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MedCup Circuit Region of Murcia Trophy - Battle off Cartagena

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson on 23 Aug 2011
Cascais Trophy 2011 Ian Roman/Audi MedCup © http://2008.medcup.org/home/
The Audi MedCup Circuit will proceed with the Region of Murcia Trophy – Cartagena which is set to get underway on the 23 August. The event is without question one of the Audi MedCup Circuit season’s most difficult race tracks, a real challenge for the tacticians, strategists and navigators thanks to the wind conditions which change so often.

'You have to remember that there is very often no pattern to follow. It can be completely different from one lap of a race to the next, so – for me – this is the most challenging course area of the season.' Confirms one of the founders of the Audi MedCup Circuit and a top navigator, Nacho Postigo (ESP), this morning.

The unassuming but uncompromising stretch of water off Spain’s south eastern coast is the arena for the fourth regatta of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit. It will be the battleground as TP52 Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA) and Container (GER), first and second respectively on the season leaderboard, seek to re-establish the top line consistency which they sustained through the first two regattas of the season, but which apparently abandoned them in breezy Cagliari last month.

' We strive to be faster and better,' Quantum Racing’s British tactician Adrian Stead warns, 'because it´s a tight fleet and there are good sailors in every boat. All seven boats are capable of winning the regatta. After three different regattas and three different winners it´s pretty obvious that the final winner will have to be very consistent'

Quantum Racing suffered their first ever technical breakdown to rule them out of a race in Cagliari and Stead confirms they have re-configured the offending running backstay arrangement.

So, too Markus Wieser (GER), skipper-helm of second placed Container is determined to return to their earlier consistent momentum: ' Last regatta stage we had ourselves a couple of mistakes for which, at this level of performance, you immediately pay. We can no longer afford such mistakes. That can't happen again'

' It's all still undecided in the circuit, the Italians are strong and hot on our heels, but we'll concentrate on our own races and don't want to get mixed in unnecessary fights for positions.'


52 Series and 40 Series teams have been on the water practising today in the perfect 13-17kts sea breeze conditions and very warm sunshine, looking to put a final polish on their team work before the regatta gets under way. The 52 Series have their official practice race tomorrow.

Many Audi MedCup sailors have been fully engaged in top level events since July’s Region of Sardinia Trophy in Cagliari. Niklas and Catherine Zennström’s RÁN crew have completed remarkable back to back wins in the Fastnet Race, the first time in more than 50 years that a team has managed this feat.

Hamish Pepper (NZL), Container’s tactician, continued his Olympic Star programme for New Zealand competing at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta where he and Craig Monk finished sixth at the Pre-Olympic Test event.

The Bribon crew had a very successful week on home waters off Palma winning at the Copa del Rey and Quantum Racing’s Kevin Hall (USA) competed in the inaugural America’s Cup World Series. Two new teams debut in the 40 Series.

Barcelona’s Tony Guia (ESP) has taken on XXII for this regatta and has a long term interest in competing in the class. Guia was a Spanish pioneer on the Whitbread Round the World race sailing on Licor 43 in 1981-82 and then Fortuna Lights in 1985-86. He has a strong link with the City having not only been on the sailing team on Licor 43, but the boat was also built here in Cartagena and Licor 43 is a local sponsoring company.

Their team will be known as www.cruiser-racer.com – XXII (ESP) and has Germany’s Sabine Schuemann as tactician.


And for the first time an all Australian team compete on the Audi MedCup Circuit. Brent Fowler and a crew which is comprised primarily of fellow Farr 40 sailors from Western Australia are well used to the strong breeze, but after stepping on to a Soto 40 for the first time today are looking for a more gentle introduction to the class. Aboard Britain’s Ngoni, Kevin Sproul (GBR) steers this week, joined by America’s Cup sailor David ‘Freddie’ Carr (GBR) on the crew along with navigator Tim Burnell (AUS) and Hamish Calder (GBR).

As ever the Audi MedCup Circuit forms the high point of the summer holiday season in Cartagena, and the social programme ashore spans a full cultural and sporting festival. As well as flamenco dancing exhibitions, Roman and Carthagenians parade, there are Moth and Bic O’pen sailing competitions and free live bands each night.

Quotes:

Markus Wieser (GER), helmsman on Container (GER): ' After the third event the standings went tighter, at that stage we allowed ourselves a couple of mistakes for which, at this level of performance, you inmediately pay. We can no longer afford such mistakes, that can't happen again'

' The middle term forecast announces from 10 to 15 knots, and specially at the lower range we'll have to figure something out'.

' It's all still undecided in the circuit, the Italians are strong and hot on our heels, but we'll concentrate on our own races and don't want to get mixed in unnecessary fights for positions.'

Toni Guiu (ESP), skipper-helm www.cruiser-racer.com – XXII (ESP): 'We are really happy to be here because we can see that the atmosphere it´s outstanding. You see people you know well and some others that you don´t know personally but that you recognize because of their great reputation.

We are excited because we think that we are in the same conditions as the rest of the teams as far as the boat goes, maybe not so much with the crew, although we´ve added two new Greek members and Sabine Schumann, a German tactician, so we´ll be there giving our best effort. For people like me, who´ve been sailing for so long, is a dream to sail here, a great satisfaction. The organization is great, I know Cartagena well and I know that the city is deeply involved, something that makes me proud'.

Adrian Stead (GBR), tactician, Quantum Racing (USA): 'I think it´s going to be another great regatta. Every boat has the potential to win it. We´ve had a look at our sails and we´ve changed our backstay arrangement to alleviate the issues that we had in Cagliari and we´re aiming to bounce back strong. We have a lead in the circuit and the goal is to maintain it or to extend it. Our forecast predicts a medium sea breeze, I think that it will be interesting to see how it goes with the couple of new sails that we have.

We strive to be faster and better, because it´s a tight fleet and there are good sailors in every boat. All seven boats are capable of winning the regatta. After three different regattas and three different winners it´s pretty obvious that the final winner will have to be very consistent'.

Jochen Schümann (GER), helmsman on Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE (GER/FRA): ' Winning in Cagliaria was certainly good for our spirit, it was like a balm, but we also deserved it after hard work and the whole team delivered. We didn't bury our heads in the sand after our bad results at the beginning of the season, we analysed the mistakes we did instead. In feel now comfortable on our new boat, we understand it'.

'For Cartagena we expect lighter wind than in the other events, therefore the boat's set up should be different, we'll have to give it a thought, but that should be no problem for us, we've got the means'.

Audi MedCup Circuit website

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