Emirates Team New Zealand cruised to victory in the Audi MedCup Region of Sardinia Trophy after a relatively calm final day of racing, while Islas Canarias Puerto Calero took the GP42 Series Regatta.
Racing for the first time at this regatta in the the Mistral direction, with the windward turn less than one mile from the weather shore, at the top of the U-shaped Bay of Cagliari, the course offered a rich choice of gusts and shifts for the tacticians to work their magic.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s boss and mast-man Grant Dalton was pleased as the Mistral breeze returned to present a final upsurge of wind to allow the Kiwi team to sail cleanly through the final three races to secure the win. It was their second successive Audi MedCup regatta title after also winning last month in Marseille, France.
Dalton spoke of hoping for a decent wind-strength for the final day of racing, declaring his team was just trying to ‘hang on’ after Friday’s changeable sea-breeze conditions.
“We did not sail that well, we started badly once and just with the breeze and so on…. but we sailed with composure too, we managed to not crack under pressure while people were cracking around us, but that is just the way we sail. Credit to the guys, though just having been sailing together for a while. The points flatter us a bit, as they did in Marseille in the end, Artemis were right there, but it certainly did not feel like that after the first race this morning. The second race did not hurt. But I thought our best race was our last race. We knew what had to be done. Matador helped by getting their penalty, but we were sailing ourselves out of the course but we got right back into when the breeze came on.”
Not only did the Emirates Team New Zealand crew ‘hang on’, they sailed with extraordinary persistence and composure while their two principal rivals, Matador from Argentina and Sweden’s Artemis, suffered their own, largely self inflicted problems.
Artemis made rules infractions in both the first and second races. Matador ruined an otherwise strong day when they tacked too close to Emirates Team New Zealand and had to take a penalty as well. Later they dramatically hooked the windward mark buoy and could not release it until they were 100 meters down the final run.
In contrast Emirates Team New Zealand sailed with meticulousness in the final races to score a third, a first and a second place which ensured they topped the final standings by 14.5 points ahead of Matador. Artemis who started the day in second slipped to third place by the end of the regatta.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s second regatta triumph ensures they head for Portimao for next month’s Portugal Trophy having more than doubled their lead, while Matador have climbed to second overall at the expense of defending Audi MedCup Champions Quantum Racing from the USA. Quantum Racing’s best race finish came today with a second in the second contest, but they ended the regatta in seventh place.
In the GP42 Series the Spanish team, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero won four of the final five races to take the Region of Sardinia Trophy, needing only to finish in the final race to be sure of their first regatta win this season.
Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
Region of Sardinia Trophy
Final standings after 11 races
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1+1+1+5+4+3+5+2+3+1+2= 28 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3+3+4+1+2+7,5+2+5+1+4+10= 42,5 points
3. Artemis (SWE), 2+2+7+3+3+1,5+1+7+9+8+6= 49.5 points
4. Bigamist (POR), 6+5+9+6+1+9+4+1+6+9+1= 57 points
5. Synergy (RUS), 4+8+2+2+5+15+7+6+2+3+3= 57 points
Final standings after 10 races
1. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 3+2+3+4+4+1+1+1+1+3= 23 points
2. Caser Endesa (ESP), 4+4+2+2+1+3+2+3+4+1= 26 points
3. Airis (ITA), 1+1+4+3+5+2+4+4+2+2= 28 points
4. Roma (ITA), 2+5+1+1+3+4+3+2+5+4= 30 points
5. Turismo Madrid (ESP), 5+3+5+5+2+5+5+5+3+5= 43 points
Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
Overall Points after Alicante (ESP), Marseille (FRA) and Cagliari (ITA)
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 38+27,5+28= 93,5 points
2. Matador (ARG), 36+47,5+42,5= 126 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 40+41,5+65= 146,5 points
4. Artemis (SWE), 37+62,5+52,5= 149 points
5. Bigamist (POR), 46+55,5+56= 158,5 points
1. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 20+23+23= 66 points
2. Roma (ITA), 22+17+30= 69 points
3. Caser-Endesa (ESP), 33+27+26= 86 points
4. Airis (ITA), 21+38+28= 87 points
5. Turismo Madrid (ESP), 35+35+43= 113 points
Quote and Photo: Audi MedCup