José Cusi’s Bribón, Ross Macdonald of Canada calling tactics for helm Kiwi Dean Barker, won the first race and then posted a pair of fourth places to lead Americans Doug De Vos and Fred Howe’s Quantum Racing, while the 2005 MedCup Champions, Mutua Madrileña skippered by Vasco Vascotto of Italy is in third overall.
Title holder Bribon leads the 2008 Audi MedCup in Alicante, despite the charge from Peter de Ridder’s new Mean Machine, scoring back to back wins in Race 4 and Race 5 of the regatta. Bribón's consistency across three good quality races today earns them an overall lead of eight points.
With the sun breaking through later in the afternoon the breeze increased across the races to provide a great blend of tactical racing in 5-7 knots in the first contest, giving way to a more physically demanding 15-16 knots in the third.
Mean Machine's winning tactics from Ray Davies (NZL) and Tom Dodson (NZL) were a facsimile from Race 4 to Race 5, flipping early to the right side of the course and extending to hook into a favourable shift, they proved they have speed when they built a comfortable margin in the final race today. In contrast Macdonald was more measured and less extreme with Bribón.
At the theoretical half-way point of the ten planned races of this City of Alicante Trophy Regatta, leading into tomorrow’s critical Coastal Race which carries a double points bounty, the 2007 built Bribón heads a healthy mix of six new 2008 boats in the top 10.
Although not a new boat, Bribón underwent surgery during the winter to reconfigure the aft sections to improve their speeds in fresher conditions, such as prevailed in the third race of the day. A protest by Platoon against Bribon was finally dismissed after considerable deliberation. Ross Macdonald (CAN) Bribon's tactician:
'It was a good day with perfect conditions, just typical of the Mediterranean. The boat was moving well, and we were just trying to be consistent. The key today was there were a few windshifts around and differerences in wind strength across the course, and it was really a case of just trying to link those up. When it gets light then the angles between the boats really open up, and so you really need to keep the boat in the best (wind) pressure. That was much more important in the first race, which we won.'
'It is interesting against the new boats because I think it is very even on speed.' Ray Davies (NZL), Mean Machine's tactician:
'We had clean starts and that made a difference and with more breeze I think the boat was going better. It was not so fickle and we were able to let the boat really stretch her legs. I made a few mistakes yesterday, but today we managed to keep it pretty clean.' Morgan Larson (USA), Quantum Racing's tactician:
'In the first race of the day I was not happy with the decisions I took, but overall I am happy with the day. Our goal was to average better than fifth for the day and we achieved that. I think our boat is a little stronger up the wind range. The boat is certainly good which is a reward because I think the designers and the build team and everyone has put all that they could into it, so we are pretty happy.' City of Alicante Trophy/Audi MedCup Circuit
- Provisional Standings after five races
1st Bribon ESP (3, 3, 1, 4, 4, 15)
2nd Quantum USA (4, 5, 9, 3, 2, 23)
3rd Mutua Madrilena ESP (2, 4, 8, 8, 3, 25)
4th TAU Ceramica Andalucia ESP (1, 1, 6, 9, 9, 26)
5th Mean Machine MON (7, 16, 5, 1, 1, 30)
6th Platoon powered by Team Germany GER (5, 9, 2, 5, 14, 35)
7th El DesafÌo ESP (9, 6, 7, 11, 5, 38)
8th Matador ARG (10, 14, 3, 2, 10, 39)
9th Artemis SWE (12, 11, 4, 10, 7, 44)
10th Cristabella GBR (11, 2, 15, 7, 12, 47)