MedCup Region of Murcia Trophy 52 Series practice race

Region of Murcia Trophy, 23 08 2011 - Audi MedCup Circuit 2011
Audi MedCup Region of Murcia Trophy is being held in Cartagena, Spain from today, 23rd August until 28th August 2011 and the scheduled practice was cancelled due to lack of breeze.

When the AP flag hung limply over the A flag and it became apparent that there was no prospect of enough wind to race, the 52 Series fleet scuttled back to Cartagena’s marina, seeking relief from the searing afternoon heat.

With 26 races completed of the season’s maximum complement of 45, the 52 Series fleet is hardly short on practice.

But the disappointment that today’s official Practice Race was thwarted by insufficient breeze was felt because the vast majority of the season's races have been contested in winds above 13kts.

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With many of the fleet having made configuration alterations and/or carding brand new sails aimed at enhancing their light winds potential, a chance to line up against the fleet in full race mode in light winds would have been welcomed today.

But it was not to be.

The race fleet were back at the dock by 1600hrs ready to contemplate Wednesday’s first windward-leeward races.

Light to moderate winds are in prospect at least for the early part of the regatta.

Three different boats have already won regattas this season.

Tim Powell and the crew of Niklas and Catherine Zennström’s RÁN come directly to Cartagena after winning the classic 608 miles Fastnet Race for the second consecutive time, but Powell believes this will be a tough test for their team in the lighter conditions:

'The last few regattas have been windy and so now we have to get to grips with the lighter airs.' said Powell, 'It is a little more of a challenge for us because all of the sailing that we have done over the last few weeks has been in good breeze, and so we need to get our heads around it a bit. Of course now it is finesse which required rather than brute force. So it will be a learning curve on that for us.'

'For sure winning the Fastnet is a great, great achievement and coming here it does give us a boost, but of course this is very, very different racing.' Powell continues, ' We have always had a good group of people and we have always got on well together and we have always believed in ourselves that we are capable of performing well. The difference here is the format, windward-leeward racing and so we have to be realistic that just because we won the Fastnet it does not mean we will come here and suddenly win the Audi MedCup.'

'We have a tight schedule, we finished the Fastnet on the Tuesday and came here on Saturday, then we go to the Maxi Worlds and then straight to Barcelona, so it is a hectic few weeks.'

'I think probably at the moment we lack a little bit of the consistency which is required to win a regatta, but it is slowly coming together. There is no one thing, in all areas we need to be just a little better and that higher level of consistency would get us up the fleet quite quickly.'

The 52 Series should race two scheduled windward-leeward races Wednesday when the 40 Series fleet have their practice race planned.

Quantum Racing (USA) will go afloat with a seven points series lead over second placed Container (GER) who in turn are seven points ahead of third placed Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA).

The conventional thinking around the Cartagena dockside is that this regatta will shape the podium which will be finally settled at next month’s Barcelona finale.

Audi MedCup TV’s live broadcasting of all the action from the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy regatta begins Wednesday at 1250hrs (local/1150hrs BST/1050hrs. GMT). The live programme stream can also be also now be followed on Facebook along where there is now a live chat forum.

52 Series
Standings after three events

1. Quantum Racing (USA), 19 + 30 + 42= 91 points
2. Container (GER), 31.5 + 28.5+38= 98 points
3. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 32.5 + 37+35.5= 105 points
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 37 + 39.5+44.5= 121 points
5. Bribón (ESP), 47.5 + 38+37= 122.5 points
5. Ràn (SWE), 40.5+41.5+43.5= 125.5 points
7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR) 58 + 43.5+26.5 =128 points
8. Gladiator (GBR), 85.5 + 47+85.5= 218 points

Tim Powell (GBR) skipper-mainsail trimmer RÁN (SWE/GBR):
'We have quite a few new sails on the boat and so we are hoping that will give us a nice little speed jump. The last few regattas have been windy and so now we have to get to grips with the lighter airs.

It is a little more of a challenge for us because even all of the sailing that we have done over the last few weeks has been in good breeze, and so we need to get our heads around it a bit. Of course now it is finesse which required rather than brute force. So it will be a learning curve on that for us.'

I think probably at the moment we lack a little bit of the consistency which is required to win a regatta, but it is slowly coming together. There is no one thing, in all areas we need to be just a little better and that higher level of consistency would get us up the fleet quite quickly.'

'For sure winning the Fastnet is a great, great achievement and coming here it does give us a boost, but of course this is very, very different racing. We have always had a good group of people and we have always got on well together and we have always believed in ourselves that we are capable of performing well. The difference here is the format, windward-leeward racing and so we have to be realistic that just because we won the Fastnet it does not mean we will come here and suddenly win the Audi MedCup.

We have a tight schedule, we finished the Fastnet on the Tuesday and came here on Saturday, then we go to the Maxi Worlds and then straight to Barcelona, so it is a hectic few weeks.'

'In terms of our expectations I think we are probably a little behind where we hoped to be, but I think we are realistic enough to know this a really tough fleet, and that realisation hits home having now done a few regattas.

We will be back year and we always knew this was going to be quite an upwards learning curve, we are here next year and the aim will be to set ourselves higher targets for next year.'

Ignasi Triay (ESP), trimmer, Bribón (ESP):
'We left a bit early, because we knew there was going to be little wind out there today and we wanted to try a couple of things in these conditions, because there has not been a lot of days like today so far this year. We had a couple of doubts that we wanted to solve regarding trimming, so we sailed a while until the wind has disappeared and the regatta could not take place. We´ve drawn some conclusions so we benefited from today´s sailing. We have our inflatable boat out there now, our Navigator and our Skipper are checking the rocks and the depth for the coastal race. These are things that you usually can´t do because you don´t have the time. Now we have to rest and stay away from the heat. Tomorrow shouldn´t be very windy, but I think that we´ll be able to sail. What´s important is to be ready then.'

Jochen Schuemann (GER), skipper, Audi Sailing Team powered All4one (FRA/GER):
'We tried to make today an efficient day so we went straight out at 1100hrs and we sailed two hours before the first signal was given. We sailed a while and that´s good, we are not disappointed. The race committee was right about cancelling the race because outside there´s no wind. I hope the upcoming days are better in terms of wind. We have not made major changes. We are learning every day; every hour that can sail helps us because these are the only days when we have all the 12 members of the crew together'.

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Region of Murcia Trophy, 23 08 2011 - Audi MedCup Circuit 2011

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