Audi Medcup Cascais Trophy’s 52 Series saw the newly launched green machine of Quantum Racing today proved that they are already well set in the straps for the season.
After winning the second race Thursday Ed Baird and crew extended their run to three successive wins from six starts, while their level of perfect symmetry, two wins today in robust conditions was not quite achieved in the Soto 40 series by the Iberdrola Team skippered by Jose Maria Torcida, but his team proved their powers of recovery when they took a pair of second places which ensures they retain their comfortable lead.
With winds which averaged more than 22 knots and gusted to 28 knots in the second race, the boisterous conditions took some crew closer to their early season limits, but the drama, such as it was, was confined to ill luck and the odd torn sail.
Early in the second race the Russian team on Synergy had their lifeline lashing which dumped three crew into the water and on the first upwind of the first race Iberdrola compromised their prospects when they picked up a lobster pot and struggled to get free.
Otherwise there were a few modest broaches and some slightly dented egos, but all in all it was another memorable day of racing in conditions which further endorse Cascais’ reputation as the wind capital of Portugal. Confidence on Quantum Racing is building:
'Today we get our best start yet this afternoon, we sailed our best downwind and we sailed our best upwind. We are pretty happy with where we are. We look back at where we were last Wednesday and I can see a big step forward, just confidence and time in the boat and my communication with Ed. (Baird, skipper helm),' explained Adrian Stead, Quantum Racing’s tactician, ' I feel very confident with what I have seen today, there are still gains to be made with each race we do.'
Second placed Container have retained a level of measured consistency from a very experienced crew who seemed rock solid in their boat handling today complemented by steady strategies from tactician Hamish Pepper. Their pair of third places today leaves Markus Wieser’s team three points behind Quantum Racing, while Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team bolstered an otherwise lack lustre first race sixth with a second place in the second race today to hold third, one point behind the debuting Germans.
Though the first beats remain resolutely one sided – the favoured right closer to the cascais shore is the golden ticket – on the first upwind it was those who judged the first layline best who were able to chase Quantum Racing hardest. Ross MacDonald and Marcel Van Trieste were able to set Bribon helm Gonjalez Aurajo a target which they achieved with little to spare, but they were able to squeeze around the first buoy in second which they held to the finish.
And in the second race it was Ed Baird’s perfect timing at the committee boat end of the line, Quantum Racing’s best start of the season yet, which was the foundation on which to build their second win of the day. This time Bribon slightly undercooked their approach and were judged to have skiffed the mark.
A two turn penalty dumped them from challenging Container for second to a painful seventh place finish. Patagonia, steered by class president Norberto Alvarez Vitale, with Nacho Postigo on tactics, guided the largely amateur crew to their first win in Europe when they were able to profit as Iberdrola’s unexpected catch halted them, while Bigamist took third.
Local Star class Olympian Afonso Domingos on mainsheet, Hugo Rocha on tactics and Spain’s Inaki Castaner form the backbone of the Bigamist team and they proved the depth of their talent when they won race four, the second of the day, in the strong winds, despite only having sailed the Soto 40 for a matter of five days so far.
Quantum Racing lead overall by three points into Saturday’s picturesque coastal race, which carries 1.5 points weighting, while the Soto 40’s are scheduled to race two more windward-leewards. Cascais Trophy - 52 Series Day Three
1.Quantum Racing (USA), 3+3+5+1+1+1= 14 points
2. Container (GER), 2+2+4+3+3+3= 17 points
3.Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5+1+2+2+6+2= 18 points
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 1+6+3+4+4+6= 24 points
5. Bribón (ESP), 4+7+1+6+2+7= 27 points
6. Ràn (SUE), 6+4+6+5+7+5= 33 points
7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (EUR), 7+5+7+7+5+4= 35 points
8. Gladiator (GBR), 9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+9DNC=54 points 40 Series - Day Two
1.Iberdrola Team (ESP), 1+1+2+2=6
2.Bigamist (POR), 2+4+3+1=10
3.Patagonia (ARG), 4+3+1+4=12
4.XXII Portuguese Sailing Team (POR), 3+2+4+3=12
5.Ngoni (GBR), 5+5+5+6DNF=21 Quotes: Ed Baird (USA), skipper, Quantum Racing (USA):
'We are very happy with how the day went, for sure, the boat is performing very nicely in that breeze. We are starting to get along more comfortable with how the boat sails. We didn´t do anything different, we were trying to do the same things that we did yesterday. We didn´t want to get in trouble ourselves but find a clear area in which to sail upwind over the first leg.
But, look at how close the races are, we actually commented how small the leeward gate looks with all those boat squeezing in. Any mistake you make is going to cost you, we made some errors but luckily for us they were small and they didn´t hurt us with the rest of the teams'. Adrian Stead (GBR) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
'It is a shame to lose some of the guys we did, but we did look carefully at the options who we bring in. It has kind of complemented what we had already, because we have Ben Durham coming in from Luna Rossa, we have Louie (trimmer Grant Loretz) coming in from Team New Zealand and that has given us just a slightly different take on how things work.
We have a bit more horsepower on the boat, playing with the weights a bit we took the opportunity to be sure that when we have four people on the handles we have a lot of kilograms of strength on the handles, so that has worked well. We definitely feel stronger, we have people on the boat in Joe Spooner and Louie who have won the Circuit already and they bring new ideas and it is good.'
'Ed Baird is building more and more confidence. He learns more every day and the last race showed that, that for me is great. He is understanding the boat more and more, and has the confidence to say if the boat feels too loaded, say, it is just experience of driving the boat.
He hasn’t done as much TP52 sailing as a lot of people and it is switching into a light weight boat, and here we are, today we get our best start yet this afternoon, we sailed our best downwind and we sailed our best upwind. We are pretty happy with where we are. We look back at where we were last Wednesday and I can see a big step forward, just confidence and time in the boat and my communication with Ed.
I feel very confident with what I have seen today, there are still gains to be made with each race we do.' Rod Dawson (NZL), tactician Synergy (RUS):
'In fact it was the lashing that broke, we had broken a stanchion yesterday but it was the lashing which went and three of us went in the water, including myself. We were picked up very quickly and were only in the water for a matter a a few minutes. According to the rule now we had to stop the boat and I think that is a good safety feature now. Everyone was OK it was just a mishap, but was a bit frustrating because we had made a good start and were in the mix.
Otherwise we are a bit disappointed because the boat is certainly fast and we are very happy with it, but we put the spinnaker under the bow earlier and the broken lifeline cost us, but we well get there. There are few things to sort out.' Afonso Domingos (POR), skipper and mainsheet trimmer Bigamist (POR):
'Great day for us, the crew has done a magnificent job in the first race. We started in the first place and we sailed well enough to keep that position until the end of the race. Our speed going upwind was not as good as we´d like it to be, the key for us is to sail in a more technical way, which is going to be really important if you want to be fisrt. Our first start of the day was bad and that left us with a third place'. Guillermo Parada (ARG), skipper, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
'It wasn´t a great day for us. In the first race didn´t sail at the top of our capabilities, we made bad decisions and we paid in the long run. It was just a bad race. In the second one I sailed pretty badly upwind to start with, but we sailed better and we managed to finish second, which makes us feel better at the end of the day. It also keeps our chances alive facing the last two days of the competition. We have to analyze our mistakes, correct some things here and there, and keep on going'. Event website