Audi MedCup: Cancelled coastal race makes Quantum Racing almost impossible to overtake

Thursday, 18 September 2008

 

Without leaving the dock in Marina Portimao Quantum Racing took a big step closer to the end game, winning the Audi MedCup Circuit 2008, when the double points Coastal Race was cancelled due to the lack of wind.

Basic arithmetic, conventional logic and the wind as per current forecast for the final two days of the season points to a maximum of 75 points to be scored, completing each of a possible five races left this season, as things stand.

Quantum Racing (USA) have 45.2 points in hand over second placed Bribón (ESP). In third place Matador (ARG) are 24.8 points behind Bribón and two points clear of Artemis (SWE) whose slender chance of retaining the 2007 MedCup title that Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) and his crew won in Hyères a year ago were wafted away by the gentle breeze today.

Principal race officer Maria Torrijo (ESP) and her team went afloat on cue, but spent the day monitoring a breeze which peaked at five or six knots and just never had the puff to cover enough of the bay, due to be the scene of what would have been one of the pivotal races. Ashore the crews waited in the plush surroundings of the sumptuous regatta village, enjoying the excellent food, waiting, watching, musing over lost opportunities and mistakes this season, and meeting to discuss plans for next season.

Local forecasters promise wind for the final showdown windward-leeward races, around 10-12 knots, which should be enough motive power to either ignite any grudge matches set to develop, or to provide open racing. The most likely duel would be a scrap over third place on the Audi MedCup Circuit between Artemis, with John Kostecki (USA) as tactician and Tornqvist steering and Parada on the helm of Matador with Francesco Bruni (ITA) as tactician.

Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) remains religiously on message, conceding the end is in sight, but this is regatta they want to win: “I think I am not incredibly happy with how we have sailed some of these races. I mean by that that we have hit a top mark, where all the way through the season we have been pretty good in these situations. The flat water here brings things a lot closer because everybody is going at relatively the same speed. “Some of the mental mistakes we have made have been exactly that.”

“The end is in sight but we are still focussed on doing a good job and winning this event. It would be nice to go out being on top of the podium, and there are some very good teams here: Desafío has raised its game, Platoon has raised its game, Matador is going well, Bribón is going well and Mutua Madrileña is going well. It is all there for the taking, and my mind set is that here we have to learn to transition from a six regatta series to a world championship in a month’s time, where we need to gain more confidence in sailing closer to the favoured side, sailing more aggressive regattas, so I think we are going focus a lot more on talking about these processes and what that means, and making sure that we continue.”

Would he rather have sailed the Coastal Race?
“I would be lying if I said yes. We would be happy to go sailing, it doesn’t matter whether or not are good to sailing. Maria (race officer) has made decisions we have benefited from and there are times that we have been on the receiving end. In effect there are two less scoring opportunities, but we are our biggest competitor we are our biggest critic.”

Quantum Racing remain one of the most active teams in their process to constantly refine and improve their sails: “As we have talked all season long, our mode is continual improvement and so if we can improve something overnight, we do it. The nice thing is that we have back up sails now, we can do the work on our back up sails and then look at it on a test run downwind and on those opportunities you have before races then you have all the information there to do it to the race sails.”

Guillermo Parada (ARG), skipper-helm of Matador: “I think the conditions were not suitable so it is OK not to race, it is good not to race an important race if the conditions are not suitable. It is not better or worse for us really. It is more fair for the results of the series. We are feeling good and even if it was light in a long race anything could happen which would be a pity after a great season. I don’t know if Artemis will have a go at us, but obviously we will keep an eye on them. I don’t think we go looking for them in particular.”

Ignati Triay (ESP), project manager of Bribón (ESP): “No coastal race means we are even further from having any chance of catching Quantum for the overall circuit, but it also makes it more difficult for Matador and Artemis to catch us! Looking at the Trophy of Portugal we are eight points from the leaders Desafio and today would have been a fantastic opportunity to try and make them up! Let’s hope we can do that tomorrow!”

Portugal Trophy
Standings after five races
Placing, Boat Name, Nationality, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, Total

1 El Desafío ESP (10,2,3,7,3, 25)
2 Matador ESP (8,5,10,1,2, 26)
3 Quantum Racing USA (4,8,1,6,10, 29)
4 Platoon poweredby Team Germany GER (11,10,8,2,1, 32)
5 Synergy RUS (9,1,4,14,5, 33)
6 Bribón ESP (1,11,12,5,4, 33)
7 Audi Q8 ITA (2,9,2,15,4, 34)
8 CXG Corporación Caixa Galicia ESP (7,3,9,3,13, 35)
9 Mutua Madrileña ESP (12,4,5,8,9, 38)
10 Artemis SWE (5,7,13,11,8, 44)
Risultati completi: http://2008.medcup.org/results/venue.php?trophy=6

Audi MedCup Circuit 2008
Standings after 50 races in, Alicante, Marseille Cagliari, Mallorca, Cartagena and Portimao.
Placing, Boat Name, Nationality, Total pts.

1 Quantum Racing USA 244
2 Bribón ESP 289,2
3 Matador ESP 313
4 Artemis SWE 315
5 Platoon by Team Germany GER 342
6 Mutua Madrileña ESP 363,4
7 El Desafío ESP 377
8 CxG Corporación Caixa Galicia ESP 439,6
9 Audi Q8 ITA 485
10 Mean Machine MON 565

See Med Cup images:

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 September 2008 )