give us a lift for the end of the season in Barcelona. There were three boats with chances of winning the event but at the end it has actually been better that what we expected for us and we´ve won. We´ve had a few crew changes which have been good in a lot of ways, but mainly is the way that we´ve sailed the boat. In key positions we´ve got a fantastic Mainsheet Trimmer, Jib Trimmer and Spinnaker Trimmer, and we´ve sailed together a lot. We´ve also had the rigs set up properly and we´ve sailed better in different winds conditions. The key here has been our consistency, in the past we were inconsistent, we had some good races and some bad ones. I think that us winning the Trophy here is the result of a lot of practice.”

Bribon became the fourth different TP52 team to win a Trophy Regatta this season when they lifted the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy with a race to spare.

Lead by skipper-helm Gonjalo Aurajo with tactician Ross MacDonald, project manager Ignasi Triay and navigator Marcel Van Triest, the crew sailed a superb regatta at a very challenging venue which offered a good range of different wind directions and strength.

The Spanish flagged team finished the final race with a fifth to finish three points clear ahead of their Italian rivals on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team who take second step on the podium for the second successive regatta.

The Soto 40 fleet sailed just one race today but the result, second place behind Iberdrola Team, was largely academic for the British crew of Ngoni. Tony Buckingham’s crew had won the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy with a day to spare.

Skipper-helm Kevin Sproul (GBR) said

“We are really happy. We´ve had a fantastic regatta here, we think that our progression from earlier events is due to the fact that we started with a new boat and did not have a lot of training. It was very, very difficult at the beginning for us, because Iberdrola and NH Resorts have been sailing really well and they had a lot of previous practice. We felt that every regatta we were a little bit better and that showed in the results. We finished third and fourth in the first events and we felt that if continued with that improvement coming here, we could be in for a second place and it would give us a lift for the end of the season in Barcelona. There were three boats with chances of winning the event but at the end it has actually been better that what we expected for us and we´ve won. We´ve had a few crew changes which have been good in a lot of ways, but mainly is the way that we´ve sailed the boat. In key positions we´ve got a fantastic Mainsheet Trimmer, Jib Trimmer and Spinnaker Trimmer, and we´ve sailed together a lot. We´ve also had the rigs set up properly and we´ve sailed better in different winds conditions. The key here has been our consistency, in the past we were inconsistent, we had some good races and some bad ones. I think that us winning the Trophy here is the result of a lot of practice.”

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5169 Bribón on track http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5169 Sun, 28 Aug 2011 13:15:02 GMT

Though Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team lead at the first mark, profiting on the right side of the course in the E’ly breeze, Bribon were one of the two boats to opt for the inshore lane downwind and stole the lead at the leeward turn.

Though they finished second to Synergy – which has coach Thierry Peponnet promoted to tactician – with Azzurra in third across the finish line, the Spanish team need only to start the final race to be sure of lifting the Trophy which they last won in 2008.

A second place for Ngoni in the 40 Series class behind Iberdrola Team had no impact on the overall standings, with the British crew winning the Trophy under skipper-helm Kevin Sproul (GBR).

 

 

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http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5163 A big day for Bribon http://www.medcup.org/news/index.php?id=5163 Sun, 28 Aug 2011 09:12:52 GMT

Jose Cusi’s crew lead by five points over Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team but the wind conditions for the finale promise to be tricky.
This morning the overhead conditions already differ from the what has been enjoyed so far this regatta. The cloud cover is near complete and there have even been a few spots of rain.

Bribon won the Trophy of Murcia in 2008 but will face a tough day in the NE’ly wind which will be blowing in an offshore direction and so will carry the imprint and influence of Cartagena’s very varied topography. The headland to the right bends the breeze which separates and funnels through the mouth of the naturally occurring harbour.
So it is likely to be very shifty, unsettled winds with big changes in wind strength across the course.
The task for the 40 Series Class leader Ngoni is much more straightforward, they need simply to go out and complete today’s once race to be sure of overall victory:

Ignasi Triay
(ESP), trimmer-project manager, Bribon (ESP):
We just try today to stay constant, to stay regular as we have been this week, try not to make any silly mistakes and to keep fighting because the season is not finishing today. We fight for the Circuit. Before we came here it was difficult for us to think about finishing on the podium at the end of the AudiMedCup, so we have to keep fighting and thinking as much about that, looking at the overall. And today you cannot go out with a specific focus on today, you always have to think about the Circuit.”

Kevin Hall (USA), Navigator, Quantum Racing (USA):
We are thinking that today is going to be a tricky day. We have two weather models and they are fairly split. It could be a little bit lighter and really shifty, maybe only 10-12 knots, or it could be windier and steadier, but it also depends a lot on where set the race course is set. The influence of the day will also be an important issue. We try to be pretty open minded. We came here to sail a good event, we obviously had a bad run back in the first days, but we are the same team now as we were then. We have to continue focusing on our goals and executing the basics for things to fall back into place”.

Gustavo Martínez Doreste (ESP), Tactician, NH Resorts (ESP):
Obviously, here in Cartagena we are seeing that the fleet is a now lot tighter. Iberdrola is not standing out as they did in previous events and both our team and Ngoni have been closer to them, which makes racing a lot more fun. Ngoni is doing great. Today we´ll have to race Iberdrola for the second place, we are tied at points with one race left so it will be an interesting day out there for sure. The key when you know that you are basically racing against one rival is to keep an eye on them the whole time, to know what they are doing constantly.”

Markus Wieser (GER), skipper/helm, Container (GER):
"Our goal are two top 3 finishes today, but it will be really hard to achieve. We are not as fast and not as good here in Cartagena as we used to be before. But we don't want to loose the chance for the final to maybe beat the other overall in the circuit. One thing is for sure already, we need to sit down carefully after this because we lost the train a bit re. speed potentials."

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