At the TP52 World Championship in Puerto Calero, after two days of windward/leeward races, the 14-strong fleet sailed the short coastal race, approximately 35 miles long. Artemis led the Coastal race from start to finish, but it was the American entry, Quantum Racing that took the event overall lead after finishing second.
The course took the fleet to a windward mark 1.6 miles from the starting line in front of the airport, before turning north towards Arrecife, the island’s capital. From there yachts turned back south towards Puerto Calero, where two buoys a few dozen meters from the breakwater gave the hundreds of spectators ashore the chance to watch the TP52’s 'flying' in front of their eyes. They then headed south for the longest leg of the race towards the cape beach of Punta Papagayo. After rounding the mark there, the course headed back to Puerto Calero to finish just off the marina entrance.
The weather had in store a little bit of everything during the three and a half hours the yachts crisscrossed the waters off Puerto Calero; sun, light conditions, rain showers, squalls with puffs of up to 25 knots, especially in the last leg.
After a less than average performance on Tuesday, Artemis found their form on Wednesday and crossed the finish line ahead of Quantum and Bribón, after clearly dominating from start to finish. There was no doubt yesterday’s clumsy errors were not repeated aboard the Swedish boat. Torbjorn Tornqvist helmed the boat to a clean start and together with Mutua Madrileña, Bribón and Platoon opted for the left side of the race course. As Russell Coutts pointed out, the first leg was very important to the overall race and after rounding first the top mark, they stayed clearly ahead of the fleet.
The most interesting battles took place right behind Tornqvist’s back. Mutua Madrileña rounded second the first buoy and it all pointed to a duel with Vasco Vascotto. Unfortunately, a breakage in their backstay made the Italians slip back and Bribón grabbed 2 nd place when the fleet was heading north. Quantum and Desafío took also advantage of the stronger breeze close to the shore and managed to weave their way through traffic when passing in front of the airport. They rounded the northernmost mark, 3rd and 4 th respectively, behind Artemis and Bribón.
Desafío took advantage of the nice airport breeze again on their way south to Puerto Calero and were second in the mark in front of the marina, followed by Bribón and Quantum. On the way to Punta Papagayo, Morgan Larson on Quantum put in another fine performance and the American boat reached the mark ahead of Bribón, taking advantage of the fresher breeze close to coast. Still, the play of the day was Ross Macdonald’s decision to take Bribón as much as 2 miles further offshore to the right than the other 13 yachts in the final leg. While Quantum and Desafío were neck and neck close to the shore, Bribón got a nice right shift and sneaked in between.
For Thursday, the program calls for the Long coastal race, approximately 60 miles long. TP52 - Overall leaders
1 QUANTUM 21.50 pts
2 MUTUA MADRILEÑA 23.25 pts
3 ARTEMIS 30.25 pts
4 BRIBÓN 36.75 pts
5 PLATOON POWERED BY TEAM GERMANY 41.25 pts
6 MATADOR 41.75 pts
7 EL DESAFÍO 42.00 pts
8 SYNERGY 44.50 pts
9 AUDI SAILING TEAM POWERED BY Q8 49.00 pts
10 VALARS 50.50 pts
11 TAU CERAMICA - ANDALUCIA http://www.tp52worldchampionship.com/