Emirates Team New Zealand has extended its overall lead in the Audi MedCup with a solid third placing in the coastal race.
With 14.5 points, NZL 380 is 12 points clear of Quantum on 26.5. Matador is third on 36.5.
For Friday’s coastal race, the norwesterly wind of 12 knots close inshore with 24 knots further out, set up the day for some close racing on a long downward run out and a beat to the finish.
Five boats finished within two minutes after the 39.7-mile race; a testimony to the skills of the crews and the very competitive yachts.
Race statistics tell the story: At the first mark NZL 380 was in the lead, with the fleet attacking hard. The Russian Synergy was only 9sec behind, with Bribon 11, Quantum 15, Artemis 21 and Matador 27.
By the second mark, Synergy was in the lead with NZL 380 17sec behind. Synergy maintained its lead around the third mark, with ETNZ only 4sec adrift and Quantum third 1min 14sec back.
Emirates Team New Zealand NZL380 lead the fleet to the first mark of the Coastal race on day three of the Trophee de Marseille, MedCup 2009 regatta. 12/6/2009 - Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ © Click Here to view large photo
Pisco Sour had taken over the lead by the fourth mark with Synergy second to round 18sec behind, Valars lll on 29, Quantum on 47 and ETNZ on 58.
Early on the beat home Quantum benefitted from more pressure under the cliffs which gave a consistent lift and they were able to pick off the leaders and win by 33sec from Valars, with NZL 380 1min 14sec third, Synergy 4th 1.48 and Bribon 5th on 2.01.
Matador which won the first regatta at Alicante, had a bad day finishing 11th after damaging the headfoil rounding mark 2.
NZL 380 strategist Adam Beashel: 'It was not quite the Mistral we would have liked. We had a great long run from Marseille and then a long beat home. That makes it hard … we like it the other way round.
'We sailed well from the start and on the second part of the run we got a little out of phase and missed some pressure, hard under the cliffs. On the long beat home it was all about staying close to our main competition. Quantum, which had come up on the points table, was the worry.
Emirates Team New Zealand NZL380 gets a good start for the Coastal race on day three of the Trophee de Marseille, MedCup 2009 regatta. 12/6/2009 - Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ © Click Here to view large photo
'The plan was to minimise the damage that Quantum could do. We managed to reel in Synergy and then got Pisco Sour. We both went to code zeros but Pisco had a problem and we slipped through.'
'We sailed close to our game plan. We knew there was a good chance of pressure in under the cliffs but we thought we were safe staying a little bit offshore.
'The result was not everything we had hoped, but we extended our overall lead by two more valuable points, so on balance we would have to say it was a good day.'
Standings after race day 3
Teams scored 1.5 points for today’s coastal race – their finishing place multiplied by 1.5 (the winner receiving 1.5 points, second 3, etc).
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 1+3+1+2+1+2+4.5= 14.5 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA), 8+5+2+6+3+1+1.5= 26.5 points
3. Matador (ARG), 2+6+4+1+2+5+16.5= 36.5 points
4. Bribón (ESP), 7+28+5+5+3+7.5= 41.5 points
5. Bigamist (POR), 5+4+6+3+10+4+10.5= 42.5 points
6. Artemis (SWE), 7,2,8,5,5,3,13.5 = 43.5 points
7. Valars (RUS), 10,11,3,7,4,6,3 = 44 points
8. Synergy (RUS), 3,9,9,7,6,10,6 = 50 points
9. Audi Q8 (ITA), 4,8,10,8,8,11,12 = 61 points
10. Pisco Sour (CHI), 11,7,7,9,11,9,9 = 63 points